Niland, with a clear stance on ethics, champions making the most of off-cuts from fish, and his research on this topic has earned him international attention.
His interest in cooking emerged from an act of love; the lunches his mother fondly prepared for him while he was battling cancer as a child. His desire to make others happy via food took him to work in restaurants – serving coffee or washing dishes – from a young age. At 17, living in Sydney, he began working in well-known restaurants like Quay and Fish Face, where his passion for produce from the sea was born.
When he was 28, he ventured solo and opened Saint Peter, a restaurant committed to using Australian ingredients, which also has an ethical and sustainable approach that uses the whole fish – as much of each creature as possible. His commitment to using every part of the fish led him to carry out some extremely interesting work on ageing fish, a technique that defines his way of cooking and which he explains in his book The Whole Fish Cookbook: New Ways to Cook, Eat and Think.