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Growing up in Australia and New Zealand, Chef Big Mike and his classmates lived for Friday school lunch, an end-of-week celebration featuring the local tuck shop’s (a tuck shop is a deli, cafe or bakery) traditional meat pies, delivered hot and fresh to their classrooms. At home, Mike’s Mum and Dad crafted a wide variety of heritage Aussie dishes, including their own meat-filled pastries baked from heirloom family recipes passed down through generations.
Upon his family’s immigration to America in the early 1980s, much to Mike’s surprise, his beloved meat pies were nowhere to be found. Inspired by his parents’ cooking, Mike sought a restaurant job as a young teen, where his diligence as a dishwasher earned him occasional cookery lessons from head chefs. During years spent exploring the restaurant world, Mike discovered a natural knack for preparing his home nation’s fare in his own kitchen and set out to further develop his family’s recipes.
On a mission to share Australia’s favorite meal with his new home, Mike eventually launched the first Flying Pie Guy food truck, a venture inspired in part by the café his aunt once operated on the beach of Australia’s Gold Coast. To this day, G’Day Gourmet remains a family operation—all G’Day recipes must first pass Mum and Dad’s taste test before they meet the world!