Luke & Chris Portrait

Words and phrases to sum up why I'm lucky enough to genuinely call Chris Simmons a mate…chef, wannabe funster, hard worker, big hearted one. As the picture suggests we also don’t mind a laugh from time to time.

When my parents separated in 1987 dad moved out and I can distinctly remember him moaning about eating cornflakes for dinner — probably washed down with a cigarette. I don’t know when his moment of clarity came about but he unexpectedly became a chef to be reckoned with. Literally every meal I’ve had with him over the past 20 odd years has been an experience. The potatoes always perfectly seasoned and crispy and ribs falls off the bone. The man is on a mission in the kitchen.

He made a friend of the local chef he was selling a car to when he shared his story of a recent white chocolate mudcake he'd experimented with. The chef liked the concept and gave it a go back at the restaurant. It was a hit. I simply have to give respect where it’s due.

My Dad is a bit of a jokester. His most classic gag requires a clean nappy, a healthy dollop of peanut butter and an unsuspecting audience. He'll walk into the room with a nappy complaining he's got a dirty nappy in his hands. This is a good shock tactic when he then brings those with a weak stomach to retch as he opens up the package to reveal fresh "merde". The show's not over until he brings the nappy to his face and tucks in. This almost resulted in one of my cousin's (a Nurse) fainting.

My Dad has always been a hard worker. For many years he sold new cars and was regularly in the top ranking car dealerships in the region of Toyota, Mitsubishi and, most proudly Proton. At home the name of local competitor dealerships was considered a swear word. In some cases this was even a previous employer. His charm sold a rocking red Seca to a young Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan at the height of their fame. Once the paperwork was signed he politely convinced them to sign the three nearest pieces of paper for his kids. On this day he was a hero to my sisters and I. 

Dad has been married to a lovely Canadian wife for over 20 years so I guess we're an example of a model extended family. When he visited the in-laws in 1989, just prior to his wedding, the leather jacket wearing player was called the Aussie hunk by adoring friends of Jeannie. Smooth.

My Dad — in my eyes a cool mate to have.

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