Balancing the Grind with Anthony Whitehouse, Founder of Create Catering

Today, we have the pleasure of chatting with Anthony Whitehouse, the founder of Create Catering. Anthony’s career journey is as colourful and diverse as the dishes his company serves, and he’s here to share some of his fascinating experiences and insights with us.

Anthony’s path in hospitality began in an unexpected place—selling drinks on a beach in Nice, France. This unique start eventually led him to formal training in London, where he worked at renowned establishments like The Ivy and Le Caprice before opening his first restaurant in Soho.

Currently, Anthony heads Create Catering, known for its innovative culinary offerings, including the food hall at David Jones’ flagship store in Sydney. His latest project, Squiseato, features a bakery, café, restaurant, rotisserie, wok bar, and patisserie, showcasing a wide range of delicious options. Anthony is particularly proud of the pizzas, which he believes are the best in Sydney.

In our conversation, we’ll explore how Anthony balances his bustling career with personal well-being. From morning walks with his French bulldogs to his new rule of no laptop after 6:30 pm, Anthony has found ways to keep stress at bay and maintain a healthy lifestyle. We’ll also hear about his decision to give up alcohol for a year and the positive impact it’s had on his energy and skin.

Let’s start with your background! Can you share with us your career journey and what you’re currently up to?

I got into hospitality by selling drinks on a beach in Nice, France and made enough money to live in the Hotel le Negresco until Michael Jackson took over the floor I was on and got kicked out. Upside was I got backstage passes.

Returning to London I decided to get formal training and worked in the Ivy and Le Caprice before opening my first restaurant ‘Blues Bistro and Bar’ in Soho, London.

Recently my company Create took over the food hall for David Jones flagship in Elizabeth Street, Sydney with a brand called Squiseato. I am very proud of the food Alessandro our Executive chef has produced. We have a bakery, café, restaurant, rotisserie, wok bar and patisserie – my personal favourite are the pizzas at the bakery made by Daniele and Vittorio who have come from Rome, I think are the best pizzas in Sydney and at $14 are great value.

We have also launched a beautiful champagne bar and high tea on level 2 with amazing views across Hyde Park. It’s a great place to indulge in luxury and spoil yourself or your mum or partner or friend or anyone who deserves your time.

We’d love to know what a typical day is like for you. Could you describe a recent workday?

I wake up at 6am and take my 2 French bulldogs (Winston and Dolly) for a walk around Bondi getting my first coffee of the day from Romeo at Harry’s then home to go through all the emails and plan for meetings. I like to limit myself to 3 meetings a day which allows me time to work the service wherever I am.

I exercise 4 times a week in the afternoons with a trainer where we talk more than exercise and then home to go through more emails and event planning. I have a new rule for 2024 that I don’t look at my laptop after 6:30pm and it’s a great way to start unwinding after a busy day.

For dinner my wife, Paula and I take turns to cook before slothing on the sofa to watch an international TV series or film. I’m in bed by 9:30pm and read for an hour to clear my brain of the clutter.

Can you define work-life balance for yourself and share with us your approach in maintaining it?

During COVID I took up surfing with my older daughter and found it the best way to wash off stress. It’s also a great reminder of how rubbish I am and enjoy her laughing at me.

Change is constant, and it’s essential for growth. Have you made any lifestyle changes in the past year to improve your work-life balance?

I went to see Depeche Mode (80s band) in Rome last July and over indulged in Brunello di Montalcino and Grappa and decided to give up alcohol for a year. 315 days later (not that I’m counting) I have so much more energy in the morning and my skin looks fabulous.

We’re always on the lookout for new resources! Can you recommend any books, podcasts, or newsletters that have helped you in your journey towards balance?

I love my history and seem to have 3 books on the go all the time. Currently reading Stalingrad by Antony Beevor, Mythos by Stephen Fry and A Man Called Intrepid by William Stevenson (great book). Favourite podcast is ‘the serial’ series, if you haven’t listened then I highly recommend it.

Before we wrap up, do you have any final words of wisdom or insights on work, life, or balance that you’d like to share with our readers? 

Every morning the first thing to do is thank the universe. I am incredibly lucky to have an amazing family, great group of friends and do something I love for a living that I don’t think is work.

We are not here for a long time and at times the ride can be scary but my father used to remind me that when you’re on the top of the wave, enjoy it as it will come down but also when you are in the trough it can only go up.

Exercise is an important part of my life and I don’t think people realise how important it is for our mental health. The post exercise endorphins are the best high and only wish we could buy them over the counter instead of the 45 mins of pain we need to pay to receive them.

About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.