Speaking of his connection to the A-list stars and the NRL, Justin told the Sydney Morning Herald: 'I travelled the world with Packer and Crowe but I first started as an apprentice at Panthers Leagues Club in 1991 when Penrith won their first comp.’
Justin and Russell have remained close friends, with the Gladiator star even tweeting for his chef pal when Huxton’s was robbed last December.
Sharing CCTV footage of the break-in, Russell made a call-out asking if people recognised the thieves.
Justin said it was his time working for Russell and media magnate James that shaped his career.
'The great thing I learnt from working for and spending time around people like James Packer is that they woke up every day with a fire in their bellies to be better each day,’ he told the Sunday Telegraph.
'They knew exactly what they wanted and worked bloody hard to get it.'
Justin went on to start up Huxton’s with his wife, one of the most popular cafes on Sydney’s affluent eastern suburbs. And in a tragic twist, only two months ago he spoke of his desire to pass on his love of cooking to his young son.
'My boy Felix loves cooking and helping in the kitchen and I try to teach him as much as I can,' he said.
In you need support or someone to talk to, please call the Lifeline 24-hour crisis support on 13 11 14