Episodes
Having walked through professional kitchens since he was 16, Matt has worked with the best and come up in the culinary world alongside some incredible chefs too. We chat about his time under Thomas Keller and the military like style in which Keller conducted his brigade.  We chat about meeting Rene Redzepi at the Fat Duck, looking up to Charlie Palmer as one of his inspirations (Matt still wore black socks after Charlie drilled it into him), jumping on at NOMA in 2005 only a year after it...
Published 12/05/22
When I started my apprenticeship many years ago, and dabbling with wild and native foods as a chef, Aaron was one of the first people I started following that was utilizing them in an out of the box way that made it engaging enough for me to try it myself. It was inspiring, and pushed me to find new ways to make these ingredients accessible to diners myself. Now it’s at the core of all my dishes. So cheers for the motivation and inspiration Aaron, you’re a bloody legend. We talk about the...
Published 11/18/22
Published 11/18/22
 We chat about Jason's brief stint cooking at the Olympics, the good timing between being a fresh chef to a new team and integrating into a kitchen, writing prep lists on the back of dockets and being upgraded to a premium recipe folder; plus the importance of developing a strong relationship between local suppliers and growers. Also, what happens if you pull your tweezers out at the Ledbury? And why are Per Se going through so much baking paper per week?  The Roots Hospitality podcast is...
Published 11/04/22
Second time around for the Bartender Roundtable with Sarah Proietti (Maybe Sammy), Dre Walters (Old Mates Place), Chau Tran (Burrow Bar), Harrison Kenney (Bar Planet).   Do you get free shots at Bar planet if it's your birthday? Are the wet pussy shots finally making a come back? Are Australian cows kosher? Did the Dalai Lhama smuggle tigers over the border?  Why do chicks dig American Will? Does Kenney fit through the metal detectors at the Airport? And the elevator for Old Mates finally...
Published 10/21/22
Ever been stitched up while doing a pop up at a house on a mountain in China with no electricity? How did Mo get out of it? Sometimes I don't think he even knows. It was almost as if he had repressed it until I mentioned the Yunnan Provence.  But when Mo reflects on what he calls "the wildest pop up he has ever done", he could only laugh in how he found himself in that situation to begin with.  Mo started his culinary career as an apprentice at Attica, which helped shape his appreciation for...
Published 10/07/22
Luke and I chat about the importance of time and place, his experience at Faviken, why he believes he has the sports almanac from Back to the Future and how busting chops to forage blackberries eventually stitched him up at a festival in Melbourne. The Roots Hospitality podcast is proudly supported by Sydney Direct Fresh Produce. The fruit and vegetable providore led by Luke Kohler, who has been supplying to Sydney restaurants and venues for more then 20 years and still smashing it out...
Published 09/16/22
My next guest was the first person I got to chat too while visiting Melbourne and I was especially excited to not only catch up with Kim but also check out the venue only having heard about it from afar. With a lavish interior and fully decked out kitchen (and chefs, when I say decked out, I mean, on the corner of some prep benches, they have a slot for paper towels, so you don’t need to run to the other side of the kitchen just to dry your hands. Like, it’s clear a chef designed this...
Published 08/26/22
My guest today has created a speakeasy bar hidden away on Clarence street that provides this getaway place with a cosy ambience, fun vibes and a longing for more once you leave. Packed with stories, Chau shares her experiences in hospitality through the many pop ups she’s done, competitions she’s won and collaborations she’s pulled together.   During the lockdown Chau and her team at Burrow Bar and Cash Only Diner were one of the few venues handing out free meals for hospitality staff that...
Published 08/12/22
In this episode Diego and I catch up about his journey from last two years since he has come on the podcast last. He shares the story of mushroom foraging with Hugo Weaving, pulling together his latest book 'Eat Weeds' (which we go into depth about) and Diego even shares his own in the weeds moment.   It's a great little pocket of an episode. Worth tuning in for.  Roots podcast is proudly supported by Sydney Direct Fresh Produce. The fruit and veg supplier led by Luke Kohler, who has...
Published 07/29/22
It’s not only one thing to be passionate about your job in hospitality, but to take it a step further and to be attentive, entertaining and to care about the guests that walk into your venue, is another. It might sound strange to highlight these characteristics, considering that to care, is the essence of hospitality right? But to Kennedy, embodying all of these traits are a must, before you even consider stepping into the role of a bartender or server.   Having worked in venues from Hong...
Published 06/17/22
Setting a landmark bar that strives to change the conceptions of waste was never going to be easy. It relies on ingenuity, passion, patience and making a lot of mistakes. No different to whenever you strive to do something good. But when you have two experienced and forward thinking people at the helm of it all, you can only expect the best. From using the whole mango, including dehydrating the seeds to add bitterness to cocktails, to using the pulp after juicing, for vinegars and kombuchas....
Published 05/27/22
Martin Hudak has only been in Australia from 2018, but since then, he has certainly created  a big impact on the hospitality bar scene. With venues (co-owned) like Maybe Sammy, Dean & Nancy and Sammy Junior under his belt, it’s clear Martin and the teams are on an unstoppable path to pave the future of what a bar experience can be. Maybe Sammy even hit the 22nd spot, on the Worlds 50 Best Bar list last year and took out the Best Bar in Australasia award. But when you’re resume boasts...
Published 05/06/22
Ben once worked at an Air Bnb cooking for 12 people alongside Annalise Gregory and Marco Pierre White. When I asked him why on earth would they pay all these chefs to cook for so little people, he responded ‘I dunno, to see what you could do with too much money I guess?’. And when we reflected on our experience in hospitality, it seems as though that statement could be thrown around a lot.  We talk about Ben’s wildest experience as a chef which was celebrating down in Melbourne for the...
Published 04/08/22
To be honest, I don't think I've been to a venue as busy as Opera Bar. The scale is insane. We're talking more then 900 cover services, which for an a le carte venue, is a monster body of work. Fortunately I had the opportunity to jump in during a service to do some behind the scenes shots of the head chef Fernando and his team of powerhouse chefs. You can see these photos over at rootshospitality.com.au  Fernando and I sat down back in December to chat about his long standing career as a...
Published 03/11/22
Anna and I sat down on the same morning the Good Food Guide of 2022 came out. Which was a perfect way to start the conversation. It's an exciting time of year for a lot of chefs, so it was a good way to debrief about the year and some of the exciting projects coming up. Anna talks about how she got her foot in the hospitality door and all of the hilarious stories that have come with it. If you tune in at the right time, you’ll hear her share how Hugh Allen (Vue De Monde) once borrowed and...
Published 02/25/22
Noah has some hilarious stories from his time as a chef. Working in a few tough Sydney kitchens grinding away and slogging it out, has helped shaped his world view with a more optimistic mindset. Jumping on the Roots podcast to reflect on his journey, gave him an opportunity to let out all of the entertaining experiences he'd gained along the way.  Noah once worked with a chef who was so intense that if Noah was to use his hands to pick garnish from his draws during service, they would get...
Published 02/04/22
At 14, Nelly started his apprenticeship working at a two Michelin star restaurant with some of the best chefs in the country, slogging it from 6am in the morning. As much as this sounded crazy to Nel's dad (who went into the restaurant to have a go at Nigel, the Head Chef), Nel was convinced this was the best thing for him and to this day, he's grateful for those early years. Since then Nelly has gone on to cook for the Queen of England, work with Heston Blumenthal and open up his own...
Published 01/21/22
First and foremost, before we continue onto this discussion I’d like to acknowledge the Gadigal People of the Eora Nation who are the traditional custodians of this land we call Sydney and I pay my respects to the Elders both past and present.  Today in this roundtable I pull together Diego Bonetto, (a passionate environmental advocate and educator of wild foods) Gabriel Gutnik (of Ziggy's Wild Foods) and Byron Woolfrey (Trolley'd) to highlight the importance of how foraging can foster a...
Published 07/30/21
While Elijah was working at the Powder Keg one day processing the 80kg (thereabouts) of Lemon Aspen that he had foraged that morning for his restaurant, Rene Redzepi and his team walked in. Elijah was taken aback, and not sure why Rene was in his kitchen. Rene walked up and tasted the Lemon Aspen and was shocked by the incredible flavour. Elijah began to tell him they were going to use it to make a sorbet for the Powder Keg. Rene looked at him and smiled and said. No, no. We need this for the...
Published 07/23/21
If you’ve ever been at home and felt a spark of creativity when it comes to making a cocktail completely ad hoc, then you’d definitely enjoy the buzz of being around a mobile bar service that does almost just that. That’s right, I’m speaking to Byron Woolfrey one of the Co-founders of Trolly'd. Where the cocktails are always changing, garnishes sometimes picked from the environment around them before an event, and spirits infused with what wild and native ingredients are currently in season...
Published 07/16/21
If you have ever driven through Pottsville, just up from Byron Bay and seen a big sign out the front of a house that says Grit Ceramics, you may have been tempted to pop your head in the door, much like me. And if you did, you won’t believe the incredible craftsmanship that sit’s on those bakers shelves just waiting to be shipped off to the likes of Rae’s on Watergos, Pipit and soon, even for public consumption. As a chef, walking into a ceramics studio is like being a kid in a candy store....
Published 07/09/21
The Bartenders Roundtable is finally here. Having filmed this episode way back in mid February this year, I'm absolutely stoked to have it be released for public consumption.  Fair warning though. As much as I have adjusted the audio in the post edit, there will be spouts of loud laughter regularly from the get go. So if you are using headphones or ear phones and it's on loud, be prepared!   Look, this conversation followed a natural flow the whole time going from the funniest times we were...
Published 07/02/21
It's only until you become a chef when you realise the value of what you learnt at places like KFC or Red Rooster oh so long ago. For Thomas and I, that's something we really bonded over. Handling a fast paced environment, managing prep, learning how to best communicate with your team and so on. All of these skills have stayed with us both and continue to benefit us long after we have left and there are some hilarious memories to look back on.  Thomas and I chat about his early starts and...
Published 06/25/21
When you own one of the most unique rooftop bars in Sydney, you allow for a certain atmosphere and vibe that is hard to find anywhere else.  But for Dre Walters, there was a lot of behind the scenes drama before Old Mates was officially opened that almost cut it too close. With Barely any money left, the opening date pushed back, they ran into one of the biggest problems they didn't think they would face... Dre shares some of his hilarious stories working at various small bars on Clarence...
Published 06/18/21