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On the pass: Sean McConnell, Mocan & Green Grout

The name is quite a mouthful, Sean - what's the story?
One of the owners' family is originally from Trieste, and Mocan (it's pronounced "mo-chan") in the dialect there means strong and reliable. And green grout? That's what they used when they did the initial tiling in the café, although it's faded to a nice brown now. Anyway, it's too many syllables if you ask me.

What's cooking?
Jerusalem artichokes and globe artichokes are in season, so I did a dish combining the two of them this week with caramelised guanciale and a house-smoked ricotta which was really beautiful. That's how we write the menu, based on what's best and what's local.

Who are your favourite local producers?
About 60 per cent of our fresh produce comes from a farm called Choku Bai Jo - it's all organically grown. We've got a tiny free-range pork farm near Cootamundra doing our bacon and our pork belly, too. They're called Boxgum Grazing.

Where do you eat when you're not working?
For top-end dining Aubergine is miles ahead of anywhere else in Canberra. Ben Willis is an awesome chef and his food is excellent.

What's your secret to surviving the capital's winter?
Good, hearty winter comfort food, which is what we're trying to dish up at the moment.

Mocan & Green Grout, 1/19 Marcus Clarke St, New Acton South, Canberra, ACT, (02) 6162 2909.


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