On the pass: Tommy Westcott, Pigeon Hole, Hobart

How do you describe Pigeon Hole to the uninitiated?
Small. It's a pretty tiny little space and it's quite comfortable. I used to come and eat here before I worked here and it's almost like coming to your friend's house, if your friend was an antiques collector. We're not trying to do anything too technical or scary; it's just good, interesting, seasonal food as best as we can do.

What's cooking at the moment?
I've got on a Pyengana cheddar broth with lightly smoked mussels which we do in-house, a selection of greenery, some little bulbing onions that are so sweet you can pretty much eat them raw - they're just pressed on the grill - and then a selection of herbs. Then there are things like the panini - one of them is with broccoli rabe and smoked chillies with onions and some ricotta.

What's your emergency dinner-party dish?
I'd probably do something like a spatchcock chicken on the barbecue. Just rub it in a really nice marinade that I could slap on there in a couple of minutes and straight onto the barbecue, with maybe a shredded iceberg and buttermilk salad.

What's your secret to beating the summer heat in the kitchen?
I actually cut holes in the knees of my jeans when I'm working. Everyone laughs at me, but I have a theory that the heat gets out of your knees. It seems to work for me but everyone still thinks I'm crazy.

Pigeon Hole, 93 Goulburn St, West Hobart, Tas, (03) 6236 9306. 

Read more: Gourmet Traveller's list of the best restaurants in Tasmania.


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