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The Royal Mail Hotel is changing
28.03.2017

Executive chef Robin Wickens has a stronger influence at the Royal Mail Hotel's upcoming restaurant, slated to open later this year.

Adventuring along America's north-west rivers
28.03.2017

The rivers of America's north-west running through Washington state and Oregon form the arteries of epic landscapes and bold discovery routes. Emma Sloley follows in the wake of Lewis and Clark.

The World's Best sommeliers are coming to Australia
28.03.2017

For the first time, the world's top international sommeliers will take part in the World's 50 Best Awards too.

Seven Italian dishes that shaped fine dining in the 2000s
28.03.2017

Italian food in the restaurants of Australia blossomed into maturity in the new millennium, as the work of these trailblazers shows – dazzling and diverse, a successful balance between adaptation and tradition.

Steam ovens: a guide
27.03.2017

Billed as the faster, cleaner way to cook, are these on-trend ovens all they’re cracked up to be? We take a close look at their rising popularity, USP versus the traditional convection cooker and how each type rates in terms of form, function, and above all, flavour in this buyer’s guide.

Our chocolate issue is out now
27.03.2017

Our April issue is out now. In his editor's letter, Pat Nourse walks you through what to expect.

Roast pork with Nelly Robinson
27.03.2017

Nelly Robinson of Sydney's nel. restaurant talks us through his favourite roasting joints, tips for crisp roast potatoes and why, when it comes to pork, slow and steady always wins the race.

Water carafes
24.03.2017

More than mere vessels, these pieces bring a cool breeze of style from the fridge to the table.

Fast autumn dinners

Autumn weather signals the arrival of soups, broths, roasts and more hearty meals.

Flour and Stone Recipes

Baker extraordinaire Nadine Ingram of Sydney's Flour and Stone cooks up a sweet storm for Easter, including the much loved bakery's greatest hit.

Roasted cauliflower salad with yoghurt dressing and almonds

The cauliflower is roasted until it starts to caramelise, which adds extra depth of flavour to this winning salad. Serve it warm or at room temperature.

All Star Yum Cha

What happens the morning after the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards? We treat the chefs to a world-beating yum cha session, as Dani Valent discovers.

New cruises 2017

Cue the Champagne.

1980s recipes

Australia saw some bold moves in the ’80s, and we’re not just talking hairstyles. Greater cultural references started peppering the menus of our restaurants, and home-grown ingredients won a new appreciation. The dining scene was coming of age and a new band of pioneers led the charge.

Melbournes finest meet Worlds Best

Leading chefs descend on Melbourne in April for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. We asked local hospitality folk who they’d abduct for the day and where they’d take them to show off their city. There may be coffee, there may be culture, but in the end it’s cocktails.

Savoury tarts

Will your next baking project be a flaky puff pastry with pumpkin, goat's curd and thyme, or a classic bacon and Stilton tart? As autumn settles in, we're ticking these off one by one.

Luke Burgess at 10 William St

Luke Burgess

Luke Burgess

In a chef-shuffle that can only really be described as a big win for Sydney diners, changes are afoot at 10 William St which will also bring a significant new player to the heart of the city. Chef Dan Pepperell is moving on, but though his departure will be a wrench for the wine bar's regulars, there's plenty of silver in this lining. Pepperell leaves Paddington to head the kitchen at Restaurant Hubert, a new CBD venture and first proper restaurant from Anton Forte and Jason Scott, the founders of the Swillhouse Group, which comprises Shady Pines Saloon, The Baxter Inn and Frankie's, three of the best-liked bars in town.

And then there's Pepperell's replacement at 10 William. "When Dan told us he was leaving, we likened it to being dumped by your first girlfriend - lots of awkward silent bits and shoe-gazing moments," says co-owner Gio Paradiso. "His future employers are very, very lucky. It'll be a hard act to follow, but we were lucky enough to bring Luke Burgess in, something which came about while we were making sausages at my dad's place in Melbourne."

After closing his Hobart two-star, Garagistes, earlier this year, Burgess moved back home to Sydney. The acclaimed chef will be at 10 William St for a good time rather than a long time, doing his thing from October to January, with a view to doing something more permanent of his own down the track. But, as dishes such as the burrata with white radicchio, anchovy and bay oil, and smoked eel agnolotti with ox tongue and salsa stemperata, which he cooked at a recent takeover dinner at William St may suggest, even if his time is short, it'll be sweet.

"I really like what Dan's been doing there a lot, so I want to take the structure that he implemented and just work with it," says Burgess. "I want to see what works with the wine and what works in that kitchen." Part of the appeal of the gig, he says, is that he has long enjoyed 10 William St as a customer, and relates closely to what they do with the food and wine, not least because the direction of the wine list is simpático with the natural focus of the cellar at Garagistes.

Pepperell, for his part, will be trading guanciale and Parmigiano for guéridon and pâté. While his brief from the Swillhouse team is broadly old-school European with a French lean (Forte says aspic terrines moulded into the shape of sturgeons are on their mood board), they've got him on board to exercise the same creativity that won 10 William a star under his term.

"We wanted Dan because he's just up for stuff," adds Scott. "His food is interesting and delicious, but still rooted in the classics. 10 William is somewhere we like to eat, and Dan has been a ground-zero Shady customer, so we've known him since then… He's a gentleman, a nice guy and we like his food, so we felt it was a natural fit." The carte, the pair say, won't really read like a French menu, but more like Pepperell doing with French food what he did with Italian.

Hubert will open in early 2016 on the Bligh Street basement site currently occupied by Celestial Chinese Restaurant. ("I think real estate agents think of us as basement specialists," says Forte.) And it's going to be big - around 150 seats, with two large eat-in bars, one of which is 12 metres long.

There will, however, be no cans of beer, and no taxidermy. In place of these, Swillhouse staples will be a short list of cocktail classics and a substantial wine list. Scott says his signature playlists will be present - more "gypsy boogie" than Charles Aznavour - as will some form of live entertainment. "There'll be a stage, but we don't want to say much more about that just yet."

The look will be classic but not cookie-cutter. No brass, Forte says, no lipsticked mirrors. "Timber walls and flickering candlelight. It's not a steak-frites brasserie."

And why are the pair getting into the ultra-competitive Sydney restaurant game when they have such a proven track-record in the considerably less risky world of bars? "We love dining out, we're passionate about food and wine, and we feel like we can offer something different," says Forte. "And we feel we can use our experience with bars and venues and fit-outs - we feel like we can bring something new to it. A restaurant that has that proper fun atmosphere and plenty of buzz."

Speaking of buzz, the rumours that the Paradiso gang are doing something new in the neighbourhood of their Challis Avenue headquarters have some substance. Gio Paradiso says they've shelved their plans to do something on Ash Street in the CBD and are instead doing a 20-seat lobby bar at the boutique hotel site currently under redevelopment on Macleay Street next to Yellow. It'll open in July 2016.

"It's super-classic," he says. "Think Hotel Locarno in Rome or The Night Porter but without Charlotte Rampling in bondage gear. Unfortunately."

10williamst.com.au

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