A menu by Adam Wolfers inspired by heritage and tradition

Adam Wolfers

Adam Wolfers

Adam Wolfers, former head chef of Sydney restaurants Yellow and Monopole, is taking over the kitchen at Casoni in Darlinghurst this month. From 19 April until 14 May he'll offer a vegetable-focused menu infused with the flavours of his Jewish heritage. Traditional honey cake will be lifted with a wattle-honeycomb butter, celeriac will be slow-cooked in clay and served with bush tomato, almond and malawach (a flaky fried bread of Yemen), while dry-aged salt beef fat will coat roasted carrots and radicchio. Ahead of his pop-up, he gives us an insight into how he's approaching the menu.

Has your heritage shaped the way you cook, Adam?
My family history is filled with cooking and food, and so are my memories. My mother's grandfather owned a kosher restaurant in Vienna before World War II and fled to London to open one there before emigrating with his family to Australia in the 1950s. I remember food being such an important part of our family meals on Friday nights and during Jewish festivals, especially Passover. My grandmother used to have six pots on the stove, vegetables roasting in the oven and pastries being rolled out all at once.  She was such a hard worker in the kitchen and made sure that everyone was well-fed. Her recipes will play a large part in my menu at Casoni.

Honey cake with wattle-honeycomb butter.

Where do you go in Sydney to find the flavours you grew up with?
Most of the Jewish food I eat is at home or at my parents' house, but some of my favourite spots around Sydney include Grandma Moses (formerly of Rose Bay and now in Kensington) where you can get challah, boiled bagels and many different pastries, Lox, Stock & Barrel in Bondi, as well as the Israeli flavours of Kepos St Kitchen in Redfern.

How will you incorporate Jewish flavours into your menu at Casoni?
There'll be a pumpkin version of a classic potato latke (a specialty of Hanukkah) with goat's cheese and sorrel. I've also modernised the traditional honey cake, which is usually eaten to celebrate the Jewish New Year, by adding a wattle-honeycomb butter. Because of the restrictions in kosher cooking, vegetables are given great importance, and I'll translate that by serving them in creative ways and cooking them using non-traditional techniques, inspired by my work with Brent Savage. The menu will be a lot of fun. 

Adam Wolfers will serve his menu at Casoni from 19 April to 14 May.

Casoni, 371-373 Bourke St, Darlinghurst, NSW, 0449 516 798, casoni.com.au/popup/


Newsletter

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

Latest news
Morgan McGlone to open a New York-style grill in Melbourne
12.12.2017
First look: Bondi Beach Public Bar unveils menu – and a squish burger
11.12.2017
Andrew McConnell is taking over NGV this summer
07.12.2017
Eight new restaurants and an Art Series hotel opening on the Brisbane River in 2018
06.12.2017
Clayton Wells to open A1 Canteen
27.11.2017
Deliveroo opens Australia’s first delivery-only kitchen
24.11.2017
The Gourmet Traveller podcast

Each fortnight we round up the most interesting characters from the food world for your listening pleasure. We chat to chefs, cooks, authors, bar tenders and baristas - anyone who has something new and interesting to say about the way we like to eat and drink.

Listen
Recipe collections

Looking for fresh dinner ideas? Not sure how to make the most out of seasonal produce? Or do you need to plan the perfect party menu? Our recipe collections have you covered.

See more

You might also like...

Albert Street Food & Wine

Philippa Sibley may have left the building, but Albert St F...

Aravina Estate

The family-friendly nature of Aravina explains the terracot...

Assaggio

Assaggio's very red, very mod fit-out has undeniable flair,...

Annie Smithers' Bistrot

Annie Smithers may have decamped for Du Fermier, but the bi...

Bacchus - Brisbane

Rydges doesn't exactly leap to mind when you think "complex...

Balla

Pronounce it "bah-la" for Piedmont-born artist and composer...

Balthazar

The mixing of business and pleasure comes second nature to ...

Boucher

Escargots, foie gras, bouillabaisse - the expected French s...

Celsius

A land of smoke and mirrors, Celsius is an urbane, nightclu...

Citron

Mark Newman's cassia beef cheek is the type of dish that ce...

Divido

To those who dream of the old country, Divido is the modern...

David’s

David's hums with renewed energy since its transformation t...

Eleonore’s

On the surface, Eleonore's seems immune to fashion. Its lar...

E'cco

Two decades is a long time to stay on top of your game in t...

Flooded Gums

A fine scallop boudin blanc paired with charred squid and a...