Food News

On the pass: Ben Willis, Temporada

Temporada chef Ben Willis on what he's cooking, homemade butters, and Easter lunch.

Ben Willis, Temporada

Jason Loucas

Ben, how does this new restaurant differ from your fine-diner, Aubergine?

It’s about looking at things seasonally, with things being on the menu short-term, whether they’re drinks or dishes, in a relaxed bar and dining atmosphere. We use the same techniques that we use at Aubergine, but with fewer restraints. It’s a lighter approach to the food, but it’s still things people will want to indulge in.

What’s cooking?

You can expect things like sashimi, clams, mussels and anything up to four types of oysters. There’s a major focus on fresh seasonal seafood to get stuck into at the bar, and right now we’ve been working on veal sweetbreads, short ribs in a potato bun and a salad of grilled peaches, fennel, radish and goat’s cheese.

You’ve also been busy making a lot of stuff from scratch, right?

We’ve been doing pickles, sourdoughs and cultured butters, and we have a focus on jarring and fermenting, too. It’s all about using things while they’re in season and doing things with them so we can use them months later when you might not be able to necessarily find them.

What will the Willis family be doing for Easter lunch?

For Easter, it’d have to be a roast chicken. It’s our go-to family roast that’s easy to cook and it’s my wife’s favourite. There’ll also be chocolate, of course, and lots of it.

Temporada, 15 Moore St, Canberra, ACT, (02) 6249 6683.

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