Bo Bech had no idea who Lennox Hastie was when he approached him. "So I Googled him. After doing a very little amount of research, I found out he was a son from Etxebarri – and that is one of my favourite restaurants on the entire planet. And that was all I needed."
But who is Bo Bech? He's played a significant part in building Denmark's world-renowned restaurant scene. René Redzepi might get all the press for putting Scandinavia on the map but Bech laid a lot of the groundwork. First at Paustian and then at Geist, the restaurant he opened in Copenhagen in 2011 and which remains a site of pilgrimage for chefs and destination-diners.
"I chose Bo because he is a bit of a wildcard who, like me, cooks honestly; celebrating the simple beauty of a single ingredient, highlighted by a few key players," says Hastie.
One example is Bech's celebration of the avocado: a not-so humble arrangement of slices of avocado garnished with a healthy spoonful of caviar – it's one of the most Instagrammed restaurant dishes in Europe. Will it make an appearance on the menu at Firedoor? You might not think so, given Firedoor is all about grilling over coals. But with Bech in the house, anything is possible.
He wants diners to arrive "mentally naked," with no expectations. "The first day I arrive, I'll eat at Firedoor," he says. "My approach is like a young kid at camping. I'm going to arrive in the night, sleep in a tent and in the morning, unzip the tent to look around to see what's there. Lennox is in charge of the forest.
"My impression is that Lennox is doing what a real collaboration dinner should actually be, rather than just introducing a chef and letting them do their own thing away from their home. I find that super interesting and at the same time, challenging. The only thing I will bring in my luggage is my heart, brain and my body."
Following Bech, Hastie's next guest is Dan Hunter of GT's Regional Restaurant of the Year Brae, locked in for 27 November, and then another high-profile international guest, Carlo Mirarchi, the chef behind cult Brooklyn pizzeria Roberta's, will hopefully appear in early December. Fingers crossed.
"We are two identities, two languages – and I have no idea what the outcome is going to be," Bech says. Get in quick to find out.
Fireside at Firedoor, Monday 24 September, 6.30pm, 23-33 Mary St, Surry Hills, NSW. $245 for eight courses and a drink on arrival, $345 with matched wines, (02) 8204 0800, firedoor.com.au