One of the country's top kitchens takes on some new talent this month as Paul Carmichael steps into the executive chef role at Momofuku Seiobo. Carmichael, a member of the Momofuku team since 2010, comes to the Sydney three-star this autumn from Manhattan, where he was executive chef of the group's Midtown restaurant, Má Pêche. His experience in kitchens started in his native Barbados, where he worked at The Cliff, and his form in New York includes time at the high-falutin' likes of WD~50 and Aquavit.
In announcing Carmichael's appointment, Momofuku chef and founder David Chang paid tribute to Ben Greeno, the British-born chef who opened Seiobo and led it to acclaim before leaving the company to join the Merivale group at the end of this month.
"We're all going to miss Ben, and we really appreciate all that he has done while at Seiobo. He made the place what it is today," Chang said. "I can't think of a more qualified chef to take over than Paul. Paul's one of the most talented guys I've worked with, and the menu format plus the Australian ingredients will definitely serve as a new challenge and inspiration to him."
Carmichael, for his part, says he's excited about moving to Australia, about exploring Sydney, and to be stepping into the role.
"I recently had the chance to spend some time with Ben and the team at Seiobo. I feel really lucky to be inheriting a team that is so capable and talented. Ben is leaving big shoes to fill, for sure."
Carmichael and Chang say that it'll be business as usual with the restaurant's tasting menu while the team adjusts to the personnel changes and Carmichael gets a feel for the local produce.
"I'm going to take my time getting to know the city, the culture, and the cuisine," says Carmichael. "Having access to a bounty of new ingredients and the invitation to be creative in a new space will be an exciting opportunity and adventure."
Momofuku Seiobo, The Star, 80 Pyrmont St, Pyrmont, NSW