Ghostboy Cantina did it with Temp Taquero in Dixon House and at Tio's. Automata did it with Auto.Lab. And now Nour, the powder-pink themed modern Lebanese eatery in Surry Hills, is joining the club with a guest chef series, too.
"Food is about bringing people together," says Nour executive chef Roy Ner. "We want to show that Middle Eastern cuisines can be playful, can be technical, can be humble. It's about all of us."
The dinner series will see Ner team up with a different visiting chef each month. First up, on 20 February, he will be joined in the kitchen by Melbourne chef Shane Delia, of Maha restaurant and Biggie Smalls. "In the last 10 years Shane has been in the Middle East more than any other chef I know," says Ner. "Meeting the people, seeing the real food over there, unlocking all those little secrets - he understands the flavours more than anyone."
The dinner will include a signature dish from each chef, as well as four or five share plates that the two have collaborated on together. While Delia's dishes are still being finalised, Ner hopes he'll serve a slow-cooked goat dish to match Nour's spiced kingfish bastirma with smoked fennel tart and native lilly pilly. "I ate his goat when I dined at Maha," he says. "It will blow everyone away."
The following month, on 20 March, Nour will welcome Brisbane chef Ben Williamson, from Gerard's Bistro. "Gerard's doesn't really dress like an Arabic or Middle Eastern restaurant," says Ner. "I love that, and I love Ben's approach to food."
The guest chef series is expected to run for five months, with an old-school cook-off finale featuring chefs from Stanbuli, Kepos Street Kitchen and Efendy. "At Nour, we feel like we're the new kid on the block but we do something really special," says Ner. "We want to work with everybody like us who are doing the hard yards, too."