I'm pretty lucky to have an amazing network of extremely talented and inspiring friends around the world who are currently killing the game - or are about. Here are six restaurants I cannot wait to get to overseas, in no particular order:
Almost five years ago I took my first trip to NYC with my good friends Darren Robertson (Three Blue Ducks) and Morgan McGlone (Belle's Hot Chicken) to attend the first Omnivore Food Festival held outside of France. We saw a number of demos and even assisted David Kinch (Manresa) and Petter Nilsson (Spritmuseum Restaurant) at their finale dinner for the festival. However, what's really stuck with me are the friendships we made with some of the young gun NYC chefs who were helping out and attending the festival.
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Two of those chefs were Pamela Yung and José Ramírez-Ruiz. These guys opened Semilla after working in some of the world's top restaurants and running their own pop-up at different sites across Brooklyn.
No. 5, 160 Havemeyer Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211, United States
The other two hooligans I met in NYC were Jeremiah Stone and Fabian Von Hauske. These loveable rogues have one of the best bromances I know. Both from very different backgrounds, they've got a real synergy when cooking together. Jeremiah looks after the savoury side of things while Fabs weaves his magic on the sweeter side.
The boys have just been nominated for foodandwine.com's best new chefs in NYC for the work they've been doing at Contra. Their Instagram accounts both infuriate and make me hungry as hell. I can't wait to hit NYC, see the boys again and finally taste the food they've been working towards for half a decade.
138 Orchard Street
New York, NY 10002, United States
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My former co-head chef at Duke Bistro, Thomas Lim made the move to LA a few years ago and has pretty much been owning it ever since. Thomas's outlook on food has always been interesting and fun, so what he's doing with Californian produce is pretty amazing.
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Goldie's is a must-do if you're in LA and can manage to secure a table. (I'm a really terrible friend for not having made the trip to pay my respects.)
8422 West 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90048, United States
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E.P. & L.P.
Louis Tikaram, former head chef at Longrain in Sydney and current Josephine Pignolet Young Chef of the Year, has made the move to LA to open E.P. & L.P. and really show the West Coast a thing or two about a thing or two.
Eater has named the restaurant one of the most anticipated openings of the year and no doubt Louis is going to exceed all expectations. It opens in May this year.
Corner Melrose Avenue & La Cienega Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069, United States
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The Clove Club
Back in 2010-11 Thomas Lim and I headed to London to do a couple of dinners at The Loft Project. While we were there, we caught up with a lot of old friends and met some guys through mutual friends we had back in Sydney. One of them was Isaac McHale.
Isaac used to work in Sydney at Marque way back in the day, and as we reminisced about late night suppers at Golden Century and teased Dan Hong (Mr Wong, Ms G's, El Loco, Papi Chulo) a strong friendship was formed.
Isaac has gone on to open The Clove Club with a couple of other London legends and it's pretty much the spot to be. He's earned himself a Michelin star and plenty of other accolades.
Shoreditch Town Hall
380 Old Street
London EC1V 9LT, United Kingdom
+44 20 7729 6496
Another gun we met while in London, James Lowe, opened Lyle's in 2014. James and Isaac were part of the collective known as 'The Young Turks', alongside Ben Greeno. Looking at what Isaac and Greeno have gone on to achieve is reason enough to pay attention to what's happening at Lyle's. Looking at what James can do with game birds seals the deal. Wipe the drool from your chin and book a plane ticket immediately.
56 Shoreditch High Street
London E1 6JJ, United Kingdom
+44 20 3019 2468