Levins and Mike are the odd ones out this week, as every other guest (and Mitch) are winners of the Josephine Pignolet Young Chef of the Year Award. We've got Daniel Puskas from Sixpenny, who won the award in 2006, Rockpool's Phil Wood, who won it the following year. Mitch won it in 2010 and our final guest won the award last month, Lauren Eldridge, who's currently the pastry chef at Marque. Lauren finds out what the others did with the opportunities that presented themselves after winning the award, plus we discuss her recent trip to India, how Australia's produce compares to the rest of the world and Levins's appearance on Kerry Anne Kennerly's morning show when he was a teenager.
Out with the losers and in with the winners! This week we've Good Food Guide's chef of the year Pasi Petanen (Cafe Paci, ex-Marque) and the winner of the service excellence award Cam Fairbairn (ACME). Plus there's overall life winner Palisa Anderson (Chat Thai, Boon Cafe) and the owner of Winbone Mike Eggert. This foursome of success are brought down a few notches by speaking with Levins and Mitch about how it feels to win, what it's like to cook in Singapore, the importance of the right music in your restuarant, the stresses of soft openings and how great the food at Automata is.
Unlike cumin, variety is the spice of life, so we invited two Melbourne chefs to sit at the Mitchen table this week. Morgan McGlone from Belle's Hot Chicken and Josh Murphy from The Builders Arms Hotel join us, as well as return guest Analiese Gregory (ACME, Funemployment) and Louise Alipate from Tetsuya's. Together we discuss hangovers, fried chicken, tipping, food award predictions, restuarant closures and Dan Hong.
Three episodes in and we're further away from Mitch's kitchen than ever before - we recorded this one at Levins's house in North Parramatta. Andrew Levins and Mitch Orr are joined by return guests Mike Eggert (Pinbone), Analiese Gregory (ACME) and Richard Hargreave (ex-Momofuku Seiobo), plus we welcome first timer Mike Bennie (wine writer, wine maker, co-founder of Rootstock Sydney) to the Mitchen table. What was supposed to be a civilised conversation about the best places to eat in Western Sydney is quickly derailed by a 50 minute shouting match that includes lunchboxes filled with kohlrabi, graffiti in restaurants and whether it's ok to use the word 'funky' when describing natural wine. Halfway through the episode we're joined by another special guest when Levins's one year old son Archie wakes up to add his two cents to the heated debate.