Hailing all the way from Ireland, chef Colin Fassnidge first earned his street cred after taking over the kitchen at Four In Hand, one of Sydney’s most esteemed fine dining gastro pubs. Quickly gaining attention for his popular ‘nose to tail’ bistro style fare, he is now one of Australia’s best known and loved chefs. We asked Colin to share some of his food philosophy and inspiration with us.
Where did your passion for food and cooking begin?
At home with my mother.
How would you describe your cooking style?
Seasonal, using fresh ingredients. I let the seasons inspire me.
Describe your philosophy on food…
Use fresh food, support local food and enjoy food – it’s not just a fuel, it’s there to enjoy.
How much of your Irish heritage reflects in the dishes you create?
A lot, but as I now count myself as Australian-Irish, there are elements of both countries in my dishes.
You studied under coveted chef Raymond Blanc in Oxford – how did Raymond’s influence shape your personal style as a chef?
He taught me to taste food, which sounds stupid but a lot of chefs don’t taste.
What are your top five essential ingredients?
Garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice and love.
What are your favourite cuisines?
Authentic Asian that I can’t cook myself and spicy Indian food.
Do you cook at home?
Yes I do – the family favourites at the minute are soy poached chicken, roasts and plenty of barbeques.
What are your local dining haunts?
If you had the chance to cook a meal for anyone in the world, who would you choose and why?
My grandparents because they never got to see me with my own restaurant – it would be privilege.
What would you choose to eat for your last supper?
Pea and ham soup.
What’s your favourite travel destination for experiencing food culture?
San Francisco because light, energetic food embracing fresh produce and really friendly service. I had a great time there.
If you had the chance to host an ultimate dinner party and could invite anyone in the world, who would you invite?
Dali Lama, Bono, my daughters, Keith Richards, Raymond Blanc.