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Tak­ing Man­fredi over at the the reins be­gin­ningas ex­ec­u­tiveof this year,chef from Dean Ste­fanoJones talks Wales’ past, more present beloved and bou­tiq­ue­fu­ture at ho­ of New South WHAT’S DIF­FER­ENT AT THE RESTAU­RANT The restau­ran­tSINCE STEFANOit­self has MANFREDIhad a bit of a HAS facelift LEFT? in­side and out. We have en­closed the ve­ran­dah, which has added to the us­abil­ity and has be­come an in­stant hit with cus­tomers. It’s now the place to dine day and night, but with the same al fresco feel as be­fore. The new floor-to-ceil­ing glass lou­vre win­dows frame the gar­den beau­ti­fully and the kitchen gar­den has been re­plen­ished for the win­ter sea­son, ac­cord­ing to what grows well through au­tumn and the cooler months. DO YOU STILL HAVE A CLOSE RE­LA­TION­SHIP WITH HIM? Ste­fano is one of my men­tors and some­one whom I have great re­spect for. It’s al­ways good to have peo­ple to bounce ideas off and I know I can do that with him. HOW WOULD YOU DE­SCRIBE YOUR FOOD? It is a re­flec­tion of my ex­pe­ri­ences, with a strong Ital­ian fo­cus on sea­son­al­ity, prepa­ra­tion and com­bi­na­tion of flavours. Bold flavours but sim­plis­tic. Do­ing the clas­sics well and also us­ing the Ital­ian way to pre­pare unique Aus­tralian pro­duce with a mod­ern take. IS THERE ONE DISH WE SHOULD MAKE SURE The spaghetti with sea urchin but­ter, WE TRY? bot­targa and brown but­ter crumbs. In my opin­ion, it’s a great ex­am­ple of the last ques­tion. WHAT ARE THE BIG­GEST CHAL­LENGES WITH A RESTAU­RANT IN A HO­TEL? The big­gest chal­lenge for me is keep­ing things in­ter­est­ing for in-house guests and bal­anc­ing that with a busy restau­rant. If we have peo­ple stay­ing for three or more nights, it’s nice to be able to of­fer dif­fer­ent food items on the menu. YOU HAVE A KITCHEN GAR­DEN AT BELLS. HOW RE­AL­IS­TIC IS IT FOR RESTAU­RANTS I think it is TO GROW THEIR OWN FOOD? re­al­is­tic to grow your own food. It’s not easy, that’s for sure, but you get out what you put in. You have to be proac­tive and al­ways plan­ning for the next sea­son. At Bells, we keep all our kitchen green waste for com­post, al­ways putting back what we take out. I per­son­ally think it’s bet­ter to grow more of one item and have that truly be on a menu for the whole sea­son, than to grow too many dif­fer­ent things that won’t sus­tain a menu. WHAT DO YOU THINK THE NEXT BIG FOOD I believe ev­ery­thing goes around and TREND IS? comes back again; it won’t be long be­fore you see for­mal din­ing mak­ing a strong pres­ence once again.

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