MARTIN BENN’S NEW YORK WE TAG ON TO THE AUSSIE SUPER CHEF’S TOUR OF THE BEST THE BIG APPLE HAS TO OFFER, FROM BARS TO BURGER JOINTS.
Even if you’ve never had the pleasure of the full nine-course treatment at his Sydney restaurant Sepia, chances are you’ve heard of Martin Benn. If not, we guarantee you’ll have before the year’s out. His kitchen magic, aesthetics and big flavours have turned him into an Australian culinary ambassador. In fact, Benn recently hit New York with his Sepia team to feed America’s most influential (and feared) food critics in a one-off dinner at Eric Ripert’s renowned threeMichelin-starred restaurant, Le Bernardin. Why, you ask? Because Benn is tenacious (Sepia named SMH Good Food Guide’s Restaurant of the Year three times in four years), and because Ripert was so taken by Sepia while here last year, he openly stated, “If I am three star, then Sepia is four.” His man-crush on Benn’s culinary capabilities ultimately led to the New York invitation, where the Aussie wasted no time impressing the crowd. Prominent New York Times food critic Florence Fabricant labelled his butterpoached Hawkesbury squid “technical wizardry” and “stylishly elegant”. Benn’s innate knowledge of Japanese ingredients, technical nous and sense of whimsy clearly left an indelible mark on the crowd. And we caught up with him between courses – and compliments – to get his top picks of where to eat, drink and be merry in NYC.