Con Vailas: The MasterChef TV star is about to throw open the doors of a new North Ho­bart eatery

Fresh from na­tional tele­vi­sion, Con Vailas is about to serve up a new kind of Mel­bourne eatery ex­pe­ri­ence for Ho­bart, writes SHAUN McMANUS

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - CONTENTS -

For­mer Mas­ter Chef con­tes­tant Con Vailas won’t be cook­ing up a storm when his new North Ho­bart eatery opens this week, but he hopes his sunny out­look will brighten cus­tomers’ days.

The cafe Born in Brunswick is due to throw open its doors on De­cem­ber 1, with cof­fee and brunch the cor­ner­stones of what will be Ho­bart’s own slice of Mel­bourne.

Con, with life­long friend Ben Kork­maz (on the left of the pic­ture with Con), will be work­ing on the cus­tomer ser­vice as­pect of the busi­ness, while ex­cit­ing young chef Josh Ret­zer works in the kitchen.

He may be a TV star, but Con hasn’t let his fame go to his head, and he is will­ing to put in the hard yards to see the new ven­ture suc­ceed.

“Benny and I will be out on the floor just do­ing what­ever we’ve got to do, if we’ve got to wash dishes we’ll wash dishes,” he said.

“Our main fo­cal point is cus­tomer ser­vice, as with any hos­pi­tal­ity busi­ness, but we re­ally want to fo­cus on giv­ing great ser­vice. [We will be] go­ing out of our way to de­liver a nice place to sit and eat.”

The cafe’s in­te­rior has been a closely-guarded se­cret, with blacked-out win­dows shroud­ing the place in mys­tery.

Days out from the launch, though, it can be re­vealed that

We will be go­ing out of our way to de­liver a nice place to sit and eat ... It makes you feel happy, and I feel like if your en­vi­ron­ment is happy, your ex­pe­ri­ence is go­ing to be happy

the cafe will have a very light and bright feel, with an abun­dance of white mar­ble, tim­ber and plants.

“It makes you feel happy, and I feel like if your en­vi­ron­ment is happy, your ex­pe­ri­ence is go­ing to be happy,” Con said.

While he be­lieves that Ho­bart’s food scene is thriv­ing, Con sees a gap in the mar­ket when it comes to brunch.

It is a gap he is more than happy to fill with Born in Brunswick, which is in­spired by the time Con spent in Mel­bourne be­fore com­pet­ing on the hit TV

show MasterChef.

“There’s plenty of good food around [Ho­bart], heaps, but brunch is a dif­fer­ent ball game I feel like,” he said. “It’s just on a dif­fer­ent level when you see it in Mel­bourne.”

The Mel­bourne in­flu­ence be­comes clear when you look at some of the high­lights of the menu, with Born in Brunswick’s trop­i­cal break­fast panna cotta a tip of the hat to the Vic­to­rian cap­i­tal.

“That’s syn­ony­mous to the Mel­bourne brunch scene, ev­ery good cafe has their take on a break­fast panna cotta,” Con said.

An­other high­light on the new menu is a “cheeky” break­fast cock­tail list.

A cus­tomised gleam­ing white cof­fee ma­chine, a “se­ri­ous piece of ma­chin­ery” is to pro­vide a wel­come pick-me-up for cus­tomers. Con said that his time on

MasterChef ear­lier this year was a “great ex­pe­ri­ence” which gave him the con­fi­dence to pur­sue his dreams.

“I don’t re­ally put my­self out there a lot, but af­ter that I feel like I’ve just gone ‘bug­ger it, I’m just go­ing do what­ever I want to do’,” he said.

While his new-found fame has helped gen­er­ate pub­lic­ity for his new eatery, Con hopes Born in Brunswick will stand out on its own in the Ho­bart food scene.

“I don’t want Born in Brunswick to be af­fil­i­ated with Con from MasterChef, I want it to hold its own,” he said.

“I want peo­ple to go ‘that place is amaz­ing’.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.