BEN SEARS & EUN HEE AN

Pa­per Bird, Syd­ney

Gourmet Traveller (Australia) - - 2019 Australian Restaurant Guide -

Chefs Eun Hee An and Ben Sears didn’t hit it off in­stantly. “He kept mak­ing fun of me,” Hee An says. “She was very shy. Like, ridicu­lously shy,” says Sears. “It took a while for her to come out of her shell.” Things even­tu­ally clicked while they were cook­ing at Claude’s in Syd­ney, and they went on to open Moon Park to­gether, draw­ing on Hee

An’s Korean her­itage for the food. “Things like our kim­chi, cheong, Korean stocks and na­muls are all made how her grand­mother showed her,” Sears says. It also un­der­pins the menu at their cur­rent restau­rant, Pa­per Bird. Work­ing in the kitchen to­gether has its chal­lenges. Sears re­calls bit­terly ar­gu­ing about “the size of pas­try cut­ter we should use on discs of pear and won­der­ing if this was re­ally how I wanted to live my life”. But there haven’t been any real dis­as­ters, and they ap­pre­ci­ate each other’s strengths. Sears is in charge of break­ing down meat, while Hee An ex­cels at rice dishes (“his rice isn’t very good,” she says). But who calls the shots when they’re off-duty? “The rule is, we never cook at home”, Hee An says. “Our kitchen is spot­less.”

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