CLAYTON WELLS & TANIA FERGUSSON
Tania Fergusson and Clayton Wells first worked together at Viajante in London. “Apparently I was always rude to her, or so she says.” Then Fergusson realised that what she thought was an aloofness was simply the chef ’s shyness. They soon bonded over food and, on returning to Sydney, “our mutual love of Golden Century,” says Wells. “Tania was working in advertising while we were opening Automata and then would come home from work and help me with the stuff I had no idea about.” Her grasp of his vision led to her making the leap into a role as communications manager for Automata and A1 Canteen. They work together and the demarcations aren’t iron-clad. Wells isn’t allowed near computers (“I’m way too slow at typing, apparently”), and while Fergusson stays out of the kitchen, she does
“a lot of taste testing”. And then there was that time she helped Wells peel nine kilos of grapes for a Cook For Syria charity dinner. After opening three restaurants in three years, Wells is looking forward to their much-postponed holiday in Italy, where they’ll be “doing absolutely nothing together”.