IN­SIDER The lat­est news & re­views MAR­KET FORCES CRABBY CURE Crack­ing good times await at the Lorne Ho­tel when Dan­de­lion chef Ge­off Lind­say’s Crab Club takes over. Nightly from Box­ing Day to Jan­uary 6, feast on crab cakes and wok-fried crab with chilli, pl

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Delicious On Sunday - BY DAN STOCK Ta­que­ria by Paul Wil­son, Hardie Grant, $40, out now

IT’S been a long time com­ing, but Paul Wil­son says this Thurs­day the builders will fi­nally hand over the keys to his Prahran mar­ket restau­rant.

But those de­lays have al­lowed Wil­son to hone the vi­sion for his flag­ship ur­ban eatery and bar, that was to be named Wil­son & Mer­chant but will go by Wil­son & Mar­ket when it opens in the new year. “It’s been the hard­est year of my life,” the chef says of the project that was due to open in April but was post­poned due to per­mit is­sues over the Com­mer­cial Rd en­try.

“It al­lows us to open the venue in stages,” Wil­son says. First up in late Jan­uary, a hole-in-the-wall cof­fee kiosk where sin­gle ori­gin St Ali cof­fee will be served along­side a sin­gle ori­gin choco­late cake. The cake is de­signed in con­junc­tion with choco­latier Tad Lom­bardo (who is also at the mar­ket). Ro­tis­serie and wood­fired sand­wiches and Mediter­ranean mar­ket sal­ads will come with ta­ble ser­vice from mid-fe­bru­ary, while the din­ing room and street-side atrium will fol­low in mid-march.

“I’m try­ing to re­fresh the idea of a brasserie,” he says. “To cre­ate a modern Aus­tralian brassiere, that’s my aim.”

To that end, Wil­son has tapped Tran­si­tion Farm on the Morn­ing­ton Penin­sula to grow bio­dy­namic crops that will be used on the menu. “I’ve been blown away with the qual­ity of what they are grow­ing,” the de­li­cious. Pro­duce Awards judge says.

A crus­tacean bar frames the kitchen (“we want to be Mel­bourne’s best seafood restau­rant”), while head chef David Mar­shall will be in charge of the wood­fire oven. Vir­ginia Sel­leck (Rock­pool, Bel­lota, Prince Wine Store) will look after the Aus­tralian-lean­ing wine list.

And while the new restau­rant will only have el­e­ments of the Latin Amer­i­can flavours Wil­son is an expert on, Mex­i­can re­mains close to his heart. His cook­book, Ta­que­ria, just re­leased, show­cases this love, giv­ing read­ers a crash course in Latin Amer­i­can cook­ing. “I def­i­nitely want to do a Latin restau­rant. Once all this is done, I’d love to do that next.”

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