Matt Fitzgerald is Head Chef at The Eastern’s popular eateries, El Topo & Anatoli. Having completed stints at Bathers’ Pavilion and The Bentley, he joined The Eastern in 2012 bringing his own creative interpretation of a couple of his favourite cuisines. We caught up with Matt to uncover some of his favourite Sydney eateries and get the downlow on THAT cricket dish!
Matt Fitzgerald’s recommendations shared via Posse
Posse: You’re currently head chef at The Eastern’s El Topo (Mexican) and Anatoli (Greek)- are they your favourite cuisines?
Matt: I would say they are definitely two that I enjoy cooking and eating, though I enjoy a number of cuisines and am always eager to try anything when travelling.
Anatoli’s beautiful Whole Globe Artichoke & Lemon Butter
P: El Topo has crickets on the menu- do you get many orders for them!?
M: Surprisingly we get a fair amount, when we first opened every 2nd table tried them out, which was fantastic. If you walk around the markets of Oaxaca City, you can find carts selling Chapulines, so I thought it would be a interesting addition to our menu.
Roasted crickets anyone!? Photo: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au
P: Can you tell us about an eatery you love that goes unnoticed by the foodie crowd?
M: That’s a hard one! With everyone having smartphones & Instagram, combined with aggressive marketing, as soon as a place is remotely noticed it can blow up over night. Saying that , I have always enjoyed House’s North Issan Thai food and the pastries and coffee from Lilliputien in Bondi.
Bondi’s Lilliputien. Photo: http://www.urbanwalkabout.com/
P: You previously lived in London- which places do you miss most?
I lived in Angel for most of the time, and I used to enjoy stepping out the front door straight into the local street market (Chapel Market) and hearing ‘2 pound a punnet’ being yelled every day.
Chapel Market. Photo: www.coolplaces.co.uk
Borough Market and its surrounds are a fun exploration for a day, good snacks, a few sneaky beers and bit of entertainment from Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.
A popular cheese stand at Borough Market. Photo: www.trekearth.com
P: What eatery are you hoping to try out next?
When the new Bentley opens up at the end of the year that shall be exciting. I still am yet to get to Mr Wong. or Cutler & Co, both of which I am eager to try.
Dishes at Sydney’s Mr Wong (Left, center) and Cutler & Co. (Right)
Want more recommendations from Matt? Follow him on Twitter & Posse!