New captain for the Light Brigade

That stunning architectural and social treasure of the Eastern Suburbs, the art deco Light Brigade Hotel, has welcomed a new and exciting chef. Marco Adler, former Executive Chef of Fresh Catering, will be putting a fresh stamp on dining here with the venue re-named Brigade Dining. This will see a shift away from the previous Italian cuisine to a more ModOz contemporary menu. The physical venue has been renovated to welcome diners to a lighter, airier ambience. And as Marco promises: “there are no real boundaries to our food”. Dishes such as Slow-cooked Beef Ribs, Kingfish Carpaccio, and Lamb Sweetbreads back this up. And Brigade Dining is extending its service hours to Lunch and Sunday Brunch. With its unique location - being handy to major neighbouring attractions like Allianz Stadium, Sydney Cricket Ground, Randwick Racecourse and Centennial Park - Marco is keen to welcome new visitors to taste and try Brigade Dining’s new offerings.


Young Talent Time: Julian Cincotta

Just check this brief resumé for an upwardly mobile young chef… • Childhood experience: Growing up in an Italian family in Sydney’s suburbs. Assisting his aunties to harvest and bottle tomatoes for traditional Italian passata. At times, helping his uncle make wine. • Youthful experience: Regularly helping out at his parents’ Westmead café. Gaining his first apprenticeship at Courtney’s Brasserie, Parramatta. • Moving up: A first job that was rich in experience at the fabled Rockpool. • Overseas adventure: Reaching new levels of the restaurant stratosphere, working at the legendary Charlie Trotters, plus Alinea in Chicago and Morimoto, New York. Back home, kept his feet on the ground, again helping out at the family café. There’s now a lot more to chef Julian Cincotta, recognised in the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide 2015, with the most prestigious encouragement award in the industry – the Josephine Pignolet Young Chef of the Year. To quote the award’s founder, Damien Pignolet, in the Sydney Morning Herald:"Julian has remarkable loyalty," Pignolet says. "To the chefs he has worked with, including Neil Perry, whom he speaks very highly of, and to his family, having returned several times to work in their cafe." Cincotta's considerable kitchen talent also made an impact. "Julian is a superb cook," Pignolet says. "At a dinner at Nomad, he cooked the Provencal fish soup that we served at Bistro Moncur for 20 years. It was the finest example of that soup that I have ever tasted." More recently, he worked at Nomad in Surry Hills, as sous chef alongside head chef, Nathan Stasi. We watch for Julian Cincotta’s star to keep rising. (Picture: Daily Telegraph)


Australia’s Top Chef: the pick of his peers.

Martin Benn began his career in London, learning French gastronomy under Michel Lorrain at the Oak Room, and later moved to Criterion to work alongside Marco Pierre White. Following a move to Sydney, Martin was employed as Sous Chef at Tetsuya’s, with an ambition to one day become Head Chef, which he achieved in September 2000, at the age of 25! Here he developed his mastery in Japanese cooking techniques. In 2009, together with renowned seafood specialist, George Costi, he opened Sepia, where he blends fundamental French cooking techniques with distinctive Japanese influences. In the inaugural The Australian Financial Review Australia’s Top Restaurants, presented by Qantas Airways and Vittoria Coffee, Sepia was ranked first and the venue's head chef Martin Benn has been named the country's Top Chef. In an Australian first, chefs and restaurateurs from 500 venues across the nation voted for their favourite dining experiences. “To be chef of the year from a publication is one thing but to be nominated or win Chef of the Year from a peer vote, then that's the pinnacle of what you could ever be," Sepia's Martin Benn says.


International Chef. Man of ideas.

“I describe my cooking as simple, fresh and seasonal, with different approaches called upon dependent on the occasion. I love experimenting with new ideas and products, and continually challenging myself to extend on the knowledge of food I have gained throughout my years of cooking.” Luca Ciano was born and raised in Milan by an amazing family from whom he inherited his passion for food and respect for people. “I started cooking with my Mum and Grandma when I was 8 years old, taking my first few steps with them in the direction of becoming a chef.” Since those days, Luca has been many places and done many things in restaurant kitchens. His career includes a stint at the famous 2 Michelin-starred restaurant ”Il Luogo di Aimo e Nadia” in Milan, and further international experience at London’s Millennium Gloucester Hotel, Relais & Chateaux in Bermuda - and in Australia at the Sheraton on the Park, The Westin in Sydney, and Cypress Lakes Resort in the Hunter Valley. In 2001/2002, he participated in the Salon Culinaire International de Londres Competition, where he was awarded a medal for Senior Pasta Class, and a Merit Award in the Nestlé Master Chef Grand Prix. 2008 saw Luca join the pasta professionals, Barilla Australia, where he planned and established the “Casa Barilla” cooking school. Here he continues to offer regular hands-on cooking classes and demonstrations in Sydney. Based on regional Italian gastronomy, and showcasing the breadth of Italy’s cuisine, he has travelled with this concept around Australia, New Zealand and many Asian countries. In 2012 he was awarded in Italy by APCI (Professional Italian Chef Association) ‘LES TOQUES BLANCHES D’HONNEUR’, HONORARY PROFESSIONAL CAREER AWARD. Luca has been a regular contributor to Australian and international cooking and lifestyle publications such as BBC Good Food Magazine from 2010 to 2013, where several of his signature Italian regional dishes were published on a regular basis. Today, Luca Ciano is consulting for restaurants, magazines and Italian brands in Australia and around the world.


No.1 Trattoria – now “Street Food Italian Style”.

The colourful Gatto Matto Trattoria in Five Dock became incredibly popular, together with Chef/Restaurateur Paolo Gatto. In a short time, it received many awards including being recognised by the Italian Chamber of Commerce as "Italian Quality Restaurant" through the Chamber's “Ospitalità Italiana”. But Paolo has now moved on to something new. He had another heart-felt ambition - to bring some Italian “street style” food to the area for some time. “This is the kind of food I ate growing up in my hometown in Sicily,” he said. "While Italians love to sit, talk, eat and drink, they also like to grab a quick snack, before having a proper, sit down meal late at night. In city backstreets and alleyways all the way from Naples right down to Sicily, you will find, rustic eateries selling mouth-watering street food.” These cheap and cheerful dishes have now landed a starring role in the hot inner west eatery SUD, Paolo’s new venue in Concord. It’s a bold attempt to replicate everything from the taste, to the look and vibe of southern Italy’s laneway gems. Paolo, together with strong right-hand, his wife Rita, wants to expand knowledge of street food and other trends to help inspire menus at their new restaurant venture. SUD is a place to enjoy a different dining experience - so we say Benvenuto e Buon Appetito.


Mario Batali: King of New York dining

He didn’t start off in kitchens. Raised in Seattle, Mario Batali attended high school in Madrid and studied Spanish theatre at University. Then he switched. Mario enrolled in Le Cordon Bleu in London, his first formal culinary training. After a few months, he withdrew – for the golden opportunity to apprentice with London’s legendary chef Marco Pierre White. Followed by 3 years training in a Northern Italian village. Then the much more experienced Mario returned to his native US ready for bigger things. Early start-ups were in New York “neighborhood joints” like “Rocco’s” and “Po”. Then the breakthrough! Mario teamed up with Joe Bastianich to open “Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca” on more upmarket Waverly Place in 1998. There he realised his cooking ideals: use the best local ingredients as simply as possible and serve them with flourish and joy. Today, Mario is one of the most recognised and respected chefs worldwide. He and Joe have created a successful restaurant empire that spans New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Mario won the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef: New York City” award 2002, and in 2005 the James Beard Foundation awarded Mario the “Outstanding Chef of the Year.” Today, Mario Batali happily “rattles the pans” in Manhattan’s hottest dining destination, "Del Posto Ristorante". The menu caters to lovers of experimental Italian cuisine. Dishes change frequently with inventive pastas such as the Semolina Crespelle with Sweet Garlic, Pancetta and Pesto, and some highly original fish preparations. Mario looks a little theatrical in his profile picture above, but New York diners are no doubt happy he chose the kitchen not the stage.

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