Chef Ashley Davis has had quite a journey. He has travelled widely through Europe, was awarded and maintained two Michelin stars at Hélène Darroze in London in the late-2000s and then returned to Australia and cemented his reputation as head chef at Southgate’s Pure South. Now he’s opening his own place, Copper Pot Seddon, in Melbourne’s inner west.
The chef describes his plan for the place as, “A foodies’ road trip across Europe; not just Italy, France and Spain,” adding that he wants to focus on the traditional aspects of central-European food. Davis cites food from Germany – where his wife and business partner, Janine is from – Greece, Croatia, Hungary and Austria as cuisines he wants to explore at his 50-seat Seddon venue. “I want to go back to the roots of dishes, and only change aspects of a dish depending on produce availability.”
Copper Pot’s head chef is Sascha Rust, who has cooked in Gingerboy’s and Pure South’s kitchens. He and Davis have been seeking out local produce to use in the classic Euro dishes. Davis says he hasn’t been able to find the sea snails he used when cooking in Europe, so he plans to use periwinkles in a dish with the classic accompaniments of butter, garlic and parsley. There’s a Portuguese beer-braised rabbit dish, too. Wines will be Euro-centric but include Australian drops.
The name pays homage to the small copper pots used in restaurant kitchens around the world that Davis describes as a metaphor. “The pot is by nature an instrument within which all combinations of food are made to create something great.”
The Copper Pot Seddon will open at 105 Victoria Street, Seddon in late November.