What’s an ex head-pastry chef from Rockpool doing starting a small cafe in Kalamunda? In Gavin Chater’s case, it was all about enjoying a slower pace of life. Not that Chatford & Co is his first hills venture.
Last year he started a successful restaurant at the Roleystone Club (a bowls and country club), but he had to vacate in December. Roleystone’s loss was Kalamunda’s gain, and loyal customers followed him to his new digs.
“The response I got from Roleystone wasn’t one I expected,” says Chater. “It’s not like the city where loyalty changes just like that.”
Rockpool isn’t the only fine diner of note on Chater’s resume. Before moving onto C Restaurant and then a resort in the Maldives, Chater trained under Alain Fabregues at The Loose Box, one of the state’s most-awarded restaurants. His time under the Frenchman has been invaluable for his latest venture.
“I have to go back to traditional methods to get the same outcome,” says Chater, who cooked with blast chillers, deck ovens and other high-end equipment at Rockpool. “That is where my Loose Box training comes into play.”
Local suppliers star in Chater’s shopping basket. His honey comes from a Roleystone window cleaner he met at the country club; an old Italian couple in Orange Grove supply the olive oil, meat is sourced from Sebastian’s in Kalamunda.
Maylands’s The Woodfired Baker supplies the bread and the coffee is from Five Senses (the mocha marshmallow served with each cuppa, however, is house-made).
The all-day menu changes regularly according to what Chater finds at the local farmers’ market, and growers in the Gascoyne region. One week there might be house-smoked salmon and mussels with beetroot and croutons. The next it might have swapped out for spicy cornbread with poached egg, avocado and chorizo. Bacon-and-egg doughnuts with maple syrup, though, are a permanent fixture, ditto the brioche French toast.
Considering Chater’s CV, cakes and pastries are a feature; there are beautiful tarts, towering cakes and cream-filled doughtnuts. High tea starts in September and will be another avenue for our man’s pastry prowess.
Chatford & Co
8/14 Mead Street, Kalamunda
(08) 9257 1999