James Cole Brown is one of the city’s most promising chefs. His CV boasts stints at neighbourhood bars like The Corner Dairy as well as time at the consistently excellent Le Rebelle and Restaurant Amuse. And now he’s stepping into his biggest gig yet as head chef at the newly open modern French brasserie Gibney.

The chef took some time out from his busy schedule at the high-end Cottesloe diner to sit down with Broadsheet to share his favourite spots to eat with mates, grab a Guinness, and the specific oil he thinks every home chef should have in their pantry.

What’s your go-to for a quick takeaway?
It’s got to be North Street Store for a conti roll or something quick when I’m on the move.

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And for a drink and snacks?
The Corner Dairy in Doubleview: amazing friendly staff and they always have the best rotating selection of craft beer, so there are always new beers to try every visit. Chef Ben Walker’s snacks are top tier! And if I’m in Doubleview, I’ll have to stop over the road at St Brigid for a Guinness!

What’s your favourite dish on the menu at Gibney?
My favourite dish at the moment is probably the kingfish; it’s almost like eating fish’n’chips by the beach but it’s raw and elevated. We make a crème fraîche-based sauce that’s flavoured like tartare; there’s some pickled seaweed, some baby sunrose, which is a citrusy succulent, and some crispy bits of tempura batter which we season with seaweed and vinegar powder.

Is there a hidden gem on the menu that you love that people might not automatically choose?
The waldorf salad. It’s a bit of a mash-up of a traditional waldorf and the garnish for hot buffalo wings, with the raw celery linking those two ideas together. We swapped out classic apples for nashi pears which we grill. For the blue cheese, almost “ranch”-style sauce, we’re using Blackwood Blue cheese from a small farm called Cambray in Nannup. Add candied walnuts and bitter radicchio leaves and you’ve got a really lovely dish of different textures and flavours that all work in harmony.

Where do you go for a long lunch?
Le Rebelle. Start with crab toast, drink some special bottles from Sarah’s handwritten wine list, work your way through the menu, definitely eat some duck, probably another round of crab toast because why not? Finish with vermouth and cheese.

And where do you think does the best coffee in town?
Parkside Coffee in Northbridge, a great little hole in the wall that’s local to me. They have a great selection of batch brew, and the espresso is always on point.

How about a meal with a big group of family or friends?
You’ve got to jump online and enter the meat lottery, but if you can score a spot in the queue at Big Don’s Smoked Meats, it’s some of the best barbeque in the country!

Who do you reckon does the best desserts?
Sofika’s Basque cheesecake at Sonny’s lives rent-free in my mind. It’s definitely a must-eat!

Where’s your favourite spot to grab gelato?
Gusto Gelato in Leederville. You can’t really make a bad choice but my go-to flavours would be hazelnut or pistachio.

Tell us about a local producer you can’t stop thinking about?
Block 275 canola oil. It’s a small family farm in the mid-west of WA that produces the most incredible single-origin, non-GMO, first-press canola oil. It’s such a unique ingredient with a rich nutty flavour that everybody should have in their pantry at home.

What’s your favourite spot for a late-night feed?
City Garden in Chinatown – so many great nights there after work with the crew.