We don’t have to look far to find perfection in Sydney. We’re a spoilt bunch. It can be as simple as a flaky croissant from Brickfields bakery in Chippendale, baked the colour of toffee. Or a soupy xiao long bao dumpling. It can be as delicate as a hand-glazed ceramic dish holding a crab bun from new Potts Point restaurant Cho Cho San, a bunch of flowers, or a pair of snug jeans.

Though we know that perfect isn’t always best, we like to celebrate great work. In this issue we talk to people who are striving for more than just good enough. In fact, they’re killing it in their field and always looking to improve. Aside from hunting down the best dumplings and buttery croissants, we enter the realm of world-class interior design with Kelvin Ho of Akin Creative for our cover, shot by Sean Fennessy. We also share a game-changing breakfast with the chefs at Devon Cafe in Surry Hills. We speak to internationally published photojournalist Andrew Quilty, who reports back to us direct from a hammock in the middle of war-torn Kabul, and we delve into the million-dollar archive of the Royal Botanic Gardens of NSW in search of botanical treasure.

Join us, too, as we fling wide open the doors to Hibernian House – Sydney’s real-life rumour mill and creative residence – and find out just what the hell goes on inside those graffiti-covered walls (aside from all-night ragers). We also take a look inside a few tiny restaurant kitchens, famous for their good food cooked in tight spaces.

Throughout this city, people are working hard, and they’re working hard to be the best. The great part about it though, is that we can enjoy the best, and that’s something worth celebrating, perhaps starting with a croissant.

Enjoy the issue.

Sophie McComas