When Broadsheet calls chef Corey Costelloe, he’s in the middle of a taste test for his new restaurant. “We’re trying triple-cooked potato wedges, and salad dressing with mustard,” he says. “The mustard is a bit heavy in this one, so we’re going to lighten it up a bit.” He’s just two weeks out from opening 20 Chapel in Marrickville, together with his mate Dave Allison (chef and founder of now-closed Stix) and Anthony Qalilawa, former maître d’ at Rockpool.

“It’s the first time I’ve owned a business since I opened Corey’s Window Washing when I was 14,” Costelloe laughs. In 13 years at Rockpool Bar and Grill, he worked his way up from sous chef to culinary director of the whole group.

“Anthony and I have worked side-by-side for 20 years in different places – Hayman Island, Flying Fish, Rockpool. For years, we’d talked about opening a restaurant together, usually in drunken conversations in the early hours of the morning.”

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Their chance finally rolled around when Allison closed Stix, then called to ask if Costelloe wanted to collaborate in the same space. The new project, 20 Chapel, will open on Friday June 21.

“One of the beautiful things about it is we’re going to have direct access to [Allison’s] produce at Stix Farm,” says Costelloe of the 100-acre, organic farm on the Hawkesbury River. “We went and fed the pigs the other day. The pigs churn up produce from leftover crops – they dig up every bit of root and grass – then Dave moves the chickens in, which fertilise the soil, then plants the next crop. We’ve got chickens and eggs and veggies, and, hopefully by Christmas, we’ll have some ham.”

At the moment, Costelloe’s focus has been on 300 kilograms of full-blooded Wagyu from David Blackmore. “We do all the aging and butchering on the premises,” he says. “Owen [Okada], the sous chef (ex-Rockpool, Saint Peter), and I have been having fun breaking down a carcass, getting that Wagyu fat and lots of mince.”

The opening menu will feature a handful of steaks seared on a custom-built, woodfired grill. On the plate will be traditional house-made condiments, like mustard and barbeque gochujang. The “crown glory” is the rib eye, followed by a variety of premium and secondary cuts. “You only get so many cuts out of each animal, sometimes only four, so it’ll be first in, best dressed.”

Other Wagyu is being transformed into basturma, an air-dried, cured beef covered in a fiery red pepper paste with garlic and fenugreek. “It’s sitting in the kitchen now, at room temperature,” says Costelloe. The beef will be sliced finely then served with cucamelons – tiny, round cucumbers that look like baby watermelons – and dried yellow tomatoes, both from Stix Farm.

And those potato wedges, once triple-cooked to Costelloe’s satisfaction, will be dished up alongside crème fraîche from Coppertree Farms and house-made chilli jam. “I’m a child of the ’90s, when potato wedges with sweet chilli sauce and sour cream were everywhere.”

The brief menu is made up of five or six entrees, plus five or six mains, and will be driven by whatever’s growing in abundance on the Hawkesbury plot. Behind the drinks list is Richard Healy, sommelier at Margaret, Neil Perry’s Double Bay restaurant (which just took out number three on the World’s Best Steak Restaurants List).

The cocktail menu features a Negroni on tap with gin from Poor Toms, which is just next door, and a spritz with lemon myrtle grown on the farm.

Once the taste testing is done, Costelloe’s off to the farm. “We’ve got to go out and move the pigs, pick up some pumpkins and collect all the lemon myrtle. It’s growing all over everything.”

The restaurant will be open for dinner from Wednesday to Saturday, and weekend lunches. Bookings are now open.

20 Chapel Street will open at 20 Chapel Street, Marrickville, on Friday June 21.

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@20chapel