Opening your first restaurant and having your first child at the same time isn’t the best way to ensure you’re getting eight hours of sleep every night. Lennox Hastie opened Firedoor in Surry Hills – one of the only restaurants in Australia to cook everything over wood – six weeks after Alexander was born to him and his wife Di. Hastie says Alexander is "always (touch wood) well behaved” when he comes in to eat.
Broadsheet: Tell us about Alexander, what's he like?
Lennox Hastie: He is a beautiful little boy with a chuckle that will melt your heart. He has the loveliest engaging nature, which makes for entertaining company.
BS: How has your work life changed since he was born?
LH: My work life has changed dramatically, but this is mainly due to the opening of the restaurant just six weeks after he was born. On the other hand, my wife’s working life now revolves around looking after him.
BS: How has your personal life changed since he was born?
LH: It’s changed completely – our personal lives are now centred around him and his daily routine which leaves little time or energy for ourselves.
BS: Do you know many other chefs who are fathers? Did they give you any advice?
LH: I know a few chefs with kids including James Kidman [executive chef at Cafe Sydney] who kindly gave us his daughter's old cot and change table. My friend, Tim Johnstone, supplies vegetables for the restaurant. He is also the father of three children and is full of support and advice.
BS: Do you hope he'll be as interested in food as you are? Will you try to introduce him to adventurous foods?
LH: I hope so, though maybe not quite as consumed by food as I am. We look forward to introducing his palate to the wide variety of flavours that can be found in Australia.
BS: Has anything surprised you about becoming a dad?
LH: The overwhelming rollercoaster of emotion and the ability to survive on very little sleep.
BS: How are you spending your first Father's Day this year?
LH: I’m at the restaurant nearly all of the time, so I plan to spend all day at home with my boy.
BS: Your best piece of advice for new dads with sons?
LH: Always have a washcloth handy when changing a nappy for those unexpected "sprinkle" moments.