Elizabeth Mitchell is busy. Not only has she just been appointed head chef at Alberto’s Lounge, the intimate inner-city trattoria by the Swillhouse group (which also operates Restaurant Hubert, Frankie’s Pizza, Baxter Inn and more), but she also co-runs Ten Hats Bistro, a supper club that celebrates great wine, music and art as much as it does food.

A Don Peppino’s alumnus, Mitchell has dug deep into the culinary arts, soaking up influences as disparate as the Two Fat Ladies, legendary Italian chef Giorgio Locatelli and her mum. Growing up, she would borrow copies of Gourmet Traveller from the library.

Mitchell – who moves from sous chef into the new role – tells Broadsheet what she has in store for the popular Italian diner.

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What’s your new job title?

Head Chef. [I’ll be] creating seasonal menus. Guiding seven chefs and three kitchen porters. Building relationships with suppliers. It’s a hands-on role ensuring the standard of what we create is maintained at the highest level at all times.

How did you come to take on this role?
I worked at the one and only Don Peppino’s, with head chef and co-owner Dan Johnston, which sadly closed at the beginning of the first lockdown. There was an opening for the head chef role at Alberto’s so I encouraged Dan to take it as I wanted a job there. He recently left to open his own place and I went from sous to head chef. Worked out well.

Do you have any fun plans or ideas in the works?

Outside of Swillhouse I co-run Ten Hats. Ten Hats is a series of dream dinner parties hosted by four friends in the food, wine and night-life industry. A dream team with The Old Fitz head chef Anna Ugarte-Carral, creative producer and Sidehustle DJ Maddison Costello and Native Drops Artisan Cellar manager Ella Stening.

A Ten Hats event is about finding pleasure in food, art, drinking, dancing and more. We’re equally as inspired by the trimmings of fine dining as we are by the reckless joy of a house party – like a fancy restaurant where, once the plates are clean, you can push back the tables and start a dance floor. We’ve held events in art galleries, tiny apartments, a distillery and even a gothic mansion, with tickets selling out within hours.

The team is energised by working with artists and talented makers of all kinds to create experiences that can’t be found anywhere else. One of the best things I’ve ever been part of. We’ve got a new event in the works.

Will you bring any dishes or ideas from your past roles?
I’ve learnt so much along the way from great chefs like Pasi Petänen (Cafe Paci), Analiese Gregory and Dan Johnston. Their thought, care, techniques and discipline I take with me throughout my career.

swillhouse.com
@albertoslounge