In Sydney, there’s a growing sense of celebrity within everyday dining. While a chef’s personality and Instagram presence can shape our expectations before we even book a table, it’s the often unknown yet omni-present sous chefs who cook our dishes day in, day out.
Now sous chefs are taking centre stage at Sunday Sous Sessions, which involves four sets of five-course dinners this September at the site where marque was located on Crown Street. The restaurant was a breeding ground for many sous chefs that have gone on to run their own restaurants.
Aaron Teece, director of Sunday Sous Sessions, has handpicked four sous chefs with industry respect who – for now – lack public recognition.
“[The sessions] are about creating a better system in Australia to support the younger chefs coming through, because it’s not an easy job,” says Teece. “It’s [also] about showing them off, since they’re going to be the next big thing.”
With just 50 spots at each dinner, these meals are one-offs. Considering rent prices alone, pop-ups often prove too large a risk in Sydney, especially without the clout of a big name to bring in tables. As a result, sous chefs rarely have the chance to show what they can do outside of a menu, which is never completely their own.
Andy Ashby of .nel will kick things off on Sunday September 3. Next up is Khanh Nguyen from Cirrus on September 10, Sam Young from Merivale September 17 and Alex Farrow from North Bondi Fish on September 23.
Unsurprisingly, Teece has heard from a lot of sous chefs wanting to be involved. He’s planning a bigger season next year.
Tickets for Andy Ashby’s Sunday Sous Chef Session are on sale now for $165, including wine pairings.