Jesse McTavish is the most exciting thing to happen to cafes in Australia. He’s the guy who brought the fine-dining approach to breakfast in Melbourne. He’s the reason there’s native flowers on your bircher. He’s made it normal to wait 45 minutes for bacon and eggs. He’s ushered the cafe into night. And now, he’s in Sydney.
“I got sick of driving one-and-a-half hours to get to the surf,” says McTavish. Originally from Byron and with legendary surfboard maker Bob McTavish as his dad, he hung up his apron, and picked up his surfboard in January last year.
Partnering with Vue de Monde’s former head chef Cory Campbell, the pair will open their first Sydney cafe this year. The location and concept are still up in the air.
First, the duo wants to ensure the model is flawless. “We slowed right down and said ‘Let’s hang out in Sydney for a bit, surf in Bondi and see where the market will be really stoked to have us’,” he says.
McTavish will take care of brunch and Campbell will drive dinner. The rest is in your hands.
Their test kitchen will take place in people’s homes, with a custom-designed series of private dinners. It’s as simple as sending an email with your preferences and they’ll make it happen.
So far, they’ve cooked a whole roast chicken stuffed with foie gras and brioche alongside marron tails. “It’s completely up to the guests, if they want us to surprise them, that’s great. It’s completely tailor-made to them.” For dessert, they’ve done a deconstructed pavlova.
On the wine front, you can let the boys choose, or raid your own collection.
“It’s like a custom-designed surfboard, we get their height and weight and we make a board.”
A minimum of eight guests is required per dinner. Prices start at $120 per person.
For reservations email firstname.lastname@example.org