Bill Granger is, by his own admission, a self taught cook. He is the author of numerous best selling cookbooks, he is the man behind much loved Sydney institution bills and is often fondly referred to by locals as ‘Sydney’s Breakfast King’. A Melbournian, raised in a family of butchers and bakers, Bill moved to Sydney when he was 19 and opened his first bills restaurant when he was just 22. Now, with 2 Sydney locations to his name, plus another in London, 4 restaurants in Japan and 2 new restaurants in the pipeline, Bill is a true restaurateur on a global scale.
We caught up with Bill Granger when he was in town to promote the release of his newest cookbook – Bill’s Italian Food, which marries his inspiration from simple, fresh regional Italian food with his no fuss cooking style.
Q: Where do you go to get a great cup of coffee (or tea if you’re not a latte lover)?
Reuben Hills and Single Origin Roasters in Surry Hills.
Q: If you could only eat one last meal on this earth, where and what would it be?
I would like a meal cooked for me, so either breakfast in bed made by my family or lunch at The River Cafe in London.
Q: Please share with us your 4 all time favourite restaurants.
- Fratelli Paradiso – I feel at home there and that’s important.
- Kepos Street Kitchen in Redfern.
- Sean’s Panaroma – a classic oldie.
- Nom - fantastic authentic Japanese in Darlinghurst.
Q: If you had visitors in town, where would be the first place you’d take them to dine and/or drink?
It would have to be Icebergs Dining Room & Bar for a Sunday afternoon cocktail.
Q: Where do you buy your produce in Sydney?
Eveleigh Street Markets in Redfern. Amazing produce and where else in the world can you have one of the best chefs (Kylie Kwong) prepare your snack for you?!
Q: What inspired your passion for food and what does food mean to you?
I think you are born with it. For me, it comes from sharing, feeding people and being a way to show love and affection. It is inspired by family. I was introduced to restaurants growing up by my parents. I believe food should be a balance between being pure, to look after your body and being a celebration.
Q: What do you want your ‘food’ legacy to be?
I think just to relax. A restaurant doesn’t have to be a fine dining restaurant, it is perfectly ok to open a casual restaurant with simple food and a great team of people. When I first opened bills all those years ago, this was a novel concept. Don’t be scared to try something.
Q: Tell us an interesting fact not many people know about you!
I love Violet Crumbles!
You heard it here first folks!