Q & A with Pasi Petanen, Chef & Owner, Cafe Paci

Pasi Petanen

Pasi Petenan.  Ex- Head Chef of awarded fine dining restaurant, Marque Restaurant.  Most recently behind his first solo (pop-up) restaurant, Cafe Paci.  Finish born and a pioneer of modern Scandinavian cuisine in Sydney.  Pasi’s food is experimental.  It is innovative.  It is thought provoking.  It is anything but boring.

We caught up with Pasi to get his take on food that inspires him in Sydney.

Q: Where do you go to get a great cup of coffee (or tea if you’re not a latte lover)?

If it’s not made by Zoltan at work, it will have to be at Wicks Park by Double Bay Roasters in Marrickville.

Q: If you could only eat one last meal on this earth, where and what would it be?

Herring and potatoes at a lakeside in Finland, right after sauna.  (Can you tell he’s Finnish?)

Q: Please share with us your 5 all time favourite restaurants.

  1. sixpenny – James and Dan are cooking creative food with produce from their own farm.
  2. Oscillate Wildly – Karl, chef/owner runs a tight ship and serves a high quality, fun menu.
  3. Sepia – Martin serves up some of the finest food in Sydney.
  4. Bentley Restaurant & Bar – Brent and Nick are very imaginative owners, running multiple high quality establishments.  (They also run Monopole and Yellow).
  5. Izakaya Fujiyama – Kenji always delivers tasty Japanese fare.

Q: If you had visitors in town, where would be the first place you’d take them to dine and/or drink?

On their recent visit, I took my Mum and Uncle to Mr Wong, which they enjoyed very much.

Q:  Where do you buy your produce in Sydney?

We source cheese from Ocello, seafood from Claude’s, meat from Vic’s Meat and vegetables from Murdoch Produce.

Q:  What inspired your passion for food and what does food mean to you?

At home my Mum, with the best intentions of course, cooked everything very well done.  For example, livers so tough I could hardly chew.  Then, at high school, I had to take some compulsory cooking classes…  I have now realised I can cook too and liver actually doesn’t need to be very well done.  Today, you can say food is my ‘bread and butter’.

Q:  What do you want your ‘food’ legacy to be?

I would like that my cooking and Cafe Paci be remembered for tasty food, wholesome meals, fun times and affordability.

Q:  Tell us something not many people know about you!

I like to ride my pushbike around the restaurant after service, when everyone has left!

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