Q & A with Nelly Robinson, Chef & Owner, nel. restaurant

Nelly Robinson

UK Chef Nelly Robinson who is the Head Chef and Owner of the degustation only restaurant  nel. restaurant, has trained under some of the greats, including acclaimed chef Nigel Haworth from the Michelin-starred Northcote Manor, UK.  So it’s fair to say he knows a thing or two about food.  Don’t let his young age fool you.

We caught up with Nelly to get his inside scoop on the top spots to eat and drink in Sydney.

Q: Where do you go to get a great cup of coffee?

I’m English, I don’t drink coffee only tea!

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

That’s a hard one. I would have to say my Mother’s Sunday roast would be my favourite but close second would be the seafood risotto my girlfriend Ashley and I had in Cinque Terre, Italy. The views of the sea somehow accentuated the freshness of the dish and it’s a meal I’ve never forgotten.

Q: Please share with us your 5 all time favourite restaurants or bars in Sydney.

  1. Cafe Paci – Currently the best Restaurant and chef in Sydney in my books.
  2. Blue Ginger –  The freshest Asian food in Sydney. Located in Balmain this is my local and their slow cooked short ribs with fried rice is bloody perfect!
  3. Marque Restaurant – This was the first restaurant I took my partner too and she’s still with me so says it all!
  4. Golden Century – After a Saturday night service, its where all the chefs come together to finally eat their dinner.
  5. Coogee Pavilion – Beautiful fresh food, killer atmosphere, amazing location – perfect for a summer day.

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

Coogee Pavillion rooftop bar in the summer then we’d head downstairs for a bite to eat.  Café Paci for a real treat for the family.

Q:  Where do you buy your produce in Sydney?

For the restaurant – Fish from Joto fresh fish.  Meat from Haverick Meats.  Fruit and vegetables from Velluti’s.

Personally – Norton Street Grocer in Leichhardt – great Italian produce.

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

Nigel Haworth, Northcote Manor UK (1 Michelin Star).  He has so much passion and is still – even at 52 – heading up the kitchen during service.  He has been an inspiration to many up and coming chefs and has helped to kick start many careers including my own.

Food is everything to me.  As a chef you never stop learning.

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

I want to be remembered for creating fresh, bold, innovative and fun flavours!

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

I am a die-hard Blackburn Rovers fan!  I’m also totally in love with my dog China!

You heard it here first folks.

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