Interview: Bringing In Spring With Celebrity Chef Guy Grossi
“You know, maybe many, many years ago, you’d come to Perth and go, ‘Oh, there’s not much going on,’ but now you come here and it’s just an explosion of food and beverage and lovely things happening everywhere.”
We’re sitting down with Guy Grossi, taking refuge from a blustery afternoon in his Roman osteria Garum, nestled at the base of the Westin – and we’re both waxing a bit lyrical about Perth’s hospitality offerings.
The Victorian chef is at the helm of a growing network of restaurants spread across the country – besides his Perth outpost, most are based in the Melbourne CBD, as well as an Amalfi-inspired Brisbane dining room to open soon.
While, naturally, he spends most of his time in his own restaurants, there are a number of venues he finds himself gravitating back to, over and over again, on his visits to the west coast: “I really enjoy the food and beverage scene here. It’s great. You know, I like to go down the road to Petition – I go Petition quite a bit…
“It’s so close, the food’s so delicious, so when I need a break from Garum – which isn’t often, but when I do, I just wander down there and have a quick meal, it’s really nice. And you’ve got David Thompson’s restaurant Long Chim down there as well, which is really beautiful, then tonight we’re going to il Lido which I’ve been to before and really enjoyed.”
He continues: “You know, I think restaurants play a really important role – in the sense that they are places where people congregate. The more you have of them and the better that they are, and the more that people use them, I believe you have a happier, more culturally fulfilled community. And places like Perth, where you have lots of different choices and lots of different places to go, I think that’s very true.”
Grossi is in town as part of WA Good Food Guide’s Spring Dining Series, launching with Primavera: a four-course meal in collaboration with Grossi and Garum Head Chef Paolo Apuzzo, celebrating the best of the state’s produce.
Amongst the menu, you can expect to see an Akoya oyster entrée, tortellini stuffed with Karumba banana prawns in a saffron sauce, and a slow-braised Rose Mallee beef cheek peposo. For dessert? One of Grossi’s favourites, seadas.
“It’s a traditional dessert from Sardinia. You make a cheese filling inside this lovely pastry, and then you fry them and then we’re going to douse them with bit of chestnut flower honey and serve a really beautiful ricotta ice cream with them.”
Alongside it all, guests will enjoy five paired wines from pioneering wintery Plantagenet: “It’s just a real celebration of spring and of great produce from Western Australia. That’s what it’s really all about.”
When it comes to WA produce, the dinner will just scratch the surface of what we have on offer. “There’s so much here that I love,” he tells us.
“The Abrolhos Island scallops, the Fremantle octopus. I just love it. We use tons of it at work over on the east coast because we love it. You just can’t go past it, and some of the really good fish you get around here, like the tunas and all those beautiful big game fish, the dhufish…
“I love the crays from over here as well, they’re really nice. The marrons, they’re just beautiful. And we can’t use it in this celebration because they’re just finishing, but the Manjimup truffles that they’re saying goodbye to. They’re just amazing,” he gushes.
“The beautiful part about it is that you can be sitting in a restaurant in New York and you’ll just go during, you know, June, July, and you’d just go, ‘Oh, Manjimup truffles!’ And you think, wow, they’ve traveled a long way.”
To get your tickets to Primavera, click HERE.