Neil Perry might have just opened Jade Temple and Rosetta Sydney, but the veteran chef is quietly plotting his next restaurant adventure. With "500-odd seats", Rockpool Dining Group's next play is certainly ambitious.
And when the Italian eatery opens early next year, near Sydney's Tumbalong Park, it will have a secret weapon in its kitchen.
Khan Danis, Neil Perry's long-time right-hand-man in the kitchen, has quietly returned to Sydney after a long stint as a headline chef in Macau.
Danis, who first saddled up with Perry in the kitchen at the original Rockpool on George Street and was at one-time executive chef at Rockpool Bar & Grill, will run the kitchen at new venue.
Perry has scotched rumours the venue will launch a new brand for the restaurant group.
"It'll be a Fratelli Fresh, but it'll be a really different experience. There are other elements. It'll be rustic, it'll feel like an Italian market," the chef says. The mega eatery will slide into a new space under the new concert hall, near Tumbalong Park.
Danis has been helping out at Rosetta, fine-tuning his Italian cooking.
"I said to him at the pass the other day, did you think we'd still be doing this when we were working at Rockpool in 1989?" Perry says.