Scott Pickett's southside plans and new St Crispin chef Stuart McVeigh

Chef Stuart McVeigh (right) has joined Scott Pickett's St Crispin after selling Union Food and Wine.
Chef Stuart McVeigh (right) has joined Scott Pickett's St Crispin after selling Union Food and Wine. Photo: Wayne Taylor

Following news a few weeks ago that Stuart McVeigh had sold his Ascot Vale business Union Food and Wine (now reopened as all-day cafe Mr Union), the chef has joined forces with old colleague Scott Pickett to head up the kitchen at St Crispin.

Pickett and McVeigh have a long work history together having followed each other up the kitchen ranks at the Square in London early in their careers. When McVeigh returned to Australia a decade ago, it was Pickett who put him forward for his job at the Sofitel.

Pickett's Collingwood restaurant is closed for two weeks for minor renovations. When the restaurant reopens on July 14, the dining format will have shifted from the two, five or seven-course menu option to a la carte with added snackables. They will also start doing share-style Sunday lunch sessions.

The bigger project on the horizon is the as-yet-unnamed brasserie on Domain Road as part of a residential development. The restaurant, now slated for early 2018, will share a wall with the Botanical and this time the focus will be on fire. Coalpits and rotisseries will fuel the menu featuring suckling pigs and whole birds.

The interior, also by Projects of Imagination, will put the main action to the front of the restaurant with ringside seats to the fiery show and a dining room for 60, plus private rooms to the rear.