Icebergs team ready to drift
AS SPECULATION MOUNTS THAT MAURICE TERZINI IS CLOSE TO A DEAL TO open an affordable eastern beaches spinoff of Icebergs Dining Room, the seasoned restaurateur has added serious weight to his executive kitchen team. Terzini has signed Orazio D'Elia, the Naples-born chef who helped Rushcutters Bay's Popolo land some stellar early reviews. Terzini refused to comment about talk of a new restaurant ''until something is finalised'', but previously toyed with a location in East Sydney before being linked to the site near Icebergs at Bondi. The addition of D'Elia, who will work alongside Icebergs' chef Ben Horne, bulks up the group's talent pool to draw on for any future expansion. ''I loved what Orazio did at Popolo,'' Terzini says. ''There's a new breed of Michelin-trained Italian chefs coming through showing the way for modern Italian food.'' The veteran restaurateur has made several strategic changes to his kitchen line-up since splitting his restaurant empire with former business partner Rob Marchetti. ''[Caterer] John Wilson isn't involved any more,'' he says. ''Once we were no longer involved with Neild Avenue, I didn't really see the need for a creative director.''
Celebrity chef Albert Roux is hopping on the Sydney bandwagon with plans to open a restaurant in the city. Roux shot to food stardom in the 1980s alongside brother Michel, but at the ripening age of 77, you wonder why he would consider Australia for anything other than retirement. ''I'm probably the main reason for his interest. But he loves Sydney and still has plenty of energy,'' says Sydney restaurateur Tom Rutherford, who spent six years in the Roux brothers' kitchen at Le Gavroche in London. Rutherford says it isn't just an idea; he's scouting sites and they hope to open a bistro in the city centre by the end of 2013. ''We're serious. Chez Roux Australasia is formally incorporated,'' he says. So why doesn't Roux just buy into Rutherford's Palm Beach restaurant, Beach Road, which Rutherford had on the market for years before relaunching it as the French-leaning Bistro Rivage? ''He wanted to, but I said no. It's too small, it's a one-man band. So he said, 'Let's go and open another place.'''
Say hello to Vincent
Buzo's gradual colonisation of an entire block of Woollahra will take another step in early April with the opening of a new restaurant: Vincent. In November, Short Black reported Buzo was in negotiations to open a restaurant in the boutique Hughenden Hotel in Queen Street. Several setbacks slowed its progress, but Vincent, a French brasserie, is now confirmed. ''We'll make our own cheeses and butter,'' co-owner James Hird says. ''With the exception of Felix [restaurant], there hasn't been much happening on the French front in recent years. As we've done with Italian at Buzo, we want to bring our own take [to French].'' With Buzo spinoff The Wine Library doing big numbers on Oxford Street, Vincent will bring the number of venues the Buzo crew operate in the area to three.
Mosman's new kids on the block
It's all over for former Jonah's general manager Sean Byrne and his relationship with Mosman venue Hawthorn. Byrne bought the place, refitting then relaunching it. But less than two years later, Byrne, who last year took the GM's role at Tower Estate in the Hunter Valley, has sold the business to restaurateurs Max Arata and Mirko Morello. ''We've introduced more tapas dishes and sharing plates,'' Arata says.
Feeling the knead
Former members of Rockpool's pastry section look set to populate Sydney in numbers not seen since the Banc boys spread their wings in the early noughties. The news that former Rockpool group executive pastry chef Catherine Adams will join several of her Rockpool alumni to open Cipro Pizza al Taglio in Alexandria (Good Food, 5/2/2013) is just the latest move from sweet-toothed Rockpoolers. Pastry chef Lorraine Godsmark, co-creator of Rockpool's famed date tart, has opened Lorraine's Patisserie in Palings Lane. Another former Rockpool head pastry chef, Riccardo Falcone, has joined Arras, the Clarence Street restaurant with Sydney's most decadent petit four.
It's three months behind schedule, but Hunters Hill has a new restaurant, with the opening on the weekend of Le Village at 37 Alexander Street. ''Some resident objections over noise and parking held us up,'' David Poirier says. Poirier and co-owners Meredith Poirier and Robert Hodgson are the team behind Rozelle success story La Grande Bouffe, and have pushed north with Le Village, the neighbourhood eatery's menu including braised rabbit and black pudding salad, and pork chop with soft polenta. It also has its own ''bakery'' line, selling confit duck baguettes and a goat's cheese and spanish onion tarte tatin.
Sean Flanagan, former co-owner of Potts Point cafe institution La Buvette, has spread his wings north.
The Wooden Whisk, in St Leonards, last week opened an espresso bar spinoff at 35 Chandof Street called Whisk Espresso. They both use Single Origin Roasters coffee. The menu at Wooden Whisk shows Flanagan's pedigree working at London restaurants Mosimanns and Le Gavroche – baked beans are served with Rodriguez chorizo and black pudding.