Neil Perry's long-time lieutenant Khan Danis will depart Rockpool Bar & Grill next month to open his own venue in Alexandria.
Corey Costelloe will take the reins as head chef at Perry's restaurant.
When Cipro Pizza al Taglio opens at 21 Fountain Street, Alexandria, it will strengthen the suburb's claim as the hot go-to postcode for Sydney food action.
Danis, who previously oversaw the kitchen at Rockpool Bar & Grill in Melbourne and the company's flagship Rockpool on George, will partner on the project with Catherine Adams, the executive pastry chef who left Rockpool Group last year. Joining them in the venture is Rockpool Bar & Grill chef Angel Fernandez and Penny Watson-Green who previously managed Rockpool on George.
But don't expect the collective fine-dining experience of Cipro's co-owners to price the restaurant out of the inner-south market.
“It isn't a restaurant, it's a local eatery. We'll open from 8am to 8pm and just do great food you order at the bar. Good pizza and baked stuff – and we'll do gelato,” Adams says.
“We got the name travelling in Italy. Cipro is the name of a train stop in Rome.”
Perry says the departure is good timing for his company.
“There are a bunch of young guys there who are ready to step up. Khan really ran the kitchen with Angel working under him,” he says.