Colin Fassnidge on the roof of Four in Hand restaurant with his hand-made honey.
Colin Fassnidge on the roof of Four in Hand restaurant with his hand-made honey. Photo: Christopher Pearce

Mikki Cusack

Enter the age of sustainability; climate change is a 'hot' topic, giant retailers, such as H&M promote ethical and sustainable practices, airlines offer a carbon offset donation when purchasing your ticket, and restaurants such as Paddington's busy Four In Hand, are sourcing local produce and producing their own where possible.

For 'foodies' this translates into Permaculture, or capitalising on natural ecosystems, and sustainable farming.

Dublin born and popular Sydney chef Colin Fassnidge celebrates seasonable and sustainable produce at the Four In Hand kitchen, with honey produced on the restaurant's roof (aptly named Roof Top Honey).

"[I like to] work on a different project every year, butchery, abattoirs, and now bee keeping," he says.

Fassnidge is no stranger to keeping busy. A father to two young children, he juggles a TV career on My Kitchen Rules as well as working in the Four In Hand.

Local farming might be seen by some as a trend, but Fassnidge says "we just do what we do".

"We do what interests us, what is good for the kitchen is good for the chefs, and this rolls into the dining room".

He is not fond of the term 'celebrity chef', yet he enjoys the combination of being a TV personality and a chef, even if it creates a tight schedule. After a ten hour day of shooting, he continues on to the kitchen at Four in Hand, "I was here last night, I'll be here tonight".

Managing this balance between TV, restaurants, and family life has evolved. When his daughter was born, he knew things had to change.

"[I] made the decision six years ago to decrease my stress levels, and get a sous chef". By empowering his staff to make decisions, he is free to focus on his TV work, although he remains in charge.

He also continues his favourite kitchen tasks, such as butchery.

"Cooking is a hard life, one that I love," he says.

As part of Good Food Month's Month of Sundays event, diners can enjoy an evening of 'Cheese and Bees' at The Four in Hand on October 25, which will be offering a chef's selection of cheeses for 2 with honey from their very own rooftop beehive accompanied by two glasses of wine (red or white) matched by Sommelier. For more information click here.