Anna Ugarte-Carral's star is already on the rise as winner of the 2020 Josephine Pignolet Young Chef Award. Now she's taking that star power to the theatre-restaurant world.
Ugarte-Carral has signed as the new head chef at The Old Fitz. The Woolloomooloo pub theatre, which will reopen on February 18, had former Ledbury chef Nicholas Hill and his quirky reimagined pub fare in the kitchen, before it shut last year as the effect of COVID-19 took hold.
Having previously worked locally at Firedoor, Hubert, and Momofuku Seiobo, Ugarte-Carral's food will provide plenty of pulling power for the pub when it reopens under the watch of The Odd Culture Group.
"I feel honoured to have the opportunity to contribute to the long and vibrant history of The Old Fitz. I love pubs, and we all missed them a lot during the pandemic, so I'm particularly excited about being able to cook food that is accessible to everyone after such a rough past year," she says.
Ugarte-Carral will "jump around" the Mediterranean for inspiration. "I'm keen to explore simple yet precise cooking. It's going to be a celebration, cooking that makes people happy," she says. We're certainly happy.