One of the country's hottest young chefs is teaming up with an Australian dining institution in a marriage as delicious as one of Lauren Eldridge's creations.
The pastry chef and former Josephine Pignolet Young Chef of the Year winner will do her last shift at Woodcut restaurant this month, and is headed up river next month to Berowra Waters Inn. The queen of honeycomb and cultured cream will have her desserts on the menu at The Inn from May 28.
Eldridge, who was taught to roll a croissant by Guy Savoy, used her win to broaden her experience, working at the three-star Le Cinq and Guy Savoy in Paris, and Massimo Bottura's Osteria Francescana in Italy. It adds to a CV already bristling with Marque, Pei Modern and The Stokehouse.
"I happened to go in for lunch one day [to The Inn] and thought this place is amazing," Eldridge says. She says the waterfront restaurant's diminutive nature was part of the appeal: "It felt more like what I did at Marque."
Eldridge explains she and BWI owner-chef Brian Geraghty are both inspired by the produce and sensations of the surrounds (the native plants, not outboard motor fumes). "We both like to use them sparingly, when it enhances," she says.
"Lauren has that respect for the core ingredient ... it'll impact the rest of the menu, we want that synergy between sweet and savoury," Geraghty says. "Chefs are hard to find, pastry chefs are really hard to find, amazing pastry chefs are like unicorns."