The famous British chef who created headlines last year for taking a shot at Australian produce and declared our food scene 20 years behind London in the maturity of its food, has put his money where his mouth is and bought a stake in a Sydney restaurant.
Alastair Little has acquired chef Daniel Backhouse's share in Potts Point restaurant Et Al and will operate it with current co-owner Stephen Craig. Don't expect wholesale change.
"The name stays, everyone calls me Al anyway," Little says. "It'll be a bit more bistro than modern Australian [under his watch] but we'll keep some of Daniel's dishes … I rather like his sticky toffee pudding."
Known in Britain as the "godfather of British cooking", Little relocated to Australia two years ago. Expect some finesse on the plate with his opening menu at Et Al.
Some of Little's swipes at our produce were fair cop, others over the top.
The chef – who explains he was spurred on by criticism of his hometown – claims he was quoted out of context before rolling off a list of exactly where he thinks London is ahead of Sydney.
He argues London's food is cheaper, which augers well for the value at Et Al. And he's a big fan of plenty of Aussie produce, including our cheese, truffles and brisket.