Go Phil! Our very own Boy Wonder, Phil Wood, is fronting up to the Sydney Seafood School at Sydney Fish Market to teach a class on June 17. So if flavour and technical perfection are your aim, we suggest you pop on down and join in. This will be a class not to be missed.
I’d tell you a little more about Phil, but they pretty much have it all in hand, so I think I’ll just hand it over to the Seafood School…and yes, it’s true…he was just 7 years old when Rockpool opened! Bless!
When Neil Perry opened Rockpool in 1989, ‘modern Australian’ cuisine was in its infancy, and many credit Perry with its inception. Since then he’s opened and closed numerous restaurants, currently running seven across three states. You don’t build that sort of empire without a gift for finding the right people to help.
Today the kitchen of the flagship Rockpool, now called Rockpool on George, is headed by the laid back Phil Wood, who was junior sous chef at Tetsuya’s when he won the Josephine Pignolet Award for best young chef in the 2007 Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide. This gave him the opportunity to work abroad, spending two years at Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry. He returned to Sydney in early 2009 and joined Rockpool as Head Chef. Promoting him to Executive Chef in 2010, Perry described him as “one of the best young chefs this country has to offer”.
A meal at Rockpool (on George) is as exciting today as it was in the early days. Stepping through the heavy, heritage-green doors of this discreet sandstone building still has a touch of the special about it. Inside, precisely set double-clothed tables with the signature Bill McMahon-designed chairs and Alessi peppermills testify that good design doesn’t date. The long, light room looks smart but comfortable with forest and earth tones, plush studded banquettes and a dramatic honeycomb lighting installation.
Perry was one of the first champions of premium Australian produce, especially seafood, and Wood adheres to the same mantra. Chirashi zushi of kingfish, snapper, prawn, squid, and scallop is a vibrant combination of flavours and textures – spanking fresh seafood, vinegared sushi rice mixed with black sesame seeds, a creamy, briny, spicy (kimchi), tangy (finger lime) taste sensation. Blue swimmer crab and corn congee with almond tofu, star anise-scented peanuts, fried bread and chilli oil is a similar roller coaster of flavours, textures and aromas. This is food that makes you sit up and take notice … just as Perry’s cooking first did back in 1989!
With Phil Wood (who was just 7 when Rockpool opened) in the kitchen, this iconic Sydney restaurant is set to wow a whole new generation of diners and keep those who’ve long loved it on their toes.
Monday 17 June 2013 | Phil Wood – Rockpool on George
6.30pm – 9.30pm Class Code: PWO $120.00
When Rockpool opened in 1989 ‘modern Australian’ cuisine was in its infancy – and many acknowledge this iconic restaurant as its birthplace. Phil Wood (ex-Tetsuya’s and Josephine Pignolet award winner) has been Rockpool Head Chef since 2009. At this hands-on dinner class you’ll master some of the techniques and flavour combinations that make Rockpool as revolutionary now as it was 20 years ago.