Zac Sykes is the head chef at North Bondi Fish (sister restaurant to Sydney’s two hat Aria restaurant). Specialising in fresh, high-quality seafood, amazing steaks, salads, sliders and more, North Bondi Fish is the perfect beach-side escape. Recently we caught up with Zac to discuss his culinary inspiration, the process of recipe creation and the importance of food presentation.
When did you know that the culinary field was the one for you?
When I was about 15 I got a job a s a kitchen hand and fell in love with the kitchen.
What are some fundamental qualities of a successful restaurant?
Consistency is a major factor, whether your consistently amazing or average people have a certain expectation when they visit a venue.
How important is food presentation and tableware in your restaurants?
People eat with their eyes so presentation and tableware is very important.
How can tableware affect a dining experience?
As I said previously people eat with their eyes so tableware can make your meal that little bit more special.
Do you have a particular process you go through when creating a new recipe?
When I’m coming up with new dishes it comes down to what’s in season and in good condition at the time, I try and stay as seasonal as possible.
Who is your culinary idol and why?
I’ve always admired and respected Thomas Keller (the French laundry, perse, buchon) and finally got to meet him back in august when I ate at the french laundry in napa valley. How he can have two 3 Michelin star restaurants and a couple of 1 and 2 star places as well on the 2 different sides of the country is amazing and the fact he is still very hands on in all his kitchens is amazing. He was the most humble chef I have ever met and was probably the best meal I’ve ever had.
What would you say your biggest achievement has been so far?
I’m still yet to achieve that.
If you had to describe yourself in one dish, what would it be?
A plate of raw fish, pure and simple just like me.
What would you like the lasting impression to be when people leave your restaurants?
F**k that was a good meal!!