In the second of our “Dine in”...
Hotel, James St
For the third in our “Dine In” series we return to the heart of the hotel – Lobby Bar, one of the liveliest, energetic spaces at all times of the day. Perfectly placed at the hotel’s entrance and spilling into the vibrant Ada Lane, Lobby Bar provides the ideal setting for watching our neighbourhood buzz pass by.
Lobby Bar provides an ambient dining setting for all day dining. Brunch, grazing plates, á la carte options, and a considered and considerable drinks menu, so diners are catered to at all hours. This time we’ve added two of Lobby Bar’s signature cocktails for you to enjoy at home.
Executive Chef, Jean Marc Rezzene has designed a progressive menu that moves seamlessly from breakfast to late night snacks. Jean Marc also presides over the hotel room service and events catering, so is perhaps the busiest chef under The Calile roof. We are not sure when he sleeps, but between duties, we spoke with him about his passion and inspiration.
Jean Marc, what makes residing in The Calile special?
The architecture and design are the main focus of why people want to be here. A beautiful new hotel with great culinary destinations.
Where does your passion for food and cooking come from?
I have always been surrounded by fresh food and great options from an early age. My parents and cousins (pastry chefs) were a stepping stone for my career. I do not remember eating any processed food as a child or young adult at home. It has helped to define what I wanted to do in the future.
What are the basics we need to know?
Being trained as a pastry chef in the early days and saucier after, I gained an understanding of two very distinct parts of the kitchen. I have always believed in the classic and lengthy processes of cooking – instead of quick and easy shortcuts.
What do customers love about your business?
I will need to ask them! We often get letters from happy guests which never really elaborate on why the food they had was so different or good – they just love it.
What’s an insider secret that many people might not know about your business?
That Lobby Bar also prepares the hotel room service orders for the 175 rooms and defines the events and banquet menus. It is three times as busy as a normal kitchen and never stops!
What is your top piece of advice in relation to what you do?
Do it well, don’t look back, always focus on what is to come. I follow Auguste Escoffier’s advice as it is still relevant today, 'faites simple' – ‘do it simple.’
What is your go-to dish at home, when you are not in the commercial kitchen?
Roast chicken with greasy potatoes.
What is your favourite dish to cook when you are on holidays?
I take a holiday from the kitchen! I garden intensively as it is a derivation of cooking - you should try my organic chillis!
How often, if ever, do you dine in the restaurant as a guest?
Often enough to keep current.
How does your team refer to you “Yes Chef!” or ………………. ?
They call me Chef, in general, I am quite sure they have other adjectives to define me when I am not there!
Lobby Bar need to know
Cuisine: Seasonal, fresh, locally inspired menu
Dining: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Style: Relaxed but refined
Breakfast: Green bowl
Snack: Cheese board
Dine: Shashlik marinated lamb rump
Drink: The Calile Blend – award winning coffee
Dessert: Orange blossom panna cotta
Lobby Bar invites you to get dressed up and enjoy a taste of Lobby Bar at home with a nightcap or two. Chin chin!
City Escape cocktail
The green tea foam
Visit the Lobby Bar website: lobbybar.com.au