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Better Together with Jared Ingersoll

This month, Eat Easy's Jared Ingersoll has taken over our Better Together segment! With each Eat Easy takeover, we will be discovering more about the latest and greatest in Australian food & beverage. Because we think we’re all better together.

Jared Ingersoll is an award-winning chef turned sustainability expert now operating as the Sustainability Lead at global design giant, Canva. Between his successes in the hospitality industry, Jared is a TV personality, public speaker, philanthropist, ambassador, and has 3 of his very own cook books including Sharing Plates, Slow Food, and Danks Street Depot

Who are some local heroes or brands that inspire you?

Top of the list is Anthony Huckstep. When Covid and lockdowns began, he did what no one else was able to and launched Deep in the Weeds podcast. He created a voice for the hospitality industry that we'd never had before. He's a remarkable human, unsung hero and a wonderful narrator.

What are some of your favourite bars and restaurants in Sydney?

Just before lockdown I was visiting a little joint just up the road from me called 'She Loves Me'. It's a tiny place - unassuming, intimate with excellent booze and wonderfully warm hospitality. Apart from that it has been a long time between serious eats for me...

If you had to pick your favourite meal across Australia, what would it be?

Luckily for me I don't have to pick! I am a huge sucker for the integrity of produce and skilled hands.

  • Paci is always excellent but their bread and butter is second to none.

  • The beef tartare at Regent Thai in Adelaide is something I have been craving since I first tried it.

  • I got a hold of some ducks from Tathra Farms, broke them down, rendered the fat, made stock, made confit, cured some breasts and roasted others on the crown... the integrity of these ducks is truly wonderful

Tell us about being a part of Eat Easy. Why is it important to be a part of such a unique awards program?

The food scene (like any scene) is both brilliant, inspiring and invigorating... as well as full of bullshit, hype, and faux fame where pretence somehow converts to knowledge and integrity. It seldom does.  

So often, the latest joint with the freshest hero and the most clicks sees our connection to the land removed. Without that direct connection, we miss out on the importance of craft, integrity and connection to country.

Good food does not start with the restaurant, it starts with a humble and often overlooked legend that has a direct connection with the land, communities and a deep and thorough understanding of the food they produce. The chef/restaurateur takes this hard work and celebrates it. The Eat Easy Awards recognise these principles and hold that criteria at the fore which is deliciously refreshing! 

How do you see the food and restaurant industry developing over the next few years after the drastic shift our world has taken as a result of a global pandemic?

From the various stages of lockdown angst I've seen through my online world is a global crisis and whole industries in pain. We will always have restaurant owners and farmers, but the loss of the mid-level skilled professionals will be the greatest loss to the industry. The legendary Sous Chef, restaurant manager, rising star Sommelier who is old enough to be thinking about buying a house and having a family are jumping to other industries for security. Compounding that with batshit crazy decisions that decimated the workforce of international students see a shrinking industry full of passion but gasping to stay afloat.

Many wonderful hospo veterans have stopped saying "my restaurant is way too important to offer takeaway" instead they have figured out how to feed their community and support their suppliers and staff. Liquor licenses will hopefully stay relaxed to make it possible for me to grab a negroni in a jar and sip it while on my evening stroll around the park. Many have reviewed their business models and have cleverly adapted it accordingly. 

Also, it turns out that the unsustainably high rents of the CBD are unsustainable. People have reconnected with their local urban and rural joints and remember the the names of the staff. Fit outs and capex will less likely include conversations about which $1,400 chair and $280 glass they will buy, instead it will be replaced by delicious food and drink served to you by someone who has fought really bloody hard to serve you and make you feel great. 

Strip everything away, and what you are left with is what is really important. Skilled kitchens, warm professional hospitality, and delicious food & drink communicated through smaller menus. 

Get to know Jared here