Meteorologist, TV presenter, food reviewer and now podcaster, Magdalena Roze gathers hot restaurant tips from the country’s top chefs in her new podcast. Here, she shares her own.
A passionate foodie with a cookbook to her name, Magdalena Roze lives the dream: she interviews the country’s top chefs – think Matt Moran, Kylie Kwong and Colin Fassnidge – over a meal at their favoured eateries. These secrets spots and guilty pleasures are shared on her podcast series, The Pass, which soared to number one on iTunes after its release and has been added to Qantas’ inflight entertainment options.
“Every time I want to know where to eat, I ask the chefs, so I get their little black book because it’s always the places you don’t know about, the little holes in the wall,” says Roze. “[In] each podcast, they take us on a journey to their favourite place to eat and we eat with them. We get in a cab or walk together, and we get to know about them on the way. They forget they’re being recorded – that’s the nice thing about podcasts and sharing a meal: you can’t help but end up in a personal conversation.”
So where does this Byron-based foodie insider – who’s engaged to chef Darren Robertson of Three Blue Ducks fame – like to eat out? Here are Roze’s hot tips on where to break bread and chew the fat in Oz.
Your 5 top Aussie eating experiences – go!
Magdalena Roze: My all-time favourite food experience in Australia was doing The Agrarian Kitchen in Tasmania. It’s a cooking school run by former Gourmet Traveller food editor, Rodney Dunn; you do a class and then share a meal. You get to walk around his stunning property sourcing ingredients: you milk the goat to make the cheese, you pick strawberries, tomatoes – almost everything comes straight from the land. It’s one of most beautiful places I’ve ever been to and the food is delicious. The meal is particularly special, [with us] having played such a part in the preparation.
MR: Restaurant Orana – Daz and I were completely mind-blown when we ate there. We looked at each other and went “Whoa, what just happened?”
Jock Zonfrillo is doing things with native food that’s on another level. It’s way beyond novelty. He shows such commitment to working with native produce, and it’s incredibly delicious while still being creative. I think he’s underrated. I honestly think he’ll be in the World’s 50 or 100 Best Restaurants list.
What’s number three?
MR: The Shinju Matsuri long table dinner on Cable Beach, which happens annually. I was sitting there thinking, ‘Where in world can you sit alongside 450 people on one of the most amazing beaches, eating incredible Australian food, with an opera singer?’ They do a really good job of it, while still being casual.
And the fact your fiancé was driving the menu?
MR: Yes, OK, it helped that Darren was cooking.
MR: In Byron bay, our weekly ritual with our son Archie is going to the New Brighton Farmers Market, north of Byron. There’s a stall called The Nomadic Kitchen, it’s Sicilian-based and it does really good omelette and bruschetta. There’s always a hero ingredient such as tomato or zucchini – whatever is in season – and the chefs turn this simple, humble vegetable into something rustic and honest. It’s peasant food but it’s really delicious. I love the smoky garlic-infused sourdough, with chilli beans and fried egg. We sit there and do the crossword. It’s quintessential Bryon – open on Tuesdays – and my hidden gem.
Does Darren’s cooking get a look in?
MR: This is biased, but what Daz is doing with Three Blue Ducks is amazing. There are few places in world where, in a place like Byron Bay, you can be sitting on a farm eating food where a large part is sourced right there. They grow chicken, pork, vegetables, and so much more. I think if I wasn’t with Daz, I’d still think that.
I also love [his new Sydney restaurant] Rocker. It’s very different and very Daz and the natural wines they stock are fantastic. A lot of people assumed with Rocker opening in North Bondi, we’d be moving back, but we’re not. We’re in Byron about 80 per cent of the time, and we travel to Sydney once a month for work. There’s something about being on an actual working farm, it’s really special, and then there’s the Byron sunsets. I love it.