You may remember my admiration for the food philosophy of Chef Justin North and you may have read the previous Inside Cuisine articles on Becasse (then of Clarence Street – now of Westfield) or Etch or Charlie & Co burgers.
“It’s been said that the soul’s weight in the human body is 21 grams, and we put our soul into the food we prepare.”
Now the Becasse family is nourishing our soul with the next Sydney adventure – the four quarters of 21.
Cook for the soul (the cookery school)
To Justin and Georgia North it’s all about creating the premium experience – and in the cookery school they’ve gone all out to create a very personal and intimate space. Most classes are limited to 12, most are hands on. This month, May 2011, sees the start of the cookery school’s first autumn winter programme that stretches its specialist classes from knife skills to Becasse Bakery sourdough through to simple entertaining. Express weeknight classes demo a dish in 3/4 hour then give you the ingredients to take home make dinner.
Longer demo classes by Justin North’s mates – including Chef Warren Turnbull (Assiette and District Dining) Chef Colin Fassnidge (Four in Hand) Chef Phil Wood (Rockpool) Chef Jared Ingersoll (Dank Street Depot and Cotton Duck) as well as TV’s Will Studd (Cheese Slices) Lyndey Milan and Adriana Zumbo (do I really have to tell you where he’s from?) round out the first season. And to top it off, ex Vogue Entertaining writer, Libby Travers has returned from France especially to manage the new Quarter Twenty One school. Something for everyone! Possibly a regular event to increase the skills and repertoire. Surely an experience not to be missed?
Eat for the soul (the restaurant)
Quarter Twenty One restaurant is co-located next to the Cookery School and Pantry, Becasse Restaurant and Becasse Bakery on Level 5 Westfield, right in the heart of the CBD. It’s a beautiful space with rosy copper coloured light shades and soft benches and many of the team on the floor that you may remember from Clarence Street. As the new dawn rises for the smaller and more intimate 25 seat Becasse restaurant at Westfield. The menu immediately strikes as very Justin North. It’s celebrates produce From the Ocean, Rivers & Lakes and From the Paddock & Farm. There’s something for every appetite – starting small with Snacks & Shared Plates – such as Tartare of beef with grilled toast, quail eggs and mustard – yumbo.
And the celebration rings loud through all of the menu as many of the dishes nominate the provenance: Kurobuta pork belly, Macleay Valley rabbit, Grilled Rangers Valley bavette and the single origin local Zokoko chocolate. North told me last night, that the beauty of the adjoining Quarter Twenty One and Becasse kitchens, the pantry store and cookery school, is that he and Georgia can live their dream – by truly utilising all of an animal – nose to tail. The eat for the soul tasty restaurant quarter seems to me to be about so so much more than just each customer being fed.
Oh and it’s a lunch (seven days) and dinner (Monday to Saturday) venue.
Shop for the soul (the pantry)
Somehow the pantry photographs speak for themselves, but I’d like to add that this store is filled with my favourite produce. Take the Josophans hot chocolate for example – I’d usually have to travel to Leura to pick this up for myself. You benefit from the same care, the same passion, that Chef Justin North has taken in sourcing his premium produce for the restaurants. This retail outlet has to be the top quality providore in town.
Food for the soul (the external catering facilities)
Quarter Twenty One
Level 5, Westfield Sydney
Corner Pitt and Market Streets, Sydney NSW 2000 Australia
+61 2 8064 7900