Lennox Hastie has an obsession with fire, setting this venue apart from the rest! “Fire can be very addictive,” he says , “it’s a very primal element that’s instinctively human.”
Hungerford Hill is excited to be partnering with Lennox at one of the most unique restaurant concepts – Firedoor Sydney, Australia’s first and only fire-powered restaurant.
Don’t miss out BOOK NOW – we only have 35 seats at this terrific lunch opportunity !
Under the guidance of asado expert (aka. grilling genius) Victor Arguinzoniz, Lennox spent five years mastering the art of cooking with wood, flame, embers, ash and smoke.
In 2011, Lennox left Spain and joined forces with the Fink Group, who is behind some of Sydney’s top restaurants, including OTTO, Bennelong and Quay. As a consultant, he experimented with the unique flavour profiles of Australian woods with the ambition to open Australia’s first and only fire-powered restaurant. This concept came to fruition in 2015, when Firedoor lit its grills in a circa-1911 heritage building in Surry Hills, Sydney. Here, these Australian woods are key ingredients, and playing with fire is encouraged.
Wood is central , with different woods selected for their specific properties and carefully paired with ingredients to enhance flavours. Expect wood such as ironbark, malee, apple, orange, grapvines and aged wine barrels to be making an appearance in the kitchen.
It was a bit of a leap of faith. We hadn’t done it in Spain, and I wasn’t sure it would work. But I thought, if you really believe in something, you’ve just got to go with it. So I decided to take the leap of faith, and I did it.
For a start, the first thing a chef does when they get into the kitchen is light a fire. So they have to learn to light a fire, and understand the harmony of heat. Even different seasons can make a difference to how the wood burns, as well as where the wood is coming from and how long it has been seasoned/aged – they all play a part in how we operate [at Firedoor], because of the fundamental role that wood-burning plays.
I’ve been working as a chef for over 20 years, after a while you sort of see and feel an ingredient, and combinations come to mind. But it’s best to keep it simple – essentially you’ve got nothing over-complicated, and it’s all about the freshness of that ingredient, that immediacy and that respect for that ingredient you have.
Our vegetarian menu is not one of those things that we print – we literally design it on the spot. So we put something together that’s a good representation of cooking styles, but also with the produce that we have available.
It’s partially my story about how fire came into my life. I didn’t come from a traditional culture of cooking with fire, so my skills are something that I have developed and that has evolved. More importantly, it’s also practical information. I found there’s fairly good information [available] about barbecue and smoking, but there’s fairly limited information on how to cook with fire and what that means.