Legendary chef Peter Doyle was one of Australia’s very first “hatted” chefs. The culinary veteran earned the accolade while leading his debut restaurant Reflections at Palm Beach, decades before he was to take the reigns at Merivale’s flagship fine-dining restaurant est. in 2003. Since then, Doyle has earned an outstanding reputation as one of the country’s most influential and awarded chefs, but in 2018 he will officially retire from the kitchen he has run for the past 15 years to help the juggernaut hospitality group launch a new internal chef apprenticeship school.
Regulars are est. will surely be sad to see Doyle go, but the impending retirement has also given rise to a “best of” menu which is currently running at the restaurant. This will be offered to guests allowing them to experience the dishes that have defined Doyle’s 44-year career, spanning iconic dishes like the pan fried john dory fillet with grilled scallops, spinach, carrot juice and sauternes emulsion; and the juniper crusted venison saddle with beetroot, boudin noir, chestnuts, and cocoa paper.
This menu will be served up until 2nd June and will also feature a wine list matched to the decades of Doyle’s years in restaurants.
“I’ve been teaching people ever since I started, for the last 40 years, so this really did feel like the right evolution”, said Doyle on his switch from the kitchen to Merivale’s forthcoming school which will launch in January 2019. “I don’t want to step away completely. This is going to be face-to-face and hands on, I’m really excited to get in front of a class and teach these kids the skills that have now become so instinctual”.
The reigns of the est. kitchen will pass along to current Head Chef Jacob Davey, who has worked closely alongside Doyle for the past three years. This will occur at the start of June, followed closely by a menu refresh in July.
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Feature image: Merivale