shiitake seven: Leigh McDivitt, head chef of 3 Weeds

For the next shiitake seven I spoke to Leigh McDivitt, head chef of the 3 Weeds Hotel in Rozelle. I really love eating at the gastropub and hopefully one day I can eat at the restaurant! Here’s my review of the food.

Leigh McDivitt, head chef of 3 Weeds.

Click through to see what inspires him and what he loves and hates about the industry.

In his own words:
I’m the head chef at the 3 Weeds in Rozelle. I run all the food elements of the pub from the fine dining restaurant to the gastro pub and functions. I was born out in Camden and lived out west most of my life. I love the country but now live in the city not too far from work.
I started my apprentice and finished it with the Merivale group way back in 1999.
I worked at Slip Inn, Restaurant CBD then it changed to Bistro CBD, Lotus, est, Pello, Northbridge Bistro and now at 3 Weeds.
What would you have as your last meal?
A David Blackmore dry aged wagyu, truffles, roasted eschalots, Jack Daniels jus, chips and a beer.
Do you watch Masterchef or My Kitchen Rules, and would you ever hire someone from the show?
Once a year maybe! In my opinion, going on a TV show for two to five weeks doesn’t make you a chef but it makes good entertainment. I want someone who is willing to commit to a four-year apprenticeship; someone who really wants to be a chef would start their apprenticeship, not go on a TV show. It’s totally different.
What do you love about cooking?
I love it because it is a form of expression, it’s creative and allows me to try new, exciting ideas. Also, in the last year we have turned our ‘feature’ garden in the pub into a herb/vegetable garden. This has really excited me as I am watching it grow and using produce straight from the ground.
What don’t you like about the industry?
It’s a tough industry, the hours are very long, five to six days and you are constantly in a high-pressure environment so it is often difficult to make a life outside the kitchen.
What is the dish you are most proud of creating?
It would be my signature coffee-spiced Comboyne wild venison with boudin noir chocolate gnocchi, Jerusalem artichoke and Madeira jus. The play on textures and flavours is amazing.
What’s your favourite restaurant?
Sepia and Marque at the moment
Who do you look up to as a chef?
There are so many, where to start, maybe Heston Blumenthal, Paul Liebrandt and of course, Marco Pierre White and many others.

The Restaurant at 3 Weeds on Urbanspoon


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