ROBERTA MUIR | Who's Your
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ROBERTA MUIR

Manager of Sydney Seafood School, author and restaurant reviewer
Roberta Muir has great taste – and she’s got a degree to prove it! With a Master of Arts in Gastronomy under her belt and a love of food and wine, Roberta has travelled across the globe tasting the world’s most decadent offerings. As an accomplished writer with several books to her name she still finds time to review restaurants for the Australian Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide and is the Manager of Sydney Seafood School. For advice on dining around the corner or in the world’s most delicious destinations, Roberta is our gourmet tour guide.

Home is?
Frenchs Forest on Sydney’s leafy North Shore

What do you do?
I manage Australia’s biggest, best and most beautiful cooking school – Sydney Seafood School at Sydney Fish Market. I also review restaurants, write freelance food and beverage news and write cookbooks: A Sardinian Cookbook with chef Giovanni Pilu (Penguin/Lantern, August 2012); Sydney Seafood School Cookbook (Penguin/Lantern, October 2012), 500 Cheeses (New Holland, 2011), Wild Weed Pie with chef Janni Kyritsis (Penguin/Lantern, 2006).

Did you grow up in a food-centric household?
Not really, I grew up with an Aussie meat-and-three-veg diet! In saying that my Mum’s food was always freshly made (nothing out of a packet) and Dad was a keen fisherman.

Which three food blogs do you follow?
Inside Cuisine – for Aussie news
Ruth Reichl – for the US and around the world
Spoon HQ – to stay across what’s happening in the UK

What’s been your most memorable dining experience to date?
The first meal I ever had at Rockpool in about 1995. I was blown away by the complexity yet purity of the flavours. I’ve been in love with Neil Perry’s goats’ cheese ravioli with burnt butter, pine nuts and sultanas ever since (not to mention the tea-smoked quail and that date tart!)

When sourcing food, what are the most important things?
Freshness and quality – If it’s not fresh or at its best change the menu and buy something else. I also like to use local ingredients where possible.

You have a great knowledge of the Sydney food scene. Who’s your go-to for…
- A cheap eat?  The Apollo in Potts Point – great Greek food that’s perfect for sharing with friends
- Best miso soup? Azuma in Chifley Plaza
- Great pub grub? The Four In Hand in Paddington…I’m not much of a carnivore, but if anyone can get me to eat pig, it’s Colin Fassnidge – he has a deft hand with seafood too!
- Fresh produce? Sydney Fish Market – fabulous fruit and veg shop, plus fishmongers, bread shop and deli all on one site
- Organic? Iku wholefoodsI could live on their rice balls, tofu fritters, millet balls and salad!
- Experimental cuisine? Alessandro Pavoni at Ormeggio at the Spit does wonderful avant-garde food – very experimental and modern but still firmly grounded in tradition.
- A romantic meal for two? Guillaume at Bennelongwe eat all over Sydney, but my husband and I are always drawn back here for a special night out

 

  • You’re a big foodie, who’s your favourite chef?
  • Mark Best. I love going to his restaurant Marque for the Friday prix fixe lunch special - $45 for a three-course market menu that changes weekly. I love the innovative cooking, serene dining room and smooth service there - It’s the best value lunch in Sydney! In fact, possibly the best lunch in Sydney, regardless of value!