Todd Garratt, Vincent

Author: John Hannan
Photography: Alana Landsberry

What's Vincent all about, Todd?
It's about refined rusticity. We try to adhere to certain guidelines based around French ideas and classic pairings, though sometimes we venture into a more modern style. We might take a classic dish and put a spin on how we interpret the original by modifying the ingredients or, possibly, the technique.

Who are the French chefs you most admire?
Jean-Pierre Serex was perhaps the first great influence I had since starting my apprenticeship. I really admire many of the great French chefs and have followed their careers since my first visit to Europe in the late '80s. Alain Ducasse's La Riviera d'Alain Ducasse still takes pride of place on the bookshelf (first edition, of course) alongside Pierre Koffmann, Lenôtre and many others.

Are there any meals that burn particularly bright in your memory from your visits?
My favourite restaurant would be the original La Régalade in Paris when it was still under the guidance of Yves Camdeborde. It might have been a long time ago, but the experience is still fresh in my mind.

Is there French ingredient couldn't you live without in your work?
Butter. The quality of French butter is undoubtedly something that can markedly influence the end result, particularly in traditional French pastries.

Is there a French dish you like to cook when you're not working?
Steak tartare. I absolutely love it.

Vincent, 14 Queen St, Woollahra, NSW, (02) 8039 1500.

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