Jul 18, 2017
“It was pretty crazy, actually,” says Clayton Wells about
opening Momofuku Seiobo, but he could also be describing the
incredible response to his solo restaurant Automata. Since
Automata’s launch in late 2015, Clayton has been named Australia’s
Hottest Chef by The Weekend Australian magazine, Time Out Sydney
gave him their Chef of the Year award and Automata has been voted
#9 restaurant in the Australian Financial Review’s Top 100
Restaurants list for the second year running.
Oh and the most important food critic in the world, Pete
Wells, also held up Automata as a restaurant worthy of global
recognition in The New York Times.
And despite all his mega achievements, Clayton isn’t above
peeling nine kilos of grapes because his chefs think the job is
“too shitty” to undertake themselves.
Clayton talks about his path to opening Automata – which
involved doing time at top restaurants such as Quay, Tetsuya’s,
Noma and being part of the star team that helped Momofuku Seiobo,
David Chang’s first restaurant outside of New York, land three
chef’s hats in the first year that it opened. (Launching Automata
also involved doing battle with a 2.5 tonne bank vault,
Clayton also covers what it’s like when the world’s most
famous food critic steps into your restaurant and the chef also
answers a hilarious bonus round of questions (involving Allen’s
snakes and toilet paper), generously supplied by his award-winning
sommelier Tim Watkins. (Thanks Tim! And thanks to Automata’s Glenda
Lau with some of the intel for this podcast, too.)
PS Look out for Clayton’s new restaurant, Blackwattle, opening in
Singapore later this year.