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The Unbearable Lightness of Being Hungry

The Unbearable Lightness of Being Hungry: Lee Tran Lam quizzes chefs, critics, bar staff and other people from the world of food about their career highlights and lowlights, war stories and favourite places to eat and drink in Sydney.

Jun 29, 2019

Tokyo isn't the most obvious place to seek out pizza, but the wood-fired slices here are better than anything you'd find in Italy. That's what chef Luke Burgess believes – and it's a case he makes in Only In Tokyo, the new book he's co-authored with fellow chef (and Japan-o-phile) Michael Ryan. In the podcast, we really nerd out about Tokyo's best pizza spots (from the life-changing Savoy to new favourite Pizza Studio Tamaki, both photographed by Luke for the book).

We also talk about the book's other Tokyo highlights (from the city's best egg sandwich to a truly next-level kaiseki restaurant), as well as discoveries that aren't documented within its pages – from a four-seater noodle joint hidden behind a pastry shop to a Norwegian-inspired bakery in a traditional part of Tokyo. (The Japan talk begins at the 16:29 mark.)

We retrace Luke's fascinating career path, too: from his start at Tetsuya's, his time at Noma (where he bumped into Ben Greeno) and the launch of his memorable restaurant, Garagistes – along with the opening of MONA, it helped usher in a new wave of interest in Hobart. He talks about how he ended up buying $17,000 worth of lamb for the restaurant and why he closed Garagistes (despite being awarded Best New Talent by Gourmet Traveller). Outside of his guest chef appearances (he recently turned The Dolphin into a falafel joint), he's currently working on a Tasmanian farm – so he has good recommendations for dining in Hobart and beyond (to add to his extensive Tokyo-visiting suggestions)!

PS Shout-out to Trisha Greentree and the crew at 10 William St for letting us record this podcast upstairs at their ace wine bar.
PPS If you're keen for a signed, personalised copy of Only In Tokyo, check out Luke's online shop.