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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.

Jan 1, 2016

Mike Eggert studied environmental science - a career path he returned to, in a way, when he cooked feral animals for a Pinbone/Young Henrys event for 2015's Good Food Month (an occasion that lead to a truly spectacular, poncho-staining food fight).

After detouring from his studies and becoming a chef, he went on to work at many acclaimed Sydney restaurants – such as Oscillate Wildly, Sepia, Duke Bistro (with Mitch Orr, who is his co-host on The Mitchen podcast) and Billy Kwong (which is where he met his future Pinbone co-head-chef Jemma Whiteman).

Along with Jemma and front-of-house ace, Berri Eggert (who is also Mike's sister), the trio gained a devout following with their Pinbone restaurant in Woollahra. In fact, when they announced the closure of its location in 2015, diners were willing to wait an hour and a half just to get in for the restaurant's famous brunch (and not just any diners - Quay's Peter Gilmore was spotted lining up on the footpath). Mike actually had trouble closing the fridges near the end, because they were so packed with prep and produce for the final weekends.

Pinbone also had a great rep for embracing dietary requirements, instead of grumbling about them behind diners' backs; and it also was responsible for the Instagram-ruling maple bacon and pumpkin tart, which began quite accidentally, but ended up on the cover of Gourmet Traveller.

Mike also talks about where Pinbone is currently at and the 2016 restaurant openings that he's most excited about.