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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.

Apr 17, 2017

A cocktail inspired by Charles Dickens? Or experimental beverages that include Weet Bix milk or charred Jerusalem artichoke? These are just some examples of Phil Gandevia's highly inventive work – he's an award-winning bartender who modestly describes himself as “the bar guy” at Bentley, but there's no other person I would trust to include wasabi vinegar and olive brine in a drink and actually make it delicious.

You might've spotted him behind the bar at Rambutan, Eau de Vie, The Roosevelt and The Apothecary – where he concocted superfoods cocktails that even a skeptical Ned Brooks (DRNKS, Moon Park) approved of.
And for someone who has thoroughly mastered booze, Phil has also applied his imagination and years of cocktail-savvy intel to a brilliant non-alcoholic menu at Bentley that is one of the best drinking experiences in Sydney: expect a smoked apple and verjus that you'll want to down “shots” of, a frothy wattleseed and West Indian spice buttermilk that's as good as the desserts it's paired with and a "wine" that he's cleverly made out of beetroot. We also cover some of the other Sydney restaurants offering intriguing booze-free matches, like Momofuku Seiobo and Quay.
Phil also talks about the many places his bartending career has taken him – from Scotland to Japan and competition battles where he's witnessed knockout cocktail-making performances (like Tim Philips creating magic with an egg while dressed in a  Day of the Dead costume). Donald Trump also makes a surprising cameo in this conversation.
Plus, how to make tomato water, next-level tea, pyrotechnic cocktails and we highlight Pyrmont's greatest hits (which include Clementine's cafe and Momofuku Seiobo's front-of-house ace, Kylie Javier Ashton).