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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 18, 2019

Tim Watkins' parents needed a cooking course to learn how to use a microwave (which led to one Christmas turkey disaster) and he didn't eat broccoli or cauliflower until he was an adult.

So life in the restaurant world might not have been the most obvious career path. After a few detours (including a stint as a shoe salesman), he ended up serving diners at acclaimed restaurants such as Pilu at Freshwater. He got a reputation for singing "Happy Birthday" in Italian to guests and he would go on to win Sommelier of the Year in the Good Food Guide for his work at Automata.

We recorded this interview just before he started his new role at Black Market Sake (although we did use this as a good excuse to talk about breweries in Japan) and we also chat about the time he impersonated a Canadian Olympic athlete, went on a TV game show and witnessed quite a few forgeries. Oh and of course, we had to talk about that anti-organic-wines hashtag and his impressive collection of shorts.