INTRODUCING FRED’S AND CHARLIE PARKER’S
Fred’s and Charlie’s Parkers, Merivale’s highly-anticipated Paddington venues, officially open tomorrow, Tuesday 25 October, on Sydney’s Oxford Street. Led by an impressive line-up of hospitality talent including Head Chef Danielle Alvarez and cocktail duo Sam Egerton and Toby Marshall, the restaurant and bar are shaped by a unifying philosophy that honours the story behind ingredients and elevates produce using both old-world and innovative techniques.
After honing her cooking skills under the tutelage of Alice Waters – owner of famous Californian restaurant Chez Panisse and mother of the farm to table food movement – Alvarez is bringing her venerable food philosophy to the 60-seater Paddington restaurant, Fred’s. With a passion for sustainability, Alvarez has spent the last year assembling a team of like-minded chefs and carefully curating a list of local farmers – fruit, vegetable, dairy, poultry, fish and meat – who will provide the bulk of Fred’s ethically produced and all-natural fare. Then, from what is available at any given time (be it weekly or daily), Alvarez will craft the menu designed to showcase the integrity of the freshest ingredients - think handmade cavatelli with rabbit and peas’, leg of lamb “a la ficelle” with laver bread, broad beans and mint; or rhubarb and beaumes de venise mille feuille.
Adding to the natural essence of Fred’s, Alvarez and her team will cook on free standing Tuscan grills and a large, custom-made hearth. Alvarez said: “Cooking with fire is first and foremost about flavour, but I also love using it because I think working with an open flame makes you a better chef. You have to use all of your senses”.
Alvarez’s thoughtfulness behind cooking with fire mirrors Fred’s overarching ethos – nothing is by accident and everything has a purpose. The produce is chosen very carefully, as is the handmade crockery on the table and art on the walls. The 120-strong wine list by Head Sommelier Caitlyn Rees will focus on small-batch wines and feature an extensive ‘wine by the glass’ list that changes daily based on Danielle’s menu. Everything at Fred’s aims to connect the guest to the chef or farmer, artist or earth, or even simply to the people around them.
Alvarez said: “I don’t think we communicate with each other as well as we used to, but I like to use food as a way to counteract that. We’ll be working from an open kitchen and I hope that people will feel comfortable coming and saying hello. The way you cook for your friends and family, with so much love and thought behind it, that’s what I want people to feel like at Fred’s; that they’ve come to our house and have been taken really good care of”.
The basement of Fred’s is home to Charlie Parker’s, a local bar with stunning interiors and produce-driven cocktails that echo Alvarez’s focus on enhancing quality ingredients. Marshall and Egerton, both Palmer & Co. alumni, have created an impressive drinks list inspired by botany, exploring new flavours with a top to tail approach behind the bar.
Sam Egerton said: “Danielle’s cooking is of the highest integrity. It minimises the degree of separation between the producer and consumer, with the added dimension of ingesting a story about where the ingredients have come from. That’s the same philosophy we want to have at Charlie Parker’s, executing an innovative yet honest beverage program not usually seen in your neighbourhood bar”.
Much of the magic is done back of house, outside of service. Every element of the drink has been pulled apart, dissected and executed in the best possible fashion, elevating the experience. Alvarez has also created a bar menu to complement the drinks including Willowbrae feta with grapes and pickled chilies baked on lemon leaves; Jerusalem artichoke, green garlic and a daily changing flatbread, Grilled Piccolo Farm quail wrapped in pancetta and burnt caramel ice cream with Goslings Rum.
Both venues have been created by a design team including Justin and Bettina Hemmes, Vince Alafaci and Caroline Chocker of ACME & Co., and stylist Amanda Talbot. Inspired by a French bastide, Fred’s is designed to feel as if it is an extension of the home - intimate, personal and centred around Alvarez’s open kitchen. The interior is pared back and understated, with a palette of rich browns, dusty pinks and petrol blues, softened further by the existing lime walls. Galvanised steel windows and old French oak timbers reveal inspiration from the sophisticated rawness of a Provincial bastide, while an atrium lets natural light permeate through the dining room and down to Charlie Parker’s. Downstairs, the cocktail bar is intimate and soulful, with a rich sense of history. Washed-green peeling walls and old-world joinery contrast against the grittiness of the old bricks and exposed sandstone.
Fred’s and Charlie Parker’s follow Merivale’s first Oxford Street property, The Paddington, which opened in November last year. Helmed by brilliant Executive Chef Ben Greeno, The Paddington serves Sydney’s finest rotisserie meats, fish and vegetables, and boasts a sumptuous cocktail bar with drinks crafted by Egerton and Marshall. Greeno will soon open a chicken shop in the small shopfront between Fred’s and The Paddington, completing Merivale’s dining precinct on the iconic historic inner-Sydney strip.
Melbourne Cup at Fred’s: Fred’s will be open for Melbourne Cup Lunch, $150 for a three course meal and a glass of Veuve Clicquot. Bookings available.
Fred’s and Charlie Parker’s
380 Oxford Street, Paddington
Ph: 02 9240 3000
Fred’s Open Hours:
Lunch - Friday-Sunday: 12pm-3pm
Dinner - Tuesday-Saturday: 5.30pm-12am; Sunday: 5.30pm-10pm
Charlie Parker’s Open Hours:
Tuesday – Thursday: 5pm-12am
Friday - Saturday: 3pm -12am