As a fairly recent resident of the Sutherland Shire – 10 years is not long enough to claim local status – I have watched the food scene here evolve with a keen if not obsessive interest. As a food and travel writer, it’s all in the line of duty for me to keep up with what’s hot, what’s not, what’s on-trend, represents good value, is great for a first date, fancy nosh-up or family dinner. Having Italian heritage also makes me a bonafide food snob; I would prefer to cook at home rather than fork out for something under par.
Since moving here a decade ago, I’m now more than happy to say I’ve been made to eat my words about my initial assessment of the area’s food scene. While there will always be eateries that are not up to scratch and, sadly, are bowled down like skittles, there is now a plethora of places that have raised the bar, shaken and stirred things up for the better.
It’s my local knowledge coupled with my experience as a writer that led the Sutherland Shire Council to invite me to present a talk to local gastronauts at Cronulla Library about the ever-evolving food scene in Sydney’s south.
It was with great pleasure that I spent an hour waxing enthusiastic about the excellent places and spaces that have sprouted like alfalfa around Sydney’s south for the past decade. I’ve recently decided to do as so many of you have requested and share my insider knowledge and local secrets on my blog and website, where you will also find links to food and travel stories published in national and international publications.
As well as being constantly quizzed on where to go for a drink, cup of coffee, slice of pizza, Indian or Italian feed, both friends and strangers are also keen to share their secrets and inform me of their favourite cafe, butcher, baker or suburban gem.
I’m also intent on casting a wider net beyond postcode 2230 to celebrate those hidden hot spots in the city and surrounding suburbs, and welcome your ideas. Please sign up if you’d like to receive new posts and links to the latest articles on my website or like my Facebook page to receive regular updates about food events and hot spots.
To whet the appetite, I’ve included a link to a story I wrote for Good Food that was published in February 2014. Since that time, there has been an implosion of new and exciting places to eat and drink and I look forward to sharing them with you.
In this first post, I’d like to just make mention of The Good Cafe Guide’s 2014 Local Hero, Richard Calabro, of Grind Espresso. Clearly, this cult cafe is not a local secret. In fact, it’s known all over Sydney. But no guide to Cronulla or Sydney’s south would be complete without mentioning Rich, who really was one of the region’s original game-changers.
What began as a hole-in-the-wall on the Kingsway has morphed into an institution and I have enjoyed watching Grind evolve from a cupboard-sized space into the warm, convivial laneway cafe it is today. Richard is in the process of curating tours to Costa Rica for coffee geeks to learn about sourcing the prized bean in situ.
This article was written by Carla Grossetti and it was first published on her blog.