Odd Culture Group has named the new head chef taking over from Anna Ugarte-Carral at The Old Fitzroy Hotel in Woolloomooloo.
Toby Stansfield, who has held head chef positions at Sydney restaurants Yellow, Monopole, and most recently Fabricca, is taking over from Ugarte-Carral from tomorrow.
Odd Culture Group says The Old Fitz has become a breeding ground of incredible talent and a venue for young chefs to really establish themselves.
Stansfield brings extensive experience at top Sydney restaurants to usher in a new chapter for The Old Fitz which has a one-hatted brasserie and theatre all rolled into one.
“We see the Old Fitz as our “no rules” kitchen, for young, up-and-coming chefs who have something to say through food,” James Thorpe, CEO of Odd Culture Group said.
“Every iteration of the Fitz kitchen has been radically different, which we think is what makes the pub so beautiful and interesting. The venue’s identity changes as it takes on the character of the person behind the pans and in 2022 it’s time for something completely different.”
Toby Stansfield said, “I love the charm of The Old Fitz and its welcoming atmosphere that draws you in for a beer, trivia and a great feed.
“I have a mixed bag of experience and I’m excited to get creative and draw on it in lots of different ways. The Old Fitz is always a good time and I want to make really approachable and fun food that reflects this.”
For the newly named Bistro Fitz (previously Brasserie Fitz), Stansfield has designed a “refined but fun and flirty” bistro menu. Stansfield will be playing with all-time favourites making them unique in his own way and exploring diverse flavours and techniques from across the globe including Australia, Europe and Asia.
The opening menu will feature dishes like ‘insalata di maré (seafood salad), mussels, octopus, fine herbs, black garlic and ancho chilli’, hand-made ‘semolina trofie with pine nut pesto, pangrattato and pecorino’, a delicate ‘beetroot tarte tatin with holy goat fromage frais’, ‘coal roasted spatchcock, chipotle, pickled cucumber, parsley and cracked wheat salad’ and ‘grilled glazed King brown mushrooms, wild rice and sunflower seeds’.
The pub menu downstairs has been designed to be approachable and snacky and pair well with everything from an ice-cold schooner of Reschs to a classic negroni. Think ‘oysters with whisky and pickle mignonette’, ‘saucisson sec with chilli honey’, ‘steak frites with Diane sauce or mustards’, and ‘fries with yuzu mayo’.
Stansfield also has an affinity for nostalgic Australian classics that evoke fond food memories from bygone years and guests can expect to see them popping up from menu to menu – think creative plays on rooster rolls, fairy bread, vanilla slices and orange and poppy seed cakes.
Ugarte-Carral said, “I’ve loved my time at this pub so much, being able to express myself authentically through the food, and becoming part of the community.
“I’m looking forward to taking some time to reset after a big couple of years and heading overseas to finally do a few months of interning in different kitchens after having to postpone so many times.”
Odd Culture Group aims to push the food and drink boundaries, throwing out the rule book of what a traditional pub stands for to create unique F&B offerings and experiences in a pub setting.
To commemorate Stansfield’s first official weekend in the kitchen, The Old Fitz will be celebrating with a Fanta Negroni fountain to rival the famous Kings Cross fountain nearby from Friday 24 June-Sunday 26 June.
The group says it has multiple new projects on the horizon for this year to be announced soon.