Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Rooster One Day...

FIVE weeks ago everything seemed to be coming up roses for Sydney chef Tony Bilson-often referred to as the 'Godfather of Australian cuisine".
Ita Buttrose,Margaret Fulton & Bilson at his book launch.

At the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide launch and awards his Bilson's Restaurant at the Radisson Hotel in the heart of the city was awarded a prestigious Three Hats, the top award shared by just a few other establishments. Quay, a rival to Bilson's is regularly included in the world's top ten restaurants.

A week ago the 'godmother' of Australian cooking Margaret Fulton launched Tony's new book Insatiable-My Life In The Kitchen at the Radisson. First reports say the book has been flying off the shelves.

But on Friday the shutters came down on Bilson's as it was announced the top restaurant had gone into administration with debts of over a million dollars. Tony announced that he had failed to secure a promised rescue  packaged that may have saved his Circular Quay bar that closed it's doors a month ago and the Radisson Hotel restaurant.

The Radisson
Eighteen staff have been laid off while Tony tries to find them alternate positions with chefs like Tetsuya Wakuda. Bilson, who regularly hosted noted foodies like A.A Gill, Rick Stein, Jamie Oliver and Anthony Boudain when in town is said to be distraught. He's had his financial problems before but always triumphed and re-surfaced. Hopefully he will re-emerge in better located premises possibly in the Eastern Suburbs. While the Radisson is a beautiful old colonial sandstone building, it's location in the centre of the financial district may have been fine for daytime trade but evenings were desperately quiet.
Fabulous Understatements #1