IN CONVERSATION WITH: NOMAD, SURRY HILLS
Looking for a sustainably conscious restaurant that uses quality local produce, talks to the farmers direct and supports and embraces the Australian wine industry? Then look no further. NOMAD Restaurant, takes pride of place in the uber cool design district of Surry Hills Sydney. A regular haunt that is close to the heart of the TLSE brood.
Known and loved for its extraordinary food and wine offerings, NOMAD prides itself on showcasing the best of Australian produce as well as working consciously to minimise their environmental impact.
Their menu, a heady mix of Mediterranean flavours of plates designed that you can share, embraces a yearning for authentic Australian ingredients. Produce that is sourced as close as possible to it's Surry Hills dwelling to reduce the carbon footprint, further upholding their commitment to the ethical approach of their paddock to the plate philosophy. The NOMAD ethos is such that they aim to not waste any part of the animal, using ethically raised animals they take their ethos seriously and follow it through with conviction.
NOMAD ensures that everything is as sustainable as possible.
We recently spoke to the charismatic duo behind NOMAD, Al and Rebecca, to find out more about their ethos, food philosophy and the sustainability initiatives they stand by.
Rebecca; Photo supplied.
[T]: Your restaurant has received excellent reviews. How do you maintain running such a successful business whilst juggling a family?
[N]: We hire amazing staff and, being a systems guru, I've created and implemented systems that help to streamline the restaurant’s operations. “The system” as I'm fond of saying, “is the solution.”
The food waste movement is featured on your website. What is your involvement in this movement and why is it so important to not only you but your brand?
Sustainability is a key part of the NOMAD ethos. We aim to reduce food waste and general waste going to land fill to zero; we are 70% of the way there, and having a 2 year old son, and a 5 week old daughter helps to crystallise why it is so important that we move to a sustainable way of living, not just a sustainable way of doing business.
Your team of chefs work with the best local produce with producers from around NSW and Australia. How do you ensure you’ve got only the best local produce? And how do you source it?
Having a direct line of contact with a farmer or producer is really important to us. For Jacqui (our head chef) being able to call Matt at Melanda Park and say that our pigs are too fatty, not fatty enough, too big or too small plays a crucial role in how we control the product we put out. Being able to put a face to a producer helps our team, both front and back of house, to connect with the product we are creating and selling. It’s all about working with the right people, establishing great relationships, building trust and working together to create a great product.
What are the values of NOMAD’s food philosophy?
Generosity, simplicity, sustainability, quality and flavour. We aim to be hands on from the ground up in order to create a product that is unique to NOMAD. It's all about sourcing the best produce possible to create Mediterranean inspired dishes that people love to share with a bottle of delicious Australian wine.
Your restaurant only uses recycled paper products. How does the restaurant’s sustainability projects appeal to your customers? And what is the response from the public like?
Our customers love it. Any business worth its salt, not just restaurant businesses, must have a sustainability ethos today. It is by far one of the most rewarding and satisfying aspects of running NOMAD.
Last year you won Australia’s 2017 wine list of the year award; what goes on behind the scenes to accomplish such an achievement?
An incredible amount of tasting (different from drinking!). This includes hosting wine reps on site regularly, attending trade tasting days and physically travelling to wine regions to meet winemakers. Our focus on Australian wines means that we have to be constantly in touch with the latest trends in the Australian wine world.
Describe the NOMAD customer?
The NOMAD customer loves food, loves to know where their food is being sourced, loves the energy and buzz of a busy restaurant, and loves to share!
Surry Hills is a competitive suburb for dining with many popular restaurants. How do you keep up with all the other competition?
By offering deliciousness and consistency!
Hungry? Do good whilst you eat good.
Visit Nomad at 16 Foster Street, Surry Hills, Sydney.
Photography supplied by NOMAD
Interviewed by Rhiannon Lewin, TLSE Content Creator