The celebrated restaurateur behind Estelle and Saint Crispin has a homey new project in one of Australia’s favourite markets.
Scott Pickett insists he’s not just about fine dining. “As much as I love the top-end dinner, there’s nothing better than walking away after spending $20 or $30 saying, ‘*!@#, that was tasty’,” he explains.
To that end, the chef behind Estelle Bistro, ESP and Saint Crispin is opening Pickett’s Deli and Rotisserie, a new, all-day diner and produce store at the Queen Victoria Market, which is due to open in five weeks.
Pickett has spent the past two years securing the site on the corner of Elizabeth and Therry Streets, a heritage-listed building redesigned by Hirsch Bedner Associates. The vibe he’s going for is French deli with a contemporary twist. There will be a six-metre-long communal table, and a floating marble island with chefs and baristas on one side, and seven diners on the other.
“We’ve spent over half a million, which is a bit more than I wanted for a little deli,” Pickett admits. “But it’s a long-term investment for me – I want to go down there with my grandkids in 20 years for a rotisserie sandwich or a dirty bratwurst around the corner.”
The centrepiece of the new venue will be an enormous French-made rotisserie, with room for 48 brined Milawa chooks. “I love ESP, don’t get me wrong. I built it because [it] is where I want to hang out and be creative and do 50 covers every night. But I’m not too proud to try to roast the perfect chicken,” Pickett says.