Local Chef Lindsey Schwab

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2016 is shaping up to be a stellar year for Fusion 7! With the restaurant that’s renowned for its stunning flavour combinations about to celebrate its 10th anniversary, to receive a coveted “hat” from the Australian Good Food Guide is yet another acknowledgement that this business is doing great things!

Hi Lindsay. Congratulations on your most recent award for Fusion 7. Tell us about the award and what it stands for…

Thanks. It’s always nice to get some recognition from an industry guide. The Australian Good Food Guide is an online publication, whose roots go back to 1977. It’s been solely online since 1999 and rewards the top echelon of the restaurant industry. Only 429 restaurants received “hat” ratings Australia wide, so it’s nice to think our little restaurant is serving some of the country’s finest fare.

How does it feel to be rewarded with this prestigious award after all the hard work and hours you put into the business?

Honestly, it’s great to receive an award like this. It’s not the main goal of the business, but to get acknowledgement that you are doing a great job from some industry allies is fantastic. A lot of blood, sweat and tears go into running a restaurant; there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes activity, which a lot of people don’t know about. As we are approaching our 10th birthday, this is our first award like this – so we must be getting better! In saying that, seeing people dining out with smiles on their faces and having a good time is more satisfying.

What were the main components that made up the overall score; do you know what you were judged on?

The judging is all done anonymously by inspectors appointed by the AGFG. The general public can also voice their opinion, which does have some bearing on the results. “Hats” are awarded solely for food, which is scored on taste, appearance, menu composition and value for money, so our food must have impressed!

What does this award now mean for Fusion 7?

We are all very excited about receiving this accolade. I guess people will be coming to the restaurant with high expectations now, and we believe the consistency with our level of food and service is what has kept people coming back, so … “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Obviously you can’t always please everyone, but we try to put smiles on people’s faces.

Heading in to autumn, will you be changing your menu? Tell us about some of the dishes …

After the bounty of spring and summer, people think autumn foods are a bit tough to deal with, but there is some great stuff coming into season. Pears, figs, quince, wild mushrooms … Need I say more! Our menu evolves as new produce becomes available. Spur of the moment inspiration often happens when we create dishes, so even we don’t know what’s going to be on the menu next.

What is it about Fusion 7 that makes it stand out from other restaurants?

I think when people go out for dinner they want to try something they wouldn’t make for themselves at home. I believe we tick that box. We have a pretty loyal local customer base now, and most of them trust that we are going to deliver them a meal with innovative flavour combinations that may sound uncommon, but actually work.

What plans do you have for the next  6 months with the restaurant?

Valentine’s Day is looming fast and booking up fast, so we are getting together our two or three course menu. It’s nice that it falls on a Sunday this year – it will be very chilled.

We have a “research” holiday coming up at the end of February. Frea, Henry and I are off to Singapore for some food adventures – and probably plenty of pool time too. With Easter not too far off then school holidays after that, hopefully we will continue to be busy for the next few months. Another holiday will most likely be due after that! And we have our 10 year anniversary at the end of April.

You have a night coming up that you are putting on with Black Duck Brewery. Can you tell our readers about this and how they can secure their table?

Yes, we are collaborating with the fantastic local Black Duck Brewery for the first time to create a food and beer matching dinner. We are tasting some of Al and his team’s brews at the moment and lining them up with some tasty morsels. It’s great to work with some other local businesses to see what we can come up with. The dinner will be held on Thursday 10th March at Fusion 7. If you would like to book, just call us on 6584 1171. Seating is limited, so get in quick.

Thanks Lindsay. Well done; we look forward to seeing what’s in store for Fusion 7 in the future.

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