How Melbourne’s restaurants came to life

On a personal level, it also gave him a project to occupy his mind. “I would spend all day in the kitchen preparing and cooking, and after that the bright spark of my day was working on other projects,” he recalls.

“The first was Longrain, where I got absorbed in Thai cooking – I read and spent time with the team there, learning a new style of food.

And by December, Pickett had further expanded its portfolio, with the opening of Chancery Lane, a European bistro located at the top of the CBD.

Chancery Lane, a European bistro at the top of the CBD.Credit:Tania Bahr Vollrath.

“2020 has brought everything I do back to basics and made me think about what a restaurant really is,” he says.

“I guess that was the foundation for Chancery Lane. I wanted this to be a place for everyone; I wanted to focus on simpler, tastier dishes, and I was also not up to date with the trends.

And as he expanded his own repertoire and portfolio, he rejoiced to see others in the industry take on the challenges of the past year.

“There are also some really nice little things to be learned: there are a few small restaurants popping up, and there are good opportunities for young chefs,” he says.

“I think the adaptability and ingenuity of the cooks has really come to the fore. It’s inspiring to see so many creatives think outside the box. “

Cider chicken, apple, onion, calvados at Chancery Lane.

Cider chicken, apple, onion, calvados at Chancery Lane.Credit:Tania Bahr-Vollrath.

More in Melbourne this month

Farmer daughters

Taking the ‘buy local’ trend of 2020 to a whole new level, this three-tier food destination brings produce straight from Gippsland, which has long been Melbourne’s crucial food bowl.

Greta Melbourne

For delicious sandwiches, you can’t beat Melbourne’s newest European wine and food bar, the Greta. Think: crunchy baguettes, premium meats, gooey cheese and heavenly sauces.


Reversing the reputation of Italian cuisine focused on carbohydrates and meat, BIO by DOC offers plant-based and gluten-free Italian dishes for anyone who wants flavor without the food coma.

Discover the best of Melrboune at

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