Joshua Niland chef & owner of Saint Peter in Paddington
It’s no surprise that the Gourmet traveller has awarded Joshua Niland with this year’s best new talent award. This young 28 year old chef has a truly revolutionary vision when it comes to cooking fish, and is leading the way in a growing movement towards sustainable cooking.
We sat down with Joshua at his successful restaurant “Saint Peter” in Paddington to discuss his vision, inspiration and the future of cooking.
“The Fish is the Star” at Saint Peter
What was your vision for Saint Peter?
I wanted to cook with predominantly Australian seafood and to give people a new dining experience by cooking with fish that are perhaps less commonly used. My aim was to keep things very simple, with no fuss. Here the fish is the star, hence the minimal surroundings and barebones design for the restaurant. What you can expect at Saint Peter is a simply prepared premium quality fish, with a fantastic vegetable and a little quirk.
Joshua Niland’s Instagram
How would you describe your cooking style?
I’d describe my cooking style as "Nose to Scale". We take a whole fish and we create a recipe for every single part of it from the bones to liver and even the eyeballs, in fact we have eyeball chips on the menu at the moment and people love them! We are not doing this in order to show off silly methods but striving to make by-products so that there is zero waste.
Nose to Scale - cooking with no waste
What inspires you?
My inspiration always changes, at the moment it's a message I receive each morning from our fish buyer down at the markets, it helps me to jump out of bed instead of roll out! Tony sends me a text every morning and that’s how I write my menu every day. I never know what I will be cooking and that’s exciting.
A daily ever-changing menu
The menu is never the same, it keeps things interesting not only for the team but also for our customers who won’t be having the same meal twice if they come back a week later.
What are your thoughts on sourcing and sustainability?
Sustainability comes in a lot of different forms and it’s a term that gets thrown around a lot with a lot of grey areas… we do have a sustainable approach, for starters by not throwing things in the bin. A huge part of Saint Peter is minimising waste, it’s especially relevant in 2017, it has to be of paramount importance.
Wollongong Mirror Dory
When we source we use fisherman that line catch their fish which is an added expense but it’s worth it, not only environmentally speaking, but line catching gives us the best possible fish… and thirdly by steering away from the commonly used fish around town, minimising Snappers, Barramundis… I do love cooking those fish but we have to be conscious that we can’t have those fish on a menu every single night, that’s why a restaurant in 2017 has to have a menu that changes every day. If you don’t change your menu it's unsustainable and static, whereas this is a negotiable menu and it allows us to be sustainable whilst still giving people the best quality fish that we can source.
Saint Peter - 362 Oxford St, Paddington, NSW