At The Bar with Chef Jacob Davey

Bird in Hand’s LVN Restaurant in Woodside – tucked in the picturesque Adelaide Hills is where you’ll find Executive Chef Jacob Davey. The South Australian native is in charge of the ever-changing seasonal menu where he uses native ingredients inspired by the three homes of Bird in Hand winery from Woodside (Peramangk), Finniss (Ngarrindjeri) and Tasmania (Paredareme).

Jacob Davey spoke to The Write Drop for our At The Bar series. He shares fond food memories in Chicago, a fave Adelaide bar and where he likes to order cocktails when in Sydney.

MY CITY

I live in Adelaide, South Australia, with my wife and two young kids. We were away for many years, and having come home we love it for the laidback lifestyle. As a chef I love for the close proximity to fantastic produce and producers.

FAVOURITE FOOD MEMORY

I dined at Alinea in Chicago in 2009. It was a super innovative restaurant and still is, the entire experience was phenomenal. Looking back, I think what made it unforgettable was that we went there before social media posting was a thing, so we didn’t really know what we were in for and it totally blew us away.

FAVOURITE BAR

Bar Peripheral in Adelaide. I usually drink whatever Vinny recommends, with a shot of Clase Azul on the side.

DRINK THAT DESCRIBES YOU

Classic Martini- I’m an uncomplicated guy.

BEST HANGOVER CURE

Two tablet of Hydralyte, 2 tablets. of Nuromol, double shot flat white and a bacon and egg sandwich. Followed by a swim, preferably the ocean.

BEST INTERSTATE BAR

Baxter Inn, Sydney – I love whiskey and they have a massive selection, so I would usually try something I haven’t tried before.

Maybe Sammy – the Martini cart, delicious Martini and great theatre.

FAVOURITE WINE

A bottle of 2011 Domaine Francois Raveneau Chablis- absolutely delicious.

FAVOURITE WINERY

Apart from Bird in Hand, I visited Alpha Box & Dice in the McLaren Vale last year and really enjoyed the vibe.

NEXT DESTINATION

I really want to go back to Japan, the food at every level is amazing, but I am very keen to check out French restaurant Sézanne – (just named Asia’s Best Restaurant in 2024).

TELL US ABOUT JOINING LVN RESTAURANT AND WHY IT APPEALED

It’s a dream come true to open a restaurant in such an amazing place. The first time I visited Bird in Hand I was blown away by the landscape and the gardens. With our menu we aim to make the most of what we grow on site in our kitchen garden, as well as use local native ingredients and expand on that with the best ingredients we can procure from the best growers, hunters, farmers and fishermen locally and throughout Australia.  We also showcase world-class wines produced by the wine makers here at the winery. The Nugent’s have given me the opportunity to execute my vision of the restaurant which is not something I have been to before.

WINES AND DISHES

When the wine team create a Bird in Hand wine it is always with food in mind, this philosophy gives me the freedom create dishes using a wide variety of local and indigenous ingredients that pair with the wines and allow both to shine. The fundamental approach to the drink list and wine parings at LVN is to showcase the best of what Bird in Hand has to offer. The restaurant team and I have worked closely with head winemaker Sarah Burvill to put together a thoughtfully curated wine selection reflecting the essence of Bird in Hand.

TAKE US THROUGH SOME GUEST FAVOURITE DISHES

We have a dish of Coorong Mullet, that is lightly salted and pickled dressed with cherry tomato conserva, fermented tomato, native pepper leaf, fig leaf oil and oregano flowers from the garden. – it’s a dish making use of a local undervalued fish, with native ingredients and fermented elements that all come together to create something really delicious.

Another is the roasted She Oak Ice-Cream, served with caramelised barley koji, grilled plum and green she oak oil. The She oak is a native tree that is prevalent in the three regions where Bird in Hand have vineyards, Woodside, Seymour and Finiss) and something that for me tied the three regions together. The She oak is also significant to the First Nations people as they would chew on the needles to supress thirst and also steep the seed pods in water to extract the Vitamin C and use it to ward of sickness. So, it was an ingredient that I wanted to make use of. We experimented a bit and landed on the ice-cream.

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