Sydney chef Danielle Alvarez has announced that she will be stepping down as head chef of Paddington restaurant Fred’s where she is embodying a vision of “simple and delicious food around the fire”.
US-born Alvarez developed the concept of a product-based restaurant “where friends and family can come together to celebrate life” with Merivale CEO Justin Hemmes as they sat around his kitchen table more than five years ago.
Fast Fred is best known for his wood-fired cuisine, served by linen-clad waiters in an intimate open-kitchen setting.
“Without a doubt, developing Fred with Justin … and then making it happen, has been the biggest and most fulfilling achievement of my professional career,” said Alvarez.
“It’s been an amazing journey watching the dream of feeding people this simple, delicious, high-quality food in beautiful surroundings surrounded by open fires come true.
“I am very proud of the place it is today, cemented in the communities of Paddington and Sydney.”
Alvarez will serve his final meal at Fred’s on May 15, saying he will “take time from the front lines to focus more on the creative aspects” of his career.
“As with all creation, there must come a time when the baton is handed over to the next person to lead a new chapter,” he said.
“I can’t wait to see how Fred continues to evolve.”
The restaurant’s main critic for Sydney Morning Herald Terry Durack describes Avarez’s cuisine as “calmly infusing the Chez Panisse ethos that is sustainable, local, seasonal and simple” by celebrating the ingredients and the immediate nature of fire, smoke and flame.
In Good Food Guide 2020, the restaurant was awarded two awards for its “stop show” dishes, including yellowfin tuna, grilled rare and served with miso-licked caramel eggplant as a “perfect example of that Alvarez flex”.