Chef Robert Lechowicz has left behind the Michelin-starred restaurants where he trained in Europe to headline at Blackwood Pantry in beachside Cronulla. The 28-year-old’s food is French in technique, and “fuss free” mod Oz in its approach.
The Pantry is discreetly located down a laneway. The thrill of culinary discovery in an unexpected place is never to be underestimated in Sydney.
Robert joined forces with friends Daniel Sorridimi and Paul Pisani – all three are from the Sydney’s southern Sutherland Shire. The trio are giving day-trippers and travellers another reason to visit the coastal burb.
If you’re visiting Sydney, Bondi Beach is still the go-to place for hip food and hip attitude. But Cronulla, popular with surfers, 33km south of Bondi, is shrugging off its controversial bogan past. It was only a matter of time before people started looking for the Next Big Thing. Quality bars, restaurants, cult cafes and artisan bakeries are shaking things up in the Nulla. Blackwood Pantry is the latest cool addition.
Robert worked as chef de partie at Chateau Cordeillan Bages, Pauillac-France; as sous chef at L’Abeille, Shangri-La Paris; and executive sous chef at the Greenhouse in London, which all share two-Michelin-star status.
Since opening up in January under the Breeze Apartments complex, Blackwood Pantry has been getting kudos on Instagram with dishes such as the fresh basil yoghurt dotted with fig, strawberry and candied pistachio or Turkish poached eggs.
“Blackwood Pantry is about staying true to my heart,” says Robert. “My vision is to create food that is light and seasonal and present it in a relaxed, informal space where people feel comfortable to dust the sand from their feet after a day at the beach and come in and enjoy food they want to eat at an affordable price.”
The new laneway eatery was named after nearby Blackwood’s Beach. “We were halfway through the build and it was a hot day, so we went down to Blackwood’s for a swim and I had an epiphany. ‘Blackwood’s is our favourite local beach. Let’s name it Blackwood Pantry.’ It is the perfect fit because just like Blackwood’s we are a bit of a local’s secret and hidden away from view,” says Daniel Sorridimi.
Sorry guys, but you’re clearly not a secret any more.
Sydney architecture and interior design firm Luchetti Krelle created the achingly beautiful interior, which includes key design features such as concrete floors with a custom inlay that references the hexagonal shape of the seawall at nearby Elouera Beach, ceramic pendant lights, and a corrugated waiter’s station. Designer Patrick Laurence says as well as referencing the seawall, the interior picks up on softer colours that you see at the beach at different times of day.
Ex-Brewtown Newtown barista Sam Cornish has also joined the team.
- Blackwood Pantry is open from 6.30am – 4pm weekdays and 7am – 4pm weekends
- Plans to open for dinner
- 5/33 Surf Lane, Cronulla
- No Reservations (hear that, Tony Bourdain?)