“It was pretty crazy, actually,” says Clayton Wells about opening Momofuku Seiobo in 2011, but he could also be describing the incredible response to his solo restaurant Automata. Since Automata’s launch in late 2015, Clayton has been named Australia’s Hottest Chef by The Weekend Australian magazine, Time Out Sydney gave him their Chef of the Year award and Automata has been voted #9 restaurant in the Australian Financial Review’s Top 100 Restaurants list for the second year running.
And despite all his mega achievements, Clayton isn’t above peeling nine kilos of grapes because his chefs think the job is “too shitty” to undertake themselves.
Clayton talks about his path to opening Automata – which involved doing time at top restaurants such as Quay, Tetsuya’s, Noma
and being part of the star team that helped Momofuku Seiobo, David Chang’s first restaurant outside of New York, land three chef’s hats in the first year that it opened. (Launching Automata also involved doing battle with a 2.5 tonne bank vault, too.)
Clayton also covers what it’s like when the world’s most famous food critic steps into your restaurant and the chef also answers a hilarious bonus round of questions (involving Allen’s snakes and toilet paper), generously supplied by his award-winning sommelier Tim Watkins
. (Thanks Tim! And thanks to Automata’s Glenda Lau
for some of the intel for this podcast, too.)
You can listen to this episode on iTunes
or download it via RSS
. And thanks to everyone who has said super-kind things about this podcast or even dropped a nice review in the iTunes Store
– it makes all the bleary-eyed editing sessions worth it! Shout out to the guys at Room 10 for listening.
PS Look out for Clayton’s new restaurant, Blackwattle, opening in Singapore later this year.
Portrait of Clayton Wells by Nikki To.
, Clayton Wells