The Unbearable Lightness of Being Hungry | A Sydney Food Blog

New podcast – Sarah Doyle, Bodega, Porteno, Continental Deli Bar Bistro

November 12th, 2017  |  Published in Latest, Podcasts

Sarah Doyle has played a pivotal role in Sydney’s hospitality scene. But there was a time she worked three jobs just to help keep Bodega running. It was the first restaurant she opened with husband and chef Elvis Abrahanowicz, fellow co-owner and chef Ben Milgate and their business partner/sommelier Joe Valore. And it was a game-changer – its fun, punk, loud focus on good food and good times was a contrast to the mannered French fine-dining scene that was reigning in Sydney hospitality at the time. But the queues came – and the team decided to follow this up with Porteno.

“I think you’re really going to struggle here,” a customer told them. And when they found themselves short of money to buy cheesy sauce at Harry’s Cafe de Wheels, they wondered if they’d made a dangerous gamble. “What have we done?” Sarah wondered. “We’ve put everything into this.”

But a rave review by Terry Durack in The Sydney Morning Herald led to Porteno’s blockbuster following – which has sparked more venues for the team: Bodega 1904 at the Tramsheds, Porteno splitting into a special events venue and a stand-alone restaurant, Wyno, the wine bar next to Porteno, and Continental Deli Bar Bistro, which is known for its canned treats – like the Mar-tinnie cocktail and Neopoli-tin gelato. Then there are the other businesses they’ve helped back – like Luke Powell’s LP’s Quality Meats, Jake Smyth and Kenny Graham’s Mary’s and Ibrahim Kasif’s Stanbuli.

Sarah has many fantastic stories from her 11 years in hospitality – from her early days working at Australia’s Wonderland to her amazing ability to land the mid-century Marie-Louise salon site for Stanbuli and her career highlight of seeing one of her idols dine at Porteno.

Plus, she shares her unique perspective of being a long-time vegetarian who works in restaurants famous for their meat dishes, her unlikely career path to becoming a well-known figure within hospitality and where she likes to eat and drink in Sydney.

You can listen to this episode on iTunes or download it via RSS or directly. You can even find it on Stitcher nowadays. And thanks to everyone who has dropped nice reviews or comments in the iTunes Store (aka Apple Podcasts) or just spread the word about this podcast – it means a hell of a lot.

Also, big thanks to Gourmet Traveller for letting me write about the high-five moments, recording fails and total LOLs that have taken place in the five years I’ve been making this podcast.

PS Look out for Continental’s cameo at the Newtown Locals Aussie barbecue at Newtown Festival this Sunday November 12.

PPS Check out this archived Time Out cover featuring Sarah Doyle, as shot by friend of the pod, Daniel Boud.

Photography courtesy of Bodega, Continental Deli Bar Bistro, Hollie Adams, Katherine Griffiths/City of Sydney. Stanbuli photo by Will Reichelt.

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About

Hi, I'm Lee Tran Lam. When not blogging with my mouth full, I'm usually writing, presenting Local Fidelity on FBi radio, making zines, producing podcasts or continually breaking promises about how I really am gonna get through my book pile one day.

All the good pictures on this blog are by photography ace (and patient boyfriend), Will Reichelt, (all the dodgy ones can be credited to me)!

The lovely banner is by friend and ultra-talented illustrator Grace Lee.

This site redesign was made possible by the next-level generosity and expertise of Daniel Boud, whose code-tinkering ways are only outranked by his seriously inspired way with a camera.

You can read more about my co-conspirators here.

This is a blog I do for pure fun and zero influence – there's no sponsorship, sneaky advertorial or advertising. I pay for all the food mentioned, 'cos it seems the ethical thing to do.


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This is a blog about eating and drinking in Sydney, Australia (with the odd cross-border or off-topic detour). BYO appetite.

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