Bishop Sessa in Surry Hills, Sydney, is bringing local to the people every day on their menu and through their special dinners. From Sustainable Seafood to Game Dinners, Chef Paul Cooper is showing Sydney his extensive repertoire and passion for fresh, local food.
Paul Cooper grew up in the Mornington Peninsula region of Victoria and his first hospitality experience was as a waiter at a local restaurant, where he met his now wife, Jaclyn Cooper. He soon moved into the kitchen and made his way up through the ranks, finally moving to Melbourne to work at Matteo’s and then Bistrot d’Orsay.
Looking for broader experience, the pair headed overseas, travelling through Spain, Italy, France and the UK. Paul worked at several high-profile restaurants including Tom Aikens and Foliage at the Mandarin Oriental, and ABaC in Spain, finally landing at Pied à Terre Restaurant in London for two years working with Shane Osborn. Paul’s experience at Pied à Terre saw him start out working with pastry and bread, and accordingly his desserts and breads are of an high standard. These influences can be experienced at Paul’s most recent venture, with everything served at Bishop Sessa is made on the premises.
When Paul returned to Australia he worked with The Botanical and O’Connell’s before moving to Sydney to start Bishop Sessa with Erez Gordon. Cooper’s experience at Michelin starred and hatted restaurants has gifted him a sophisticated suite of techniques, whilst his passion for accessible, interesting food and sustainable produce ensures his dishes are attractive to a broad range of diners.
Here are a few of Paul’s favourite local things!
LS: What are some of your favourite local producers?
LS: Any tips for how you take advantage of seasonal fruit & veg?
PC: Make the most of the seasons by preserving some of your favourites. I love to make jams and pickles.
LS: What does ‘local’ mean to you?
PC: Local is about supporting the local farmers and producers, it helps the local communities by keeping what money we can in the local area. It means our produce is fresher, and allows for me to visit these producers to see what is happening in the area. This means that there is quality assurance. You can communicate directly with the producers, and help them to a degree improve the product.
Be on the look out for an upcoming winter warmer recipe from Paul!
Bishop Sessa :: 527 CROWN STREET, SURRY HILLS NSW 2010