The chef, the owner (who used to be the chef) and the reviewer

We know everyone’s a reviewer now, so how lovely when we get a rave review from the country’s leading professional restaurant critic.

John Lethlean writes in this weeks Australian “Pretty much my idea of the ideal regional restaurant: unpretentious yet stylish; warm and hospitable, with service that doesn’t make apologies for the address; food sourced as locally as possible; wines that talk of the region; and a kitchen with really skilful cooking that knows its audience.”

A lovely trial by fire for new head chef Jeremy Metivier, if you haven’t tried Jeremy’s updated version of Zin House cooking then you should.

This brings me to the very challenging juggling we’ve been doing here at Zin between my rustic style, Jeremy’s more refined cooking and our principles of cooking simply, from scratch. I think that we’re both learning to be better cooks as I accept that young chefs might know a thing or two I don’t and the opportunity to cook from a garden rather than a shopping list provides disciplines of creativity courtesy of the seasons.

Or as Lethlean put it in describing one of the dishes “A crimson tide of beetroot and pomegranate seeds tartare style with garden leaves and walnut cream, a marvellously inventive dish made better by rice crips that use zinfandel lees in the batter.”

I’m happy for the food to always have the last word.

Truffles & Zinfandel – a match made at The Zin House

I haven’t had much to say here for a while, not for want of activity!

Craigmoor Pavilion is six months old – hosting functions, making magnificent sourdough and redefining weekend grazing. As hard as I am to please, I love its new/old look.

We grew Australia’s first organic hemp seed crop and are using it in all sorts of ways now that it is happily (and luckily) legal for human consumption.

The edible garden continues to expand in productivity,  form and beauty.

Our staff has grown too, including two of my sons working as chefs (Sam is baking and Alec is sous) and my step son Alex as restaurant manager at Zin. Somehow we are all still talking to each other.

And it is with much pleasure (and relief) I introduce you to Jeremy Metivier, Zin House’s Head Chef. Jeremy and I are combining his considerable fine dining skills with my simple ethos, aiming for an elegant balance.

I met Jeremy when he was at Cottage Point Inn and we enjoyed many spirited discussions about food, eating and growing the food you eat over the year or so we took to decide to work together.

These discussions have continued and intensified with wins on all sides – a win for Jeremy as a foam snuck in, a win for me when the sous vide machine didn’t and nothing but wins for those eating our new menus.

We look forward to  sharing The Zin House with you soon, maybe even for the following event where David Lowe challenges the worlds best Zin’s to a vertical of his own.



Truffle & Zinfandel Dinner with Jeremy Metivier & David Lowe.


Sweet potato soup with shaved truffle

Sam’s hemp seed sourdough

Truffle butter


Truffled snapper carpaccio, celery & radish


Poached egg, brioche mash

Granny Smith, pinenuts & truffle


Beef tri-tip

Potatoes dauphine with truffle

Silverbeet gratin & port jus


Truffled High Valley Brie


Spencer Chocolate macaron with truffle

$195pp all inclusive

Tesla comes to Zin

As usual, things at Zin are happening as quickly as the Spring garden grows. A few quick updates:

Tesla have installed two charging stations at the restaurant – you can charge up at no charge and enjoy recharging yourself all at once.

All you need is one of these super high performance new age machines. Ours isn’t quite in the post yet, but if yours is you’re very welcome to use the facility. I think we’re the only one in the west, part of Tesla’s innovative ‘destination charging program’.

Classic Album night is next Thursday October 20th, Matt Arthur perform Eric Clapton ‘Unplugged’. The usual $75pp for three courses and the show. Lovely nights that make us all smile.


Early warning for NYE planning – a three piece band will play lively, familiar, dancing music on the lawn at Zin. Tix are $38 so you can bring a crowd, and we’re putting on a bus.

Last new news is that we will be taking over operations of the old Craigmoor restaurant at Robert Oatley. The new year will see an Artisan bakery and expanded live music options along with other yummy provisions at cellar door.

There’s more, but I’ll save it for the next update.

Happy spring.