Top chefs Danielle Rensonnet and Nicky Riemer switch stoves
Roslyn Grundy – GoodFood
Two of Melbourne’s best female chefs are on the move.
After five years at South Melbourne wine bar Bellota, Danielle Rensonnet is leaving to take charge of the cafe at Paul Wilson’s multi-pronged Prahran market project, Wilson & Market. And stepping into her clogs will be Nicky Riemer, who closed her Richmond restaurant Union Dining in February.
Rensonnet says that after years of working nights, the daytime-only gig will be a complete lifestyle change. She’ll get in training for the breakfast shift by setting an early alarm during a brief break between jobs.
Wilson says Rensonnet (whose CV also lists the now-closed St Jude’s Cellars and Andrew McConnell’s Three One Two) will bring substance and maturity to the kitchen when she joins in early May to craft a mostly-vegetarian menu with a farm-to-table outlook.
Riemer, who joins Bellota after Easter, is excited about returning to work after almost two months’ break. “I’ve started to get itchy kitchen feet.”
She says the brief from owners Michael McNamara and Alex Wilcox was simple: “We love your food. Do what you want.”
Wine-friendly European dishes are Riemer’s stock in trade. She previously headed the kitchens at the Melbourne Wine Room and Langton’s Restaurant & Wine Bar before opening Union Dining with front-of-house pro Adam Cash, now at Source Dining in Kyneton.
Wilson & Market’s cafe is expected to open on April 18, and the 120-seat brasserie and wine bar by mid May. Phase one, takeaway outlet Mr Wilson’s Tuckshop, opened last month.