Chef Lennox Hastie and his fascination with Fire

Lennox Hastie, chef and owner of Firedoor in Sydney, is fascinated by fire. His restaurant, Australia’s only fully wood fuelled kitchen, offers a dining experience like no other in town. Born in the United Kingdom to a Scottish mother and an Australian father, Lennox had a structured upbringing at odds with the raw unpredictable nature of fire.

Lennox spent his early career working at Michelin Star restaurants across the UK, France and Spain. It was his tenure at Asador Etxebarri where he made his way onto the prestigious list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, as well as gaining its first Michelin star. Returning to Australia in 2011, Lennox was ready for his next challenge. He opened Firedoor in April 2015 in partnership with the Fink Group. His unique approach saw Lennox awarded Best New Talent and the restaurant was nominated for Best New Restaurant in the 2016 Australian Gourmet Traveller Awards. Firedoor currently holds a chef hat in the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide and sits at number 17 on the Australian Gourmet Traveller Top 100 Restaurants.

Aspire Lifestyles: What is your food philosophy?

Chef Lennox: Respect the ingredients and let them speak for themselves.

Aspire Lifestyles: How do you draw your inspiration?

Chef Lennox: Drawing inspiration from the past and different cultures around the world together with the ingredients I find around me.

Aspire Lifestyles: What are your favourite flavours for this year?

Chef Lennox: Rich natural sources of umami that are to be found in aged meats, fermented soy, aged cheese, ripe tomatoes, and mushrooms.

Aspire Lifestyles: Have you always wanted to be a Chef?

Chef Lennox: Yes, since I was 15 though briefly was interested in interior design and when I was really young I wanted to conduct an orchestra.

Aspire Lifestyles: What is your ‘Go to’ hidden gem dining experience?

Chef Lennox: Cuc Gach Quan in Hoi Chi Min City lives by the motto ‘eat green, live healthy, taste the past’ and serves beautiful fresh seasonal vegetables grown on the family farm in a unique setting.

Aspire Lifestyles: What is the most unique food pairing you have experienced?

Chef Lennox: Sea bass, calamansi and white chocolate at La Maison de Marc Veyrat which surprisingly worked when eaten all together.

Aspire Lifestyles: Do you have a nickname in the kitchen?

Chef Lennox: Nothing anyone would tell me – I used to be called the Colossus by my old head chef at Le Manoir au Quat’ Saisons and at La Maison du Marc Veyrat we were called by the chef that we trained under so I was Blanc.

Aspire Lifestyles: If you could choose a Chef to a dinner party, who would you choose?

Chef Lennox: David Thompson who is always entertaining company.

Aspire Lifestyles: Who does the cooking at home?

Chef Lennox: Both of us do, though I certainly make a lot more mess.

Aspire Lifestyles: What is your favourite dish?

Chef Lennox: I dream of turbot, grilled whole, over a wood fire.

As part of the Aspire Lifestyles Global Preferred Restaurant program, our clients’ customers enjoy top of waitlist and priority counter seats, as well as, a complimentary dish with every reservation.