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The New Yorker - which has been a source of a number of relevant, entertaining stories this week - has a fun story in its “Annals of Gastronomy” section, by Amelia Lester, about Bill Grainger, who has been as responsible as anyone for bringing Australian cuisine to the world. “Australian,” the story suggests, to some has become “universal culinary code for healthy, hip, and probably with an avocado on it.”

An excerpt from Lester’s story:

“On an early spring morning in Tokyo, I had lunch with Bill Granger, the restaurateur who is most responsible for the Australian café’s global reach. The forty-eight-year-old Australian, who now lives in London, owns eighteen eponymous restaurants in Japan, Hawaii, the U.K., Korea, and, of course, Australia. We met at a branch in Ginza, but it may as well have been his Bondi Beach flagship. Nearing noon, diners’ plates were piled high with fried eggs and what Americans would call Canadian bacon. (The rest of the world would call it bacon.) Although we were in a densely populated shopping district, sun streamed in through the floor-to-ceiling windows.

“Granger is the Platonic ideal of an Aussie bloke: perma-tan, blond, friendly in a low-key way. Even in the middle of the city, his restaurant buzzing around him and a laptop by his side, you half expect to see the cuffs of his linen pants rolled up for a beachside stroll. Granger opened his first Bills twenty-five years ago, in Sydney. An art-school dropout with no formal training in food, he had developed a passion for Mediterranean-style eating while working a job waiting tables. In the nineties in Australia, eating out was for a lucky few, and synonymous with fancy French fare. For the rest of us, restaurants meant Sizzler. Granger wanted to run an establishment that he felt was more in tune with the rhythms of Sydney life: getting up with the sun and enjoying the outdoors.”

I learned a lot from this piece, including the apparent origin of avocado toast, and you can read it here.
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