Roar Publicity contacted me and asked me if I wanted to do and interview with Bobby Jewell, “The Lads’ Chef”. Just for something different for youse, I said Yes. Bobby is launching a book, “The Lad’s Chef Cookbook”. but possibly more interesting to TWOP audience is that he has a restaurant Tharens, that is essentially an up market Dirty Dicks -if such a thing is possible, and definitely worst worthy. Drag queens, magicians and dress ups. It apparently has good food, which is not how I remember the Roast Beef at Perth’s DD’s many years ago. Quite extraordinary. I also wanted to test my interview technique. Wot youse think? Could I be the new Eoin Cameron, or Daile Pepper?
Bio: Bobby Jewell in a former successful swimmer and is now the next big celebrity chef. Whilst his swimming career may not have continued, Jewell’s philosophy to “just dive in” has certainly become a metaphor for how he does things. At only 28, he is not only an author but the owner of Sydney’s only fancy-dress entertainment restaurant, Tharens.
TWOP: Bobby, how did your swimming lead to opening a restaurant? Did you like look down one day and think, “Whoa, look at those sea creatures. I could totally cut them up, and sell the chunks to people.”?
BJ: Haha, swimming up and down everyday in the pool, did get a bit boring, when I moved to Sydney I was suddenly surrounded by amazing colours and culture so Decided to do something different and develop a fancy dress restaurant. Seriously though swimming did teach me commitment and gave me a lot of drive.
TWOP: You say that part of what this book’s about is guys impressing chicks on first dates. I note that you have sent me an example of Pea and Ham soup. Wouldn’t there be the problem of gas with lentils and peas? I’m worrying that it might be harder to get a girl into the sack if she’s worrying about letting one go at a vital moment. Maybe the Pea and Ham would be better after 6 months of marriage?
BJ: Yes Andrew maybe you’re right. The romantic dinner section would be a better choice for impressing that girl you met down the pub. Pea and soup is a great dish when you are feeling under the weather.
TWOP: The book will have a section for what every guy should have stocked in his kitchen. After Rohypnol, what’s the number one item?
BJ: Well I think a bottle of vodka is always useful!
TWOP: You’ve got Tharens restaurant in Kings Cross in Sydney and you are thinking of opening in Brisbane, Melbourne and Las Vegas. Why not Perth? We can muster just as many organised criminals to pose around in fancy restaurants as Kings Cross, Carlton or Vegas. Is this a direct insult to the vibrant Perth organised crime scene?
BJ: Not at all, I love perth, I used to go to school at Scarborough Primary school. There is no reason why there cant be a Tharens in every city in the world including perth!
TWOP: At Tharens King’s Cross, Do you do “Underbelly of Pork”?
BJ: I think there is enough underbelly of pork to go around in kings cross, Tharen’s will stick to Drag queens and magicians!
TWOP: According to the blurb, Tharens is a ‘full-bodied’ restaurant and bar that throws in bucket loads of fantasy, fun, fedoras – and fancy dress as well, for those who dare. Sounds a bit like Dirty Dicks theatre restaurant they used to have here in Perth. When I went, I was forced to wear a bib that said “Dick Swisher”. My Mother was called “Frustrated Fanny.” You should totally do that.
BJ: Very interesting, I have big plans for Tharen’s. Hopefully in a few years I can see the Tharens reach its full potential. I hear dirty dicks was quite fun, although I have never been.
TWOP: Off topic, Vietnamese ginger. It’s got to be a practical joke right? Where’s the taste Bobby? It’s like a lightly flavoured chunk of wood.
BJ: Now that is interesting, I was always under the impression that vietnamese ginger was in the same family as normal ginger but with more of a sour taste to it??? I do like vietnamese food, its very fresh and light, maybe you had a wood chip instead?
TWOP: Would you like a copy of my own recipe, “Eggs Derelict?” Clue, it’s eggs fried on a barbeque that has never been cleaned. The secret’s in the cockroach legs.
BJ: Sounds promising, im sure there are many blokes around the country that have tried that special dish. Send me a recipe and I will be sure to try it out on any of my mates that I find lying around my house on a Sunday morning.
TWOP: The Worst of Perth always asks its guests, what the worst thing in Perth. What’s yours? Or, you can slag off Brisbane. Or even Vegas.
BJ: Well I have always been a fan of Perth so I love every aspect of the place, however I have heard that the South East Corridor can be called the dumping ground of Perth!