25 October 2021

Five minutes with Adam Hazelton, Miss Van's

| Lottie Twyford
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Adam Hazelton cooking

Adam Hazelton is creating the magic you’ll shortly be able to experience at Miss Van’s. Photo: Supplied.

Who is Adam Hazelton? I’m the head chef of Miss Van’s.

Best recent dining experience: It’s been a while, but Ondine in Deakin.

Ondine Restaurant, Deakin

Ondine co-owners Daniel Giordani (left) and Keaton McDonnell. Photo: Ash St George.

Most embarrassing pantry item: You’ve always got to have a Paddle Pop or Maxibon in the freezer. They’re a kitchen must.

Must-buy ingredient: Lao Gan Ma chilli oil with chicken bits, or Miss Van’s chilli oil.

Next big thing: Hmm. The talk of the town is that Miss Van’s is opening soon …

Cinnamon bun

The flaky cinnamon bun from Le Bon Melange. Photo: Amelia Bidgood.

Favourite place for breakfast in the ACT: That would have to be Le Bon Mélange for a pastry and coffee, or a bacon and egg roll from Farmer’s Daughter.

My Canberra food secret: They aren’t secrets, but Yarralumla Kebabs and Goodberry’s are both Canberra icons.

Biggest culinary influence: There are simply too many to choose from, but big shout outs to Alex Harper and Richard Falk in London.

Locally, my heroes are Canberra guns Keaton McDonnell, Nathan Brown and Daniel Giordani (the original Pulp Kitchen crew). They helped me from the very beginning of my career eight years ago.

READ ALSO What have Canberra’s chefs been doing during lockdown?

Favourite cookbook: I always have a flick through Larder: From Pantry to Plate by Robin Gill; it always reminds me of my time working there.

Another great book for beginner bakers is Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast by Ken Forkish.

Who I admire on the Canberra food and wine scene: Ben Willis of Aubergine. He’s been steering Aubergine to glory since long before my career began and is always up for an insightful chat even when I annoy him.

What’s on the menu this week: A simple Asian stir fry … choy sum, shallots, carrot, soy, chilli oil, a bit of MSG and sugar all tossed with some fresh egg noodles.

onzieme restaurant in Kingston

Brand-new Onzième will open post-lockdown. It’s the latest venture for acclaimed chef Louis Couttoupes. Photo: Supplied.

Where I’m going next: I haven’t been to Pilot at Ainslie shops in ages and always hear good things, so I’m very keen to get back there.

Also, Onzième in Kingston is on the list.

Death row meal: It would have to be a Zinger Box from KFC or M4 at Kingsley’s Chicken – nothing like dying by crispy fried delicious meat.

Vietnamese roll

A sneak peek of what’s to come at Miss Van’s (location as of yet undisclosed). Photo: Supplied.

My COVID-19 response: A lot of sitting around the house planning Miss Van’s.

READ ALSO Pasta et Al: a Canberra food blog connecting with tradition and encouraging families into the kitchen

My really simple recipe tip: Seasoning is everything!

A good pinch of salt in most things, even pastry items, makes everything so much better, believe me.

Another tip is to always allow resting time for all your proteins.

Miss Van’s will be opening in the next few weeks in the city. Keep an eye on their Instagram and Facebook to learn more.

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