Five minutes with Dave Young, Temporada restaurant and bar

Michelle Rowe 17 November 2020
Temporada Dave Young

Temporada chef and owner Dave Young. Photo: Michelle Rowe.

Who is Dave Young?

I’m chef and owner at Temporada restaurant and bar in Moore Street, Canberra.

Best recent dining experience

My wife and I ate at The Boat House in Barton recently – what a great experience. Both food and service were amazing. It was our first time there but won’t be the last. We also took the family out to Yass for a picnic a few weeks ago and grabbed some pastries and sandwiches from Clementine Bakery. Owners Adam and Brooke have traded their restaurant for a bakery – and it’s really good. Well worth the trip.

Most embarrassing pantry item

Hmmm … tough one. I would probably say Mi Goreng noodles – they’re always in our pantry. They are the ultimate instant meal – especially late at night after work.

Temporada food

Temporada’s charcoal-grilled king prawns with miso butter and pickled fennel. Photo: Supplied.

Must-buy ingredient

Anchovies. They go so well in a range of foods, and bring such an intense savouriness to any dish. Even my kids like pasta with anchovies and peas (I was the most surprised by this!) Buy the good ones, though.

Favourite place for breakfast in the ACT

It’s not often enough that we get out for brekky, but we like going to Teddy Pickers in Campbell.

My Canberra food secret

If you’re after a really good sandwich, head to Marvie and Wolfe in Moore Street in the city. It’s across the road from Temporada and during the lockdown when almost everything (including us) was closed, they cured my hunger pangs. It’s hard to go past a Cuban sandwich, right?

Marvie and Wolfe's Cuban sandwich

Marvie and Wolfe’s Cuban sandwich is a favourite of Dave Young. Photo: Supplied.

Biggest culinary influence

Chef and restaurateur Neil Perry. I worked for Neil for 10 or so years in various roles, both in and out of the kitchen. His passion for good produce, knowledge of flavour, simplicity when it comes to cooking, and intense drive as a businessman really inspired me, as it did countless others.

Favourite cookbook

This is like trying to choose my favourite child! While I have a few books that I go back to for inspiration a lot, my all-time favourite is The French Laundry Cookbook by Thomas Keller. It’s an oldie but a goodie. Not only are there great recipes, but it speaks to Thomas Keller’s philosophy about cooking. A must-read.

Who I admire on the Canberra food and wine scene

I would have to shout out all of our suppliers here, big and small. It can be challenging getting great produce in Canberra as so many things come out of Sydney.

We have a bunch of small, local farmers who supply us with vegetables, eggs, lamb etc who are amazing and keep the food miles down: Loriendale Orchard, Brightside Produce, Bungaree Eggs, Majura Valley Spring Lamb among others.

Temporada interior

Temporada’s elegant interiors and warm welcome make it a magnet for food lovers. Photo: Supplied.

What’s on the menu this week

We just got some fantastic Noosa sea scallops from our supplier Martin’s Seafoods. We’re barely warming them up on the grill and serving with a black bean vinaigrette. They’re about the best thing you’ll ever eat.

Where I’m going next

After the nine months we’ve just had there’s not much left for new venues! We are about to launch our own catering brand, Tempo Catering. We’re aiming at private events and business clientele, with the goal of becoming Canberra’s number one private caterer. You won’t see us doing sandwiches, however – we’re going to provide a service in line with our restaurant’s brand – modern, innovative and seasonal.

Death row meal

I would seriously let Sunga from Terra cook me my last meal. It would be smoked brisket, rotisserie pork and chicken, and amazing salads and veggies. Chuck in our Temporada sourdough and I would die a happy man! These are all the things that are good about food.

Terra meats

A selection of meats and side salads from Terra are on Dave’s last meal wish list. Photo: Supplied.

Temporada’s COVID-19 response

We’ve made a lot of changes. I think the silver lining of COVID is that for us and a lot of other restaurants it’s given us a chance to stop and really look at our business. We’ve made changes that would have seemed unfathomable in February, and due to everything that we’ve been through, the customers have been amazing and have gone along with everything we’ve done.

The biggest changes for us have been dropping breakfast service, closing for lunches for a time (we’ve just restarted), and running set menus only for dinner. We also only take bookings online now, with a credit card number as security. The no-show table is a restaurant killer – I’m not sure if the regular joe understands how much it destroys businesses like ours.

Cook like a chef … with a foolproof recipe

I have two easy recipe options here, which also serve as my emergency staff meals.

The first: Cook some garlic with anchovies and chilli flakes in extra virgin olive oil until soft. Add frozen peas and water and cook down for ages – like 20-30 minutes until they are unbelievably sweet. Cook some pasta, combine and cover with a mountain of freshly grated parmesan.

The second: Cook some rice in the rice cooker. Whisk some eggs with soy sauce, a bit of chopped garlic and ginger. Heat a pan, add vegetable oil, and cook the eggs quickly (stir fry – sort of). Eat your rice and eggs with a good amount of sriracha chilli sauce. Trust me – this has gotten me out of trouble so many times!

Hatted restaurant and bar Temporada has just recommenced serving a la carte lunch from 11:30 am and is open from 3:00 pm until late Tuesday to Friday and from 6:00 pm until late on Saturday.

Temporada is at 15 Moore Street, Canberra City.


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