Who is Nick Jennings? I’m the owner of The Warehouse – Roast, Tap, Brew at Kingsborough in Kingston.
Best recent dining experience: Miss Van’s. I was pretty lucky to be invited along with a group of local winemakers and producers, and we were treated to a bit of a selection of everything they do there.
Most embarrassing pantry item: I don’t know how this happens, but we always seem to have an industrial supply of Biscoff spread in our house.
Must-buy ingredient: A large pile of mini tortillas. Mexican is always our go-to.
Next big thing: Personally, we’re looking to expand into more of a woodfired kitchen and dining place rather than just a cafe and bar.
But in the scene, I’m hoping there’s more of a move to celebrating local produce and supporting small operators rather than everything being about the big guys.
I’m hoping that’s one positive consequence to come out of COVID-19.
Favourite place for breakfast in the ACT: UNDER Bakery. Those Swedish buns they do there are absolute perfection.
My Canberra food secret: I think enough people know about it now, but Ma Ma Dumplings at the Fyshwick Markets is always our go-to.
Biggest culinary influence: I really learnt to cook as an early 20-year-old adult travelling around the world, so I really didn’t have many influences growing up, but once I stopped travelling, I realised any kind of slow-cooking or cooking with fire can be really cathartic. Anyone who was able to do that became a huge influence on me.
Favourite cookbook: I don’t have a favourite cookbook at the moment – although I do have piles of them on the shelves at home, but anything authentic is my go-to.
Who I admire on the Canberra food and wine scene: Hamish Young from Mada Wines – I have a huge soft spot for him.
He’s been great with us in our bar and really helped us open up to a world of high-end wines. He’s also taught me wine can be produced from anywhere if you look after the soil enough.
For food, it’s got to be Sascha Brodbeck from Brodburger. I mean, the fact he created a dynasty from what was essentially a caravan on the side of the lake that the government didn’t want him to operate is pretty impressive.
What’s on the menu this week: The new one this week is a pink lemonade sour from Bridge Road Brewers.
Where I’m going next: When I can scrape together a couple of days off, my wife and I are planning to go to Firedoor in Sydney so we can indulge in some fire-cooked foods.
Death row meal: Really good Napoli-style Margherita pizza and a big-ass tub of hokey-pokey ice cream from Gelato Messina.
COVID-19 response: Initially, I just cried a lot. Then, when I got through that, we were able to transition to a takeaway coffee and booze service pretty seamlessly.
We were able to keep our roastery afloat with all of our wholesale customers.
The first three weeks of this year have been harder than last year, however, and so far, it’s been all about looking after our staff members.
My really simple recipe tip: Patience.
Maybe a tip for life as well as cooking, but you can do anything if you have some patience.
The Warehouse Tap & Brew is located at Kingsborough Village, The Causeway in Kingston. It’s currently open as an espresso bar from Monday to Friday from 7 am to 11 am, Saturdays from 8 am to 10 am and as a taproom and wine bar from Friday to Sunday from 3 pm onwards.