Who is Wes Heincke? I’m the owner of Assembly and Corella Bar.
Best recent dining experience: Raku. Let me say it was great to be back and dining in a restaurant post-lockdown. Their Aburi Otoro is one of my favourite dishes at any restaurant in Canberra.
Most embarrassing pantry item: Nacho Cheese Doritos. Once the bag is open, they’re gone.
Must-buy ingredient: Good quality butter.
Next big thing: Will be happening on the site of the former Pancake Parlour. Watch this space.
Favourite place for breakfast in the ACT: Teddy Pickers. Great crew, quality ingredients and consistently delicious.
My Canberra food secret: Dickson Cakes. Whenever I’m in that area, I always have to stop in for a chat and a pie. It’s like stepping into a time warp and I love it!
Biggest culinary influence: I’d have to say my brother Steve. He was always trying new styles and combinations of flavours and ingredients. He really pushed himself.
If anything sticks in my mind, it would be Green Curry Roast Chicken.
Growing up, we ate fairly traditionally for an Australian family, so watching him push the boundaries taught me there is no right or wrong as long as there is balance and flavour.
Favourite cookbook: Honestly, I rarely use a cookbook. I work with so many great chefs from unique backgrounds, and I love getting their tips about what they know (and tasting the food they love to cook, of course).
Who I admire on the Canberra food and wine scene: The Pilot crew, the XO boys, and I have to give a shoutout to my old boss, Frank Condi. He’s a Canberra hospitality legend and I learnt a lot from him.
What’s on the menu this week: I’ll most likely pop over to Yat Bun Tong and get some XO beans and dumplings at some stage. Always a winner.
Death row meal: Ramen or lasagne. I can’t choose. But definitely tiramisu for dessert.
My COVID-19 response: Be adaptive. It wasn’t just a COVID-19 response, it’s hospitality in general. It’s a dynamic industry.
You can’t sit on your hands and expect things to work. You need to understand the market and your customers and work hard to provide the best you can, day in, day out.
My really simple recipe tip: Add salt.
Assembly is located at 11 Lonsdale Street, Braddon and is open from 7 am or 7:30 am until late (hours vary). Corella Bar can be found over the round at 14 Lonsdale Street. It’s open Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 5 pm until 10 pm and Thursdays to Sundays from midday until 10 pm.