Ainslie fine dining favourite Pilot is celebrating its birthday with a series of collaborative events and pop-ups showcasing some of the best of Australia’s hospitality scene.
Restaurateurs Dash Rumble, Ross McQuinn and Malcolm Hanslow have all worked at their fair share of highly regarded venues around Australia as they built their careers. To celebrate the fifth birthday of their award-winning restaurant Pilot they’re teaming up with some old colleagues and friends for a collaborative event on 3 October.
Dot Lee and Jarrod Walsh are the owners of Longshore, a new restaurant in the heart of Chippendale, Sydney. Dot, the front-of-house manager, previously worked with Dash at Momofuku Seibo (now closed) in Sydney, and chefs Mal and Jarrod worked together at Automata in Sydney, which is the site now occupied by Longshore.
The group acknowledged that it can be pretty hard to stay in touch with friends in the busy hospitality industry, but they found that those close workplace relationships stayed intact over time. Mal explained that they have a lot in common with Dot and Jarrod.
“They’re doing similar things to [Pilot] and we have been going through similar stages in our career progression, just in different cities,” he said.
A collaborative dinner between Pilot and Longshore – Dot and Jarrod’s newest restaurant – seemed like the perfect fit.
The Longshore crew will be serving up some of their signature dishes, and Mal’s kitchen team are adapting some of Pilot’s best dishes from the last five years to create a ‘best of both worlds’ menu.
As per usual, Pilot asks their guests to “just trust us”.
Both restaurants share an ethos of bringing fun into fine dining with menus that are playful and inventive but always done with exceptional skill and respect for ingredients and their provenance.
The Longshore menu has a seafood focus, inspired by chef Jarrod’s childhood.
“I grew up on the coast in Port Macquarie fishing, camping and exploring,” said Jarrod.
“All these things I learnt as a child, such as how to catch a fish and prepare it, play a huge part in the menu.”
Dash – who is a finalist for Gourmet Traveller’s Restaurant Personality of the Year award – will be serving with Dot, who draws on 10 years of experience both in the kitchen and the dining room.
In addition to this birthday collaboration, the team is planning more special events like hosting pop-up restaurant Etelek with chef Adam Wolfers, and they have an ongoing series called “an evening with…” where they celebrate the growers, makers and vintners they’ve worked with over the years.
Ross McQuinn says that reaching this milestone is something the team is very proud of.
“Honestly this is pretty overwhelming in a good way. There were definitely times we didn’t think we’d make it,” he said.
But now that they’ve reached the five-year mark, Ross says it’s a good indication that they’re sticking around for the long haul.
“As long as we’re getting better every day we’re happy. We just want to be constantly improving.”
The Longshore X Pilot fifth birthday dinner will be held on Tuesday 3 October. Bookings are essential, visit the website to make a reservation.
Pilot is located at 1 Wakefield Gardens, Ainslie. It is open for dinner from Tuesday to Saturday.