To stand out and shine, artists – whether painters, actors or chefs – need to have the right mix of emotion, pride, passion, talent and humility. There is a man in Scone who has that mix, add in the fact that he likes to skite a little, and you have Colin Selwood. I’ve worked with Colin and I can’t believe how good he is. He’s 110 per cent committed, and consistency is his middle name. Sometimes the emotion bit gets you down, but a kitchen without it is not a serious workplace, so cooking staff at The Cottage get used to it.
Someone told me that Michael and Shanny Crouch, who own the country cottage, wanted to do something nice for Scone. Something nice? It’s magnificent.
The partnership between the Crouches, the architect, decorator, builder and Colin has resulted in magic, and it’s classy with a casual charm – French provincial with a touch of Asia. Immediately after you walk in, you don’t want to leave. And the wonderful artwork on the walls… thank you Lucy Vader and Sarah Bishop. Dine inside the cosy restaurant or out in the courtyard under the stars – with fairy lights adorning the orange trees and the aroma of fresh sage, oregano, thyme, coriander and basil scenting the air.
Colin’s star turn is dried aged beef. The drying process results in the concentration and saturation of the natural flavours as well as the tenderisation of the meat texture. A little advice: when you visit the Cottage, don’t order well-done. When I worked for Colin in Willow Tree every line he uttered, every day, contained the word flavour.
Formally trained in Christchurch, New Zealand in the early 1980s, Colin headed to Sydney because all his customers had moved there. After working in some of Sydney’s best known establishments including Bistro Moncur, Eastbank, Bayswater Brasserie and Armstrong’s, he started his own restaurant, China Doll, at Woolloomooloo Wharf. Still there, still top shelf.
The Cottage is a fully licensed restaurant with a something for everyone on the wine list.
There’s that old mind game.
Question… What’s the first word that comes into your head when I say Colin Selwood ?
Call the restaurant at 65451215 for opening times.