Jason Rodwell is the highly accomplished and well-travelled chef heading the kitchen team at Albert Street Food & Wine in Brunswick’s Sydney Road precinct. With experience in kitchens across Australia, France and the UK under his belt, Jason has always followed his passion for fresh produce and new culinary challenges.
Raised in the Snowy Mountains, Jason grew up eating seasonal fruit and vegetables from his family’s impressive garden as well as local farms. After completing his culinary training at the Canberra Institute of Technology, Jason’s career began as Sous Chef at Atlantic Manuka, the ACT’s first restaurant to be awarded two Chef Hats in the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide.
Jason’s desire to travel drew him to London in 2003, where he secured place training under David Thompson at Nahm before moving to Gordon Ramsey’s Royal Hospital Road. It was during his foray at Royal Hospital Road that Jason realised his passion for French cuisine and from then on has worked on honing the skills, discipline and knowledge required to produce it.
In 2005 Jason decided to take his rewarding experience and newfound skills back to Australia, where he returned to Canberra to the Head Chef position at Aubergine and then at Watersedge.
To further shape his French culinary skills, Jason travelled to France in 2008 and worked at Michelin starred restaurants’ Auberge du Bon Laboureur and Chalet Le Torrent. This professional exploration propelled Jason’s passion for French food further and during his downtime he travelled through France, exploring the wine regions, its cheese makers and village produce from Breton to Toulouse.
During 2010 Jason worked as Sous Chef to Greg Doyle at the illustrious Pier Restaurant in Rose Bay before heading south to Melbourne.
Since joining Albert Street Food & Wine in its inauguration in 2011, Jason worked alongside iconic Australian chef Philippa Sibley to secure consecutive Chef Hats in The Age Good Food Guide as well as a nomination for Best New Restaurant and a listing in the Australian Gourmet Traveller Top 100 Restaurants.
Since Philippa’s departure at the end of 2013, Jason has taken on the role of Executive Chef and brought his own flair to the restaurant refreshing the menu and focusing on seasonal, sustainable ingredients from local producers.
Always on the lookout for inspiration and ideas, Jason describes himself as an avid traveller who spends his holidays eating his way through food regions all over the globe.
Joey Tai – Recently appointed Bar and Beverage Manager adds a twist of her own to Albert St Food and Wine. Joey is implementing a new cocktail menu that places Albert Street on the top list of venues to try for classic cocktails or flamboyant creations.
Joey likes to be creative and explore different combinations of flavours to create well balanced and unique cocktails. Joey enjoys communicating with customers so she can select the right ingredients to make the perfect drink for each individual. Creating new cocktails is a bartender’s way of expression, similar to that of an artist or musician sharing their gifts with people.
Originally from Hong Kong, Joey has been working in the bar industry for over 9 years.
Joey first started at Golden Monkey (award winning cocktail bar) in 2006. She was working with Regan Taouma who is one of the most influential bar managers in the industry. Joey was inspired by Regan on the craft of cocktail making and communicating with the guests that come into the venue. Joey enjoyed the ambiance of Golden Monkey and aspired to become more involved.
In 2008 she began working behind the bar as a bartender and soon become head bartender under Misty Hoeta who managed the bar at that time. In 2009 Joey became assistant manager of the venue. Golden Monkey was two times winner of the “Australian Bartender Magazine Bar of the Year” for 2007 and 2009.
In 2010 Joey become the General Manager of Golden Monkey and has been two times nominated Bar Manager of the year in 2010 and 2012.
Joey has also assisted for Seamstress and Sweatshop upon its first opening with Jason Chan ( Founder of Westwind Gin Australia ), Shae Silvestro, Jason Williams ( Cocktails & Beverage manager of Keystone group Sydney ), and Adi Ruiz ( Owner of Bulletine place Sydney ). These key industry personnel have been influential to Joey sharing their significant experience in bar tending and business management.
In 2011 (whilst successfully managing Golden Monkey) Joey accepted the position of nationwide Brand Ambassador for St Germain, a best selling French artisanal liqueur. Her role was to showcase St Germain to bar and restaurants throughout Victoria presenting the product to their staff and demonstrating the potential uses of St Germain in cocktails and other menu items.
In 2013 Joey was head hunted by Andy Emans who was one of the key owner/operators of the popular Mur Mur bar located in Melbourne’s CBD. Joey was recruited to manage the bar for the opening of The Brunswick Mess Hall.
In 2014 Joey decided to join the team at The Albert Street Food and Wine. The amazing food menu from the kitchen really inspired Joey to create a unique, intriguing and diverse cocktail menu to accompany the great food.
Joey aims to change the ambience of Albert Street’s cocktail bar. Guests will be welcomed to sit around and enjoy the vibe of Albert Street and become enchanted with the selection of drinks, food and quality service that is offered until late in the night.
Joey has come to appreciate the distinction and intricacies with each spirit and enjoys the flavours they offer. She also enjoys learning the craft of making cocktails, the history behind them and sharing such in conversation with customers by telling them the cocktail story.
Joey will also launch Cocktail Master Classes in July where groups can mix amazing drinks under the expert tutelage of Joey.