A native of the mid-north coast of New South Wales, Mat Lindsay started his career in Sydney in graphic design before cooking got the better of him. A Rockpool alumnus and former head chef of the late, great Billy Kwong, and now the chef behind the nation’s hottest new kebab bar, Shwarmama, it’s safe to say Mat is nothing if not versatile in the kitchen.
At Ester, the restaurant in inner-city Chippendale that made his name, signatures include a wood-fired roasted cauliflower with almond and lemon, and a sorbet of young coconut with unpasteurised sorbet. At Poly, the Surry Hills wine bar he opened with his partners in 2018, meanwhile, he teams potato chips with raw scallop and kombu, sauces grilled beef intercostals with black vinegar and horseradish, and teams grilled strawberries with umeshu and whipped honey. In a peer-nominated award, Mat was voted Chef of the Year in Gourmet Traveller in 2018 by a panel of 100 of Australia’s leading cooks.
A man of few words, both in person and in his menu-writing, Mat is a true believer in the philosophy of “under-sell and over-deliver”. In his restaurants, whether it’s a quick shawarma, snacks with wine or a long, lazy lunch, it’s always ultimately flavour that speaks the loudest.
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