Hi, Our Names Are: Gitai Ifergan and James Ness, Jethro

Published on 9 February 2021

Photo: James Ness and Gitai Ifergan, Jethro, Prahran (credit: Caspian Moore)

James Ness and Gitai Ifergan were introduced for the first time by a mutual friend during lockdown, took over an abandoned sushi shop two weeks later, and through October and November, with no DIY task considered insurmountable, and the budget always ready for the slash, got to work on creating the best pop-up Mediterranean barbecue restaurant they could. Jethro, Prahran, is the proud result of their work.

You might remember usfrom such establishments as Tonka, Maha, and Ombra

Our brief for our new gig is… 

Gitai Ifergan: Thankfully, self-dictated. Jethro is a pop-up at an old, abandoned sushi shop on High Street, Prahran. In the kitchen we take care of great ingredients and they pay us back tenfold. Remember that Mother Nature is the true artist, and you are the cook. I chose to label our pop-up a ‘Mediterranean barbecue’ in order to give me scope to cook and serve what I think is relevant to me and the Melbourne dining public. My cooking is informed by my early childhood in Israel/Palestine but I’m trying to do it without being limited by the way ‘Middle Eastern food’ is treated here.
James Ness: On the floor our mantra is ‘Be attentive, informative, and graceful’. I’m all about honest service of the best food and drinks we can put on the table.

We’re passionate about…

JN: The restorative power of a tightly run, beautifully curated restaurant. The Len Evans Theory of Consumption, and its application in all aspects of one's life. And the realisation of true work/life balance for our staff.
GI: Cooking food that is relevant to my Jewish culture. Not trying to reinvent the wheel, just giving it some shiny new rims. Enjoying the process and reminding myself every day that I really enjoy cooking."

Which means we’ll be cooking things like three-cheese pita with urfa chilli, King George whiting with confit leeks and coriander gremolata, and our phyllo-shard mille-feuille with lemon verbena custard and salted blueberry.

Wed like you to come in and see us so you can experience an intimate, no-fuss dining room that encourages relaxation, conversation, and responsible indulgence.

And if theres one thing we dont want you to leave Jethro without trying, its…

JN: The lemon sorbet. Clinically refreshing, expertly considered, and the perfect way to freshen up the palate.
GI: The Pomegranate and Elderflower Spritz. Immediately smashable and intellectual all at once. For me, a beautiful way to begin the rehydration process after a long night in front of the barbecue, or an even better way to begin your meal with us at Jethro.

Book a table at Jethro now at jethroprahran.com. Want more? Follow Gitai and James’s adventures on Instagram at @jethro_prahran.


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