Words Lauren Eldridge

I loved living in Melbourne and the city has such an exciting food scene, but I’m always going to be a Sydneysider, so I had planned to eventually return.

Like many people, living through the lockdown in Melbourne changed my perspective on many things and I knew it was time for me to be back home closer to my family.

I received a job offer in Sydney and decided that now was the best time for new challenges in my career.

I grew up about 30 minutes from the Inn, so had known quite a bit about it even before I entered the hospitality industry.

I gifted my parents a meal there last year and they loved it, so I was keen to finally try it out for myself.

I went in for dinner and the whole experience was so exceptional that I turned to my partner and expressed how much I would love to work there.

I thought about it for a few days and ended up messaging the co-owner Vicki [Zwierzynski] who I had worked with in the past.

By happy coincidence, they were looking for a pastry chef and it all just fell into place.

I had done most of my training in a smaller, intimate restaurant (Marque in Surry Hills) and I was interested in returning to that type of venue. I find my creativity thrives in that environment.

After nearly a full year of not being able to work, I was ready to take everything I had learnt in my previous jobs and push myself further.

Brian Geraghty (owner and head chef) was open to giving me free reign of the dessert menu, so it was the perfect opportunity.

Brian looks after all the savoury food while I focus on the desserts, cheese and bread, so close to a 50/50 split.

We both know how important it is to have the menu flow, so we actively work to make sure our dishes are cohesive and balanced.

For example, if the last savoury dish is a rich dish, I know my first dessert needs to be on the lighter side.

The Hawkesbury area is perfect for citrus, so I am using four different types
across the menu at the moment. Quinces are great in winter.

I also love using pears in the cold months. The hospitality industry is tough and

Witnessing my friends and the industry transform their businesses in order to survive and protect their staff is amazing and inspiring.

Although the situation is undoubtedly tough, great ideas can be born from adversity, so ultimately, I am excited and hopeful for the future.