Lennox Hastie is fascinated by fire.
He is the chef and owner of Firedoor in Sydney, Australia’s only fully wood fuelled restaurant, which offers a dining experience like no other in town.
Born in the United Kingdom to a Scottish mother and an Australian father, Lennox had a structured upbringing at odds with the raw unpredictable nature of fire.
Lennox spent his early career working at Michelin Star restaurants across the UK, France and Spain. Whilst he honed his skills in these kitchens, he began to lose sight of what he loved most about cooking, the ingredient. Having grown captivated by the Basque country, Lennox found himself helping out a local pintxos bar. It was here he overheard a mention of a grill restaurant in the Basque mountains.
After seeking out Etxebarri, a small asador with a strong tradition of wood-fired grilling, Lennox worked with Victor Arguinzoniz, pushing the limits of what could be cooked over an open flame. He was exposed to a form of cooking that was so completely different, beautifully complex, yet simple, one that highlighted ingredients in their most natural state. It was a turning point. What began as one year at Asador Etxebarri soon grew into five.
As it had captivated Lennox, this reinvention of an age-old technique soon attracted international press, and Asador Etxebarri entered the prestigious list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, as well as gaining its first Michelin star.
Returning to Australia in 2011, Lennox was ready for his next challenge. He opened Firedoor in April 2015 in partnership with the Fink Group. The restaurant works instinctively with fire and ingredients with a strong focus on fish and vegetables, whilst cutting a 200 day aged rib of beef to order, that redefines how a steak can and should be cooked. Even the wood is treated as a fundamental seasoning and varied in accordance with the ingredients. Lennox collaborates with producers and suppliers to bring his guests the very best ingredients available on the day.
His unique approach saw Lennox awarded Best New Talent and the restaurant was nominated for Best New Restaurant in the 2016 Australian Gourmet Traveller Awards. Firedoor currently holds a chef hat in the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide and sits at number 17 on the Australian Gourmet Traveller Top 100 Restaurants.