Chef Shannon Martinez will be making her first Sydney guest chef appearance at The Unicorn in Paddington on November 26.
So expect a dairy-free version of that parmesan toast that everyone harbours an obsession with, plus loaded potato skins, her take on the pasta bar and she’ll be cranking the soft-serve machine, too.
And yes, there’ll be bacon bits.
What’s surprising, though, is she won’t have to make this item from scratch – as bacon chips are already vegan. “People have been fooled for years,” she says. “It’s soy protein.”
At Melbourne’s Smith & Deli, chef Shannon Martinez does create many vegan items from scratch, though – from the salami to the buffalo mozzarella. Except for the bacon. “It’s one of the things I don’t make”, she says. She sources the soy and wheat protein replica from an Asian grocer and the key is how they cook it.
“Most bacon you buy at the supermarkets turns really cardboardy. [The reason why] bacon is so good is because it’s full of fat. So we make it extra greasy and really salty and we use extra liquid smoke to give it a bit more flavour.”
It’s used in Smith & Deli’s hugely popular egg and bacon muffin – it’s the reason the venue goes through 40 kilos of vegan bacon a week. For Sydneysiders, though, to get a taste of the egg and bacon muffin, you'll still need to get to Melbourne.
'My Australia' with Shannon Martinez, Sunday 26 November 2017, $60 per person, bookings: email@example.com.
106 Oxford St, Paddington, NSW
111 Moor St, Fitzroy, VIC