• Chef Shannon Martinez (right) will be coming to Sydney. Co-owner Mo Wyse (left) will be staying in Melbourne. (Hardie Grant Books)
For one day only at The Unicorn Hotel. And yes there will be bacon bits! Parmesan toast! Loaded potato skins! And soft serve!
Lee Tran Lam

10 Nov 2017 - 2:11 PM  UPDATED 11 Nov 2017 - 12:52 AM

The chef behind Melbourne’s much-loved vegan deli Smith & Deli and vegan Latin-inspired Smith & Daughters is coming to Sydney for the first time - and for one day only. 

Chef Shannon Martinez will be making her first Sydney guest chef appearance at The Unicorn in Paddington on November 26.

For the pub’s ‘My Australia’ series, she’ll be creating a vegan version of Sizzler’s menu.

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.

Where else can I get vegan bacon?
Vegan bacon – who’s making it and why are we obsessed with it?
Whether it’s made with mushrooms, soy or rice paper, there’s a reason why this meat alternative rules menus and plates.

“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.


The Unicorn Hotel

'My Australia' with Shannon Martinez, Sunday 26 November 2017, $60 per person, bookings: enquiries@theunicornhotel.com.au.

106 Oxford St, Paddington, NSW

Smith & Deli

Tue-Sat 8am-6pm

111 Moor St, Fitzroy, VIC 


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