Jake Smyth is a chef who doesn’t do things in halves. As head chef and visionary of Mary’s Underground, the iconic Sydney burger joint, he is focussed on quality food, with no shortcuts.
For this reason, we are incredibly excited to see what he will be putting on for the upcoming (vegan) event Welcome To The Jungle for the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival 2020.
Enjoy the chat below.
Tell us a little about your food philosophy & journey to now
Make it right and make it fucking delicious. Quality and technique drives everything we do, with no shortcuts allowed.
You have been involved in the Sydney scene for a number of years, how has the vegan movement permeated the food scene over there?
Happily, the best and most exhilarating cooking in the country right now is plant-based. From a sustainability perspective, this is an incredible result- from a creativity perspective, it is so exciting.
You are bringing plant-based / vegan to the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, what can we expect?
We offer our full Mary’s Menu as Vegan. Burgers, Fried Cauliflower and vegan mash n gravy- simple, classic and like we mentioned above- fucking delicious.
Who are some of the cooks/chefs that inspire you?
Shannon Martinez, Brooks Headley and the most prominent vegan cooks that roll in the same vein as Mary’s- but there are so many chefs pushing boundaries in the vegan world. From Attica, to Noma, to Peppe’s – the world is exploding with exciting takes on what vegan cuisine is and can be.
Do you think that in 2020 plant / based vegan can compete with ‘traditional’ burgers
Abso-fuckin-lutely. They are already, and this will only continue to grow.
Who else is doing epic vegan food/burgers?
Best in the world (outside of Marys of course) are Superiority Burger NYC