Morgan McGlone – Belles Hot Chicken

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By Lee Tran Lam. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Morgan McGlone's fried chicken has scored a standing ovation. At an event run Noma's Rene Redzepi, no less. Feeding the top chefs at MAD, the famous Copenhagen food symposium, is just one of many memorable instances of Morgan's eventful career. Long before he launched Belles Hot Chicken, Morgy started out cooking for huge volumes of Japanese tourists at a revolving restaurant in Sydney as well as working for Luke Mangan and Merivale. He staged for Pierre Gagnaire in Paris and assisted fashion photographer Todd Barry in New York – models apparently turned up to Barry's shoots because the food was so good. Morgy returned to Sydney to open up Flinders Inn, which happened to be located on the worst site in the city. "If the rent is really cheap, there's a reason why it's really cheap," says Morgy. There were issues with the bathrooms (which may have cost more than the restaurant) and no one could park near Flinders Inn. Despite some highlights – cooking for George Michael, staging Taste of Young Sydney events – the restaurant sadly had to close. "When your first restaurant is a failure ... psychologically, it was a massive blow," says Morgy. Morgy rebounded by working for Sean Brock at Husk in America. Morgy learnt what true farm-to-table dining was (his story of dealing with the Mennonite farmers, who didn't even use phones, is fascinating). Morgy's experience cooking in the South would end up inspiring the launch of Belles Hot Chicken in Australia.

Morgy is amazing to talk to – it took four years to line up this interview and maybe I'm biased, but I think his many compelling stories make this podcast worth the wait.

116 episodes