Young French chef Nicolas Poelaert has won a coveted Chef’s Hat and was also presented with the prestigious, Young Chef of the Year Award at The AGE GOOD FOOD GUIDE AWARDS.
Poelaert and his restaurant, Embrasse were recognised by Melbourne’s food cognoscenti after only seven months of operation – testament of Nic’s dedication to his art. Since opening, Embrasse has captured Melbourne’s discerning taste buds, winning another important culinary award in June – the Restaurant and Caterer’s Association –Best New Restaurant.
The Embrasse menu reflects Nic’s desire to use quality ingredients; in addition his poetic use of herbs adds new and inspiring dimensions to each dish. Nic maintains a working kitchen garden at his home, he also considers himself a hunter & gatherer, thriving on discovering edible plants and herbs during his walks on days off.
At 30, Nic Poelaert has an aspirational culinary background. Growing up in the north of France, Nic recalls a love of food from an early age, he was and still is the youngest applicant at culinary college; he completed his apprenticeship under Alain Gelle at the Michelin Star restaurant, La Meunerie in Dunkirk. Travelling to the UK to improve his English, Nic worked in Scotland before moving to Australia to take a position with Sheraton Hotels.
In 2003, Nic went to work for Shannon Bennett at his Carlton restaurant, leaving a year later to travel back to the UK to work for a short time at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay. This was followed by a stint in a boutique hotel in Scotland where he was awarded the ‘Rising Star of the Year’ by the Scottish Hotels Review, the trip culminated in a long desired opportunity to work with Michel Bras in his restaurant in southern France (voted number 7 in the S.Pellegrino World 50 Best Restaurants).
Returning to Australia, Nic worked with good friend Matt Wilkinson at Circa before realising his dream to open his own restaurant which was to become, Embrasse.
Supported by his wife Tara who manages the front of house, Embrasse means ‘to kiss’ – a deeper and more sensitive translation is about ‘emotional connection’ something that Nic feels about the food he produces.
Embrasse is located at 312 Drummond Street Carlton Ph: 03 9347 3312 www.embrasserestaurant.com.au