Fairfield RSL Memorial Club chief executive Anthony Sobb has penned a new book about the club’s culinary journey, aptly titled A Place At Our Table.
The book reveals the stories behind Fairfield RSL’s journey to become a giant in fine dining in Sydney’s west.
The book, a concept two years in the making, tells the tales behind the club’s restaurants, design, people, menus and wine lists.
“People can uncover and discover the stories behind the restaurants,” Mr Sobb said.
“I thought there were some great stories to be told and people love to hear a great story – especially sitting around a table.
“I’ve always felt there is a wonderful soulfulness, a sense of spirituality in the simple act of sitting at a dinner table with other people.
“I see Fairfield RSL as a huge dinner table where everyone has a seat.”
Mr Sobb, chief executive of Fairfield RSL since 2000, said one of his favourite stories in the book came from one of his Australian chef inspirations.
“I got the idea overseas to start a Pho noodle bar and I came back to my chef and said this is what I wanted to do and we started to source Pho recipes,” he said.
“But what I worked out is everyone's grandmother has the best Pho recipe and Pho is different in the north, south and middle of Vietnam. It opened up a Pandora’s box.
“It wasn’t until I met up with Luke Nguyen. We became friends and he introduced me to his father Lap.
“He interviewed me to see if I was worthy for him to share his family’s sacred recipes.
“He could see I shared the passion of Vietnamese cuisine and the ex-military man turned our kitchen into a Vietnamese military base on how to cook Vietnamese food.”
Mr Sobb said he was “excited to share” the stories from Fairfield RSL’s unique range of restaurants from the New York sophistication French brasserie Montagne, to the modern Italian of La Tratt. The club also houses three other dining options: Summer House, Pho@Fairfield and The Peninsula Cafe.
“Our industry and this book is all about sharing. It is as much a celebration of the people who have supported our club and who have come on the journey with us,” he said. “Food and drink sustain us physically but sitting, eating and talking together sustain relationships.”
I see Fairfield RSL as a huge dinner table where everyone has a seat.Anthony Sobb