International chef surprises Newcastle with pop-up restaurant

Newcastle Live -


He was the chef, co-owner and creative mind behind celebrated restaurants Embrasse and Brooks of Melbourne, he has been visiting Newcastle for 15 years, and for the first time he will be cooking a French country style menu in the El Poco Loco food truck at a secret CBD location next week just for fun!

Newcastle is in for a treat with the arrival of celebrated French chef Nicolas Poelaert and his signature style of fine dining using sustainable ingredients. Local business The Wedding Designer has invited Poelaert to cater a rustic pop-up dinner event on Friday 24 and Saturday 25 July that will exemplify sophistication and spark the imagination.

Hailing from Dunkerque, France and relocating to Melbourne in 1999, Nic honed his culinary skills over 18 years working with world-renowned 3 Michelin star chefs such as Michel and Sebastian Bras (Laguiole, France), Gordon Ramsay (Chelsea, England) and Shannon Bennet (Melbourne, Australia).

In 2009, Nic and his wife Tara decided to engage themselves in a solo adventure to create Embrasse Restaurant, which went on to become a multi-award-winning business. Poelaert then took up the opportunity to implement Brooks Of Melbourne, where he was heralded as a culinary leader with a sense for flavours, produce and precision in his cooking techniques.

Poelaert has recently relocated to Newcastle, and he’s excited for the change.

“I’ve been coming to Newcastle for the last 15 years, this is where my wife is from and where her parents still live. This city reminds me very much of my home village in the North of France, with a very similar industrial history and a small town approach – we love Newcastle. I had a great time and experience in the Melbourne food scene and I feel really blessed for this opportunity to branch out to the East Coast. I will be seeking out Newcastle and the Hunter Valley’s leading fresh produce providers,’ Poelaert said.

I intend to get to know the locals and bring a bit of excitement, exclusivity and a hint of the unexpected to their dining options.”

Using the El Poco Loco food truck, Poelaert will prepare menu items in the mobile kitchen such as eggs filled with corn mousse and cumin caramel; duck liver parfait hidden inside a rye bread pillow and topped with rhubarb jam; pickled daikon, tuna and honey wasabi delights – and this just the beginning of the food safari! Foodies will love the collective dining experience, which follows with a generous shared first course, a main course that celebrates Australia’s finest beef and one of Poelaert’s concept ‘forest floor’ desserts to finish. Specialist local providers will also feature in the line up.

Owner of The Wedding Designer, Jess Coleman, says the pop-up event will be showcasing how an unlikely venue can be transformed into the ultimate dining and event destination with great food, styling, floristry, lighting and entertainment.

“We’re so excited to be hosting this event and having Nic cooking in the El Poco Loco food truck, it’s just one of the many examples of how local businesses are working together in the wedding and events industry to bring a personal touch and service that rivals the traditional options,” said Jess.

Tickets for the pop-up restaurant have sold out for Saturday 25 July but a second sitting has been opened up on Friday 24 July at a secret CBD location, to be revealed on the morning of the event.

To reserve your spot, book at or

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