Recreating a cuisine in a new country can be challenging but for Johny Dominguez it’s a way to connect with stories and friends from home while embarking on a new life.
‘As immigrants, we move somewhere else but I think we need to embrace what we already found here as well. Use local produce. Embrace Australia’.
Travel has been at the fore of Johny’s food journey. Firstly winning a scholarship to study at the Lycée Technique et Hôtelier de Monaco in Monaco before volunteering to work under Rene Redzepi at the two-Michelin Star restaurant, Noma, in Copenhagen.
Following his wife to Australia, where she studied, Johny immersed himself in Australia’s ‘revolutionary food scene,’ working at Vue de Monde for a year followed by Dinner by Heston.
Now at the helm of the kitchen inside Bodriggy Brewing Co’s new brewpub, Johny is balancing ‘the edges’ of fine dining and classic Latin America cuisine while considering the Australian punter.
‘Australian’s are foodies. But there are some barriers. One of my goals is to break those cliches about Latin American food.’
The menu pays homage to signature dishes across Latin America. Ask him to describe the signature flavour profiles and he will detail his inspiration behind each.
‘Talking to immigrants, I have friends from many countries. I fell in love with their stories from their countries.’
‘Every single dish is different. It has its own profile. I’m inspired by Latin American cuisine. So, Peru, Brazilian, Argentinean, Mexcian.’
The menu is not without it’s adventure for those more accustomed to the safer, Westernised Latin American food.
For starters, the fish taco is sans the batter. Instead, the fried Marlin is smoked and stuffed into a pickled jalapeno and served with cabbage and mayo. A fish and recipe popular in Northern Mexico.
‘It’s a classic you can find anywhere in Australia. I want to make it better.’