Nelson the Chef
So much of my Crows Nest journey has led me to two very strong conclusions. People here love their coffee and food. So with this many people talking about food I thought I needed to get a chef’s photo and story. This is never easy as chefs are always busy preparing for the days trade. But today I was lucky and I had a restaurant in mind, Peter Pan’s Italian Restaurant. This place is part of Crows Nest. If Crows Nest was a pizza it would super supreme and Peter Pan’s would be the base. Lets be honest about one thing, pizza toppings are the flavor but you get a bad base and the pizza is stuffed. The more I explore Crows Nest I really believe it is the small businesses that is the base of this community. They are the foundations. Peter Pan’s is part of this base and has been serving the people of Crows Nest for 19yrs. I have eaten there and its good!
Nelson has been cooking up a storm here for 3yrs and his signature dish BBQ Octopus marinated in garlic, oil and fresh herbs. I am a foodie in the same way I am an amateur photographer. I may not be brilliant at it but I really like doing it. I asked him what makes this his signature dish, with a grin a chef can only give you he answers it in a way all chefs answer the question ‘what’s your secret’, “ah you know its just the way I cook it, its juicy and tender and the customers they love it, no one does quite like me” (with a really think Italian accent). I guess I will never get the secretes to his success.
Nelson likes Crows Nest and he gets to meet lots of locals. As I was talking to him one regular walks in, when I mean regular he has being coming her for many many years, each person their knows his name and what he likes, but more than that they know about him and take the time to ask him how things are going, his wife and family. Its old school where service isn’t good enough if the food is well prepared and delivered on time, its about traditional family. How many restaurants today do you walk into and the waiter, bartender, the owner and chefs know you? I think that is what makes Peter Pan’s different and why in Crows Nest you will not find a McDonald’s, people come to these places because the owners and the staff take time to get to know who you are. They treat you like family and they invite you in to their homes and take pleasure in preparing your meal.
Nelson likes the friendly nature of people in Crows Nest and this makes the atmosphere in the restaurant really enjoyable. I would also say its a mixture of the locals and the staff that make the atmosphere enjoyable. Its busy (but the best places always are) and there is a buzz about it a real energy. I had just one last question for Nelson and I asked him what do people in Crows Nest know about Italian food, and again with a grin he said “People in Crows Nest know their Italian food well”
Thanks Nelson and the team at Peter Pan’s for sharing your Crows Nest.