Like the Wizard of Oz, Sarah Dunning is the one "behind the curtain". She makes the daily bread, meets the deliveries, chooses the wine, and cooks the food. She opened Gymnopedie in the balmy Summer of 2010 and has been honing her craft ever since.
(photo credit: Rinne Allen)
While credentials can be of use to chefs, Sarah chose to train in a different field - Physics - culminating in a PhD before commencing her culinary pursuits. We're still debating if that affects her culinary style or not...... What does affect her cooking is a passion for the local produce, so it is around local produce that the food orients.
But what is happening at Gymnopedie is so much more than that. A really good restaurant will present simple, beautiful fresh food from the best ingredients. Sarah goes way further than that. She extracts essences, she makes little reductions, she prepares his own nut milks, she whips up her own little sorbets... much talk revolves around food that is too fussy, yes we agree with that but fine food, really interesting, beautiful food with such flavour hasn't just occurred: it's been skillfully treated, yet presents as deceptively simple.