Beyond the Kitchen with Jack Cassidy

Nestled in Victoria's wine country, KIN is a culinary haven guided by Executive Chef Jack Cassidy. Recently honoured with a Good Food Award, Jack reflects on the significance of the recognition for KIN and its potential impact on Rutherglen's culinary scene. For Jack, the award underscores his team's commitment to ensuring each guest is cared for. Jack also hopes the accolade will bring attention to the region's growing culinary prowess. 

Jack's culinary philosophy centres on a commitment to quality and locally sourced ingredients. KIN's menu strikes a balance between tradition and innovation. Passion in the kitchen is rooted in the love for quality produce. KIN's small garden, a collaborative effort with the grounds-keeping team, is a commitment to sustainable and locally sourced ingredients. Jack continually emphasises the importance of working with small, independent farmers. 

Career advice from Jack is centred on the question, "Would you be proud to serve it to your mum?" Another guiding principle is "Keep It Simple, Stupid." You can see how these guiding principles have resulted in a menu at KIN that is simple and seasonal. 

In exploring culinary techniques, Jack appreciates experimentation with garums and ferments, which add umami and savoury notes to his dishes. As KIN prepares for its summer and autumn menus, Jack's excitement is palpable. The team has recently harvested their own carrots, strawberries, horseradish, and garlic, enhancing the dining experience with freshness and seasonality. 

Having worked regionally before, Jack finds Rutherglen exciting due to its rich history in winemaking and potential for growth in the food and dining scene. KIN serves as a platform to showcase the region's hidden gems and exceptional produce. When asked what made him choose Rutherglen as the place to settle down, he was quick to talk about the spaciousness for his young family, and the lack of traffic jams. 

In a region dominated by fine wine and drinks, Jack's favourite is the 2018 All Saints Estate Family Cellar Durif. His allegiance to All Saints Estate as his favourite winery is rooted in personal experiences and how the Browns have cared for and treated him as family. When not drinking wine, Jack's personality is aptly captured by the Negroni, a drink that embraces simplicity. For hangovers (which are very rare these days with his young family and work commitments), Jack swears by a classic Bloody Mary. 

Looking to the future, Jack contemplates destinations for culinary holidays with his wife. Japan and Sri Lanka, with their intriguing food and culture, beckon as potential choices. 

Chef Jack Cassidy's journey at KIN is a story of passion, dedication, and an unwavering commitment to showcasing the work of his local farmers and suppliers. KIN is well worth a visit over the bountiful Autumn period if you've not planned one already. Make a reservation for KINhere.