In the 20 years since Bill Granger published his first book of recipes, bills Sydney Food, the world has fallen in love with the joyfully casual Australian way of eating exemplified in the first street-corner cafe he opened as a self-taught cook straight out of art school. He furnished the eatery in minimalist beachside style, with a central communal table. Even the name was minimalist - bills.
Bill Granger has been crowned the 'Egg Master of Sydney' (New York Times 2002), the 'creator of avocado toast' (Washington Post 2016) and 'the restaurateur most responsible for the Australian cafe's global reach' (The New Yorker 2018). Now, from Sydney to Tokyo, London to Seoul, queues form to enjoy ricotta hotcakes ('Sydney's most iconic dish' Good Food 2019) and corn fritters at his venues as well as countless other cafes whose menus pay homage to the first bills. This is today's bright picture of Australian food - packed with fresh and local produce, invitingly global in its flavours, health conscious but never restrictive, where one of the main ingredients is sunshine itself.
The plates at any of his 19 bills or Granger & Co restaurants are more sophisticated today, the flavours reflecting decades of global experience and culinary creativity - but the warmth of atmosphere and joy of eating are exactly the same.