Table Talk: Gerald Diffey

Table Talk: Gerald Diffey

The man, the myth, the legend - meet Gerald Diffey, a stalwart of Melbourne hospitality and his eponymous wine bar Gerald's Bar.


Tell us about the Gerald's Bar Dirty Martini.

We like to ‘throw’ our Martinis, decanting between two shakers to chill the gin and vermouth and mix in the olive brine for a perfectly clear cocktail. The Bella di Cerginola olive is a big meaty olive from Puglia and brings out the dirtiness, huzzah!! (Find the recipe here).

Can you share some of your favourite rituals around food and dining?

I love breaking bread with friends and particularly love the trappings of refinement: silver cutlery, deep table cloths, napery, fine glassware; I think it respects your friends or guest’s participation.

If we were to peer into your pantry, what are some things we would always find?

Worcestershire Sauce, Cayenne, English mustard powder, Horseradish (fresh, peeled, and frozen), Asafoetida, Porcini powder, and not surprisingly, HP!
The seven pillars of umami wisdom.

What does your 'day on a plate’ look like? 

Breakfast: coffee and cigarettes but sometimes hot buttered toast with Vegemite and crunchy peanut butter. Try it – salty, sweet, crunchy, unctuous and savoury.
Lunch: rarely, but I love a good Bahn mi or a cheese toastie with cheddar, onion and mustard.
Dinner: at work, whatever staff meal is. At home, my wife Esther makes excellent pasta, it may be passé but cacio e Pepe is a favourite.
Dessert: cheese, cheese, cheese

What do you like to cook for the people you love?

I like to cook for the people I love what they love to eat. Win win.

What sort of food did you eat growing up?

I grew up eating pretty plain fare. Lots of beans, sardines, eggs, sausages, chops, cheese, but my grandmother was a cracking cook. I still dream about her Steak and kidney suet puddings and her rabbit casserole full of veggies and pearl barley. Buonne appetit!