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On a hot Sunday in Sydney, with end of year fast approaching, we made things a bit bougie with Tal Buchnik of Jimmy's Falafels. Tal writes and cooks for us - a grilled lobster with Turkish pepper pesto, grilled tahini broccolini and a sumak cos lettuce salad
Interview with Tal


Born and raised in Israel, at just thirteen Tal Buchnik had already started cooking at a local restaurant. After moving to Sydney in order to further his culinary studies, he found himself falling for the hospitality charm that is Merivale. Tal quickly worked his way to Sous Chef at Mr Wong and is now part of the brand spanking new team at Jimmy’s Falafel in Sydney, whilst also offering his own catering and private dinners experience with Dinner by Buchnik.

In the kitchen, Tal looks to his home region in the middle east, a true cross-intersection of Asia and Mediterranean Europe foods and flavours, for his own finesse and flair.

We were fortunate to spend a 41 degree Sunday in Sydney with Tal, cooking a recipe he conjured up to pair with the Jacques Lassaigne ‘Les Vignes de Montgueux’ Champagne.

We actually tried our own hand at diving for lobsters off Avalon in Sydney’s northern beaches, but only came up with a few Abalone to show for it. Still the attempt was real and all part of a pretty magical day.

The delicate and sweet component of Lobster, with a spice and peppery kick, against the dry and bubbly Champagne was probably the most bougie yet enjoyable food experience we’ve had in a long time.


250g green prawns, 100g butter, 100g olive oil, 1 punnet of tiny cherry tomatoes, 5 cloves of garlic, 1 eschalot diced, 1 pinch of chili flakes, good pinch of salt flakes, black pepper, chopped parsley, dill for garnish, basil for garnish, fresh lemon for a squeeze, Turkish bread


  1. Mince garlic & dice shallots finely
  2. In a wide based pan, sauté chilli, shallot, garlic, salt & pepper in the butter and olive oil
  3. We want to make this as fragrant as possible so good 5-8 minutes on a low heat is perfect
  4. Next add the cherry tomatoes and cook until they begin to blister
  5. Add the prawns, simmer until cooked
  6. Add chopped parsley and check the seasoning
  7. Toast your bread under the grill or toaster
  8. Spoon prawns onto toast and squeeze fresh lemon juice over
  9. Finish with herbs