“Sod the wine, I want to suck on the writing. This man White is an instinctive writer, bloody rare to find one who actually pulls it off, as in still gets a meaning across with concision. Sharp arbitrage of speed and risk, closest thing I can think of to Cicero’s ‘motus continuum animi.’

Probably takes a drink or two to connect like that: he literally paints his senses on the page.”

DBC Pierre (Vernon God Little, Ludmila’s Broken English, Lights Out In Wonderland ... Winner: Booker prize; Whitbread prize; Bollinger Wodehouse Everyman prize; James Joyce Award from the Literary & Historical Society of University College Dublin)





08 January 2016


Sharon 'Shazz' Romeo and David Swain (above) this afternoon announced the sale of their legendary Fino restaurant at Willunga, McLaren Vale, to Parisian couple Tarik and Sandrine Maltret of La Terre restaurant, up the hill in High Street.

"This is a bittersweet moment for us," Sharon said in a prepared statement. 

"The place holds so many amazing memories."

David said they'd been "determined to wait until the right buyer came along."

Tarik and Sandrine promise they'll maintain their own French style of cuisine, using the best fresh produce the Fleurieu Peninsula has to offer.

They don't have to travel far: the famous Willunga Farmers' Market sets up right outside their new front door every Saturday morning.

The Fino duo's last service at Willunga will be on Friday 22nd of this month, so you haven't got long to get in there if you're feeling nostalgic. Shazz promises there'll be a grand farewell dinner with both her and David in attendance before they hand over the keys: keep an eye on the @finoseppeltsfield Twitter account or their Facebook for details. Seating, as you can imagine, will fill very quickly.

They will continue to refine their big booming Fino at Warren Randall's Seppeltsfield in the Barossa, and get to work on "some exciting new projects."

In their dazzling decade at Willunga, Shazz and David have earned an astonishing array of awards and prizes, culminating in Shazza's recent win of the Howard Twelftree Award for her outstanding contribution to South Australian gastronomic life.

Sandrine says the new business will be called Le Mistral. She said Tarik and her are very excited to be moving all the way down the hill and round the corner. Bon temps roulez!

UPDATE: Never believe a press release ... I had coffee at La Terre this morning, as I'd not met Tarik and Sandrine ... turns out he's from Provence, and while Sandrine's mother is Parisian, she prefers Arles, her dad's home in the south ... lovely folks; both fanatics for French Mediterranean cuisine ... it's all looking good for Le Mistral ... photos Philip White

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