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Messer Restaurant to Launch with Chef Ashley Davis

Chef Ashley Davis to open his second Melbourne restaurant 'Messer' on Gertrude Street, Fitzroy in March 2018. After opening his first restaurant Copper Pot Seddon only two years ago to a number of notable acclaims (including: AFR top 500 restaurants 2016, 2017; Herald Sun Delicious 100 Victoria 2016; Concrete Playground, people’s choice for best new restaurant 2016; and most recently The Age Good Food Guide One Hat 2018) Ashley Davis will deliver his next European inspired restaurant, but with a different twist to his inner-west institution.

This time Ashley is setting out to tell a culinary story through the lens of the great European village markets. With Messer, Ashley will be looking to peak, local ingredients for dish inspiration while leveraging his and head Chef, Sascha Rust’s experience in European techniques to help bring the flavours of the produce to life. Ashley Davis says: "Aside from technique, these markets have been the driver of my fascination and inspiration of European cuisine. They don't just represent food, but the villages and the communities as a whole. There's a different feeling at a little Euro market. Everyone knows someone.

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There are little rituals like hitting up the Flammkuchen (French / German flatbread) cart before you kick off, or grabbing a bag of juicy peaches to snack on on the way home. The produce is such an honest representation of what the locals are producing at that time of the year. The butcher breaks down a few animals and the cuts are first come, first served. Or someone may just grow beets or tomatoes that are something you'll never taste anywhere else. This makes you want to do justice to the ingredients. It's not about a shopping list, it's about the great produce influencing what you'll cook and how you'll cook it."

Sascha Rust says: "Ash and I have been building great relationships with some amazing producers over the past two years with Copper Pot and we're excited to extend what we've been doing at Messer. Ashley adds: “We'll be designing dishes by starting with the ingredient, then choosing the best technique to create dishes that enhance the flavours of the produce. We're looking at fire, smoke, rotisserie, poach, brine, salt or pickle... whatever does the most justice to the ingredient to create amazing dishes."

As for the actual menu, Messer will showcase a different, 'lighter' inspired style of dining than what comes to mind for most when thinking of European cuisine. Hero vegetables and bright, meal-worthy salads will feature on the menu as prominently as charcuterie, seafoods and meats.

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There might also be a Copper Pot favourite or two reinterpreted on the menu. "We are following the style of European dining when it comes to service. Lunch will be more casual so you can pop in a few days a week for the menu del dia (set 3 courses) or something from the rotisserie, or a duck wurst on pretzel with salads and pickles. While we will always stay approachable, we'll be upping the ante for dinner service to showcase all of the great produce of the week." Says Ashley.