14 December 2020

Five minutes with Liv Rollings, Teddy Pickers cafe

| Michelle Rowe
Teddy Pickers owner Liv Rollings

Liv Rollings is co-owner of the popular Teddy Pickers cafe in Campbell. Photo: Supplied.

Who is Liv Rollings: I am co-owner of Teddy Pickers café in Campbell with my partner Mark Raets and brother Matt Rollings.

Best recent dining experience: We recently had a staff lunch at Ondine in Deakin. The duck liver pate was probably the best I’ve ever eaten and the roast chicken was unreal, but do not leave without eating the apple tarte tatin!

Most embarrassing pantry item: There are too many to count, but I think considering we own our own coffee shop, our collection of Nescafe instant coffee trumps them all.

Must-buy ingredient: Teddy Picker’s housemade chilli jam! We always have some in the fridge and it’s a perfect way to add heaps of flavour to simple dishes. We whack it on eggs for brekky, toasties, meat … you name it.

Next big thing: I’m not really sure but I hope it’s a move towards doing business more sustainably. We are learning so much about our impact on the environment and I think as business owners we have a responsibility not to ignore it, and to see where we can make changes in the café to reduce our carbon footprint.

Favourite place for breakfast in the ACT: Pretty much anywhere we can find chef Nicky Kim and Max Owens working together. We have always followed them wherever they go mainly because Nicky’s food is unbelievable and Maxi really looks after us. They were most recently working together at Assembly which is where we’d go quite a bit, but Nicky has just left to go and work with the amazing crew at Pilot.

Cafe Mame

A beautifully composed dish from Cafe Mame in Melba. Photo: Supplied.

My Canberra food secret: Café Mame in Melba! Such an unassuming spot with some of the best brekky food I’ve eaten in a long time. Go there and eat the mortadella toastie and finish it with a slice of their chocolate cake.

Biggest culinary influence: Definitely my partner, Mark. His ability to make some of the simplest food taste like the best thing you’ve ever eaten is really inspiring and something I’m so fortunate to experience every day in our cafe and in our home. You can really feel the love he puts into every meal he makes, and I love that.

Favourite cookbook: Our cookbook collection is very much Mark’s and I wouldn’t say I use them too often. At the moment I’m really enjoying using recipes from some of my favourite Instagram accounts. My favourite at the moment is @recipearce – it’s a young family sharing video recipes which are super easy to follow and really delicious.

Teddy Pickers breakfast

The French toast at Teddy Pickers is so popular it has never been taken off the menu. Photo: Supplied.

Who I admire on the Canberra food and wine scene: I love when people enter the industry and they’re young and they’re not sure what they want to do with their career but they really find a spot for themselves in this industry and make something out of it. I really admire that. Some of my favourites would be watching Lucas Woods and Caitlin Baker from Aubergine create their restaurant pop up FK Spiders and Lauren Greig from Highroad turn her hospo passion into an amazing side hustle, Bower + Wilde, where she does the most beautiful grazing-style catering for events. We’ve all worked together at some point and it’s seeing people really become passionate about hospitality that I find super inspiring.

What’s on the menu this week: The dish I always like to mention is our Teddy’s French toast. My brother Matt, who is also chef and owner at Teddy’s, cooked this French toast before we opened four years ago as one of the dishes on our first menu, and it’s never been taken off. It’s a bit like bread and butter pudding and we alternate the toppings, but it always includes a scoop of Messina Gelato. It is the best sweet breakfast I’ve ever eaten and personally my biggest recommendation when you eat at Teddy’s.

Where I’m going next: Next on the list is a big, pre-Christmas staff dinner at Verity Lane. We’ve all been really keen to check it out. Mark and I are really big Ramen Daddy fans.

Death row meal: Chicken schnitty.

Ramen Daddy

Ramen Daddy’s Japanese fusion cuisine at Verity Lane. Photo: Ash St George.

My COVID-19 response: We made a huge change coming out of COVID by going from operating as a table service venue to counter service. The change allowed us to bring in an app ordering system which lets customers either pre-order and pick up takeaway, or order dine-in from their table, which has meant we don’t have large groups in the café waiting or queueing for long periods of time.

My really simple recipe: Mark is definitely the cook in our family but if there’s anything he has taught me it’s that salt and herbs are your friend. Our quick go-to would be a simple bruschetta – a yummy loaf of bread, some avo, tomatoes, Meredith feta, heaps of salt and pepper, and heaps of herbs.

Teddy Pickers is located at 53/65 Constitution Avenue in Campbell. Visit Teddy Pickers for more information, including opening hours.

Original Article published by Michelle Rowe on The RiotACT.

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