We sat down with our first guest cafe owner, Michael Rantissi of Kepos Street Kitchen!

One serendipitous morning, Michael and partner Kristy walked pasted a derelict corner building with a ‘For Lease’ sign on its door. After a 20 minute conversation about opening up a place of their own, Michael and partner Kristy set off on the adventure of a lifetime - launching and running a new business! Inspired by his childhood in Tel Aviv to Sydney, Michael developed a modern and diverse menu and ignited a city-wide passion for their unique and rustic fare. Cumin, sumac, cinnamon, saffron, dukkah, chermoula and za’atar are all regulars in the menu, paired with dates, pistachios, pomegranates and lemons for an explosion of flavours in each bite. We are so excited to be offering some of these famous dishes in our menu this month. We sat down with Michael to get the scoop on his passions, drivers and tips for success in the kitchen: **On growing up:**Growing up in Tel Aviv, I loved watching my Mum cooking in our kitchen at home but I actually got into the food business when I took my first job as a kitchenhand. I had seen a pair of Puma trainers that I wanted and Dad would not buy them for me so I went out and got a job so I could buy those shoes myself! The food we serve at Kepos Street Kitchen draws on the best of my childhood meals mixed with classical training and a changing palate - our dishes have a strong Mediterranean influence with a Middle Eastern twist. **On his food philosophy:**Keep is simple, use the freshest and best ingredients you can and most of all don’t stress. (Sounds exactly like Marley Spoon’s philosophy too!) **On the best part of owning a business:**The flexibility and freedom of being your own boss **On his culinary inspirations:**I have a lot of respect for Michel Roux and I believe he has been an influence on my career. He actually dined at Kepos Street Kitchen at the end of May and I was so excited to finally meet him. The food that I was brought up on in Tel Aviv was the culinary inspiration behind the menus at Kepos Street Kitchen image**On the best cooking advice ever received:**If it fails, try again. But my partner Kristy thinks that the best cooking advice I have given her is how to cook rice. People get a simple dish like rice wrong all the time! Here’s my recipe: - 1 cup basmati rice

  • Olive oil for coating
  • 1 ½ cups boiling water or stock
  1. Place a saucepan with lid over medium heat, adding enough olive oil to coat the bottom
  2. Add rice and stir to coat with the oil
  3. Cook until the grains are toasted then add the water
  4. Add salt to taste and bring to the boil
  5. Once boiling, put the lid on the saucepan and turn the heat down to the lowest setting
  6. Cooking with the lid on for 18 minutes
  7. Remove the saucepan from the heat and rest for 5 minutes with the lid on
  8. Serve!

On three tools he can’t live without in the kitchen:- Good quality knives

  • Copper pot
  • Mortar and pestle

What recipes are in the Marley Spoon box this month? Our chicken meatballs with silverbeet and tomato is a delicious and easy homemade chicken meatballs recipe perfect for winter. Flavoured with onion, chilli and garlic this recipe is packed with delicious vegetables and protein, served with pasta and garnished with fresh coriander. (Available to order from 13th June for delivery starting June 27th.) My chicken chermoula with Moroccan carrots is made from a versatile paste that can be used to marinate both vegetables and meat, giving your dinner a flavoursome kick, accompanied with carrots seasoned with cumin and sumac and served with a dollop of zesty Greek-style yoghurt. (Available to order from 27th June for delivery starting July 11th.) **On the best places to eat in Sydney:**If we are dining out on my nights off it is normally locally. Our favourites are East Phoenix Chinese restaurant at East Village, Da Mario, and love an ice cream from Messina in Rosebery. **On winter cooking:**Slow cooking as you can put the dish on in the morning and just forget about it. The house will be warm and smell delicious. On unwinding - he’s just like us, folks!: Lying on the lounge and watching TV. I do that every afternoon on my break and when I get home from working in the evening. **On favourite Instagram foodies:**Foodstarz_official To win a copy of “Falafel For Breakfast” and a free week of Marley Spoon, simply enter your details here. New to Marley Spoon? Click here to get $35 off your first order using the code KEPOS.