Head Chef of Treasury 1860, Nick Filsell is a passionate chef, renown both here in Adelaide and Australia wide. His incredible career in kitchens both at home and abroad has allowed him to gain mountains of experience and respect in the industry.
From working interstate to cooking and teaching overseas, Nick has a lot of knowledge and many stories under his belt, like the time he worked in an ancient, haunted English Inn.
Nick has been the Head Chef of many kitchens and notably opened fan fave Lost in a Forest, with business partners Charlie Lawrence and Taras Ochota of Ochota Barrels fame, which has been featured in Vogue US and enjoyed by celebrity chef, Marco Pierre White.
It all began in 1989 when Nick had his start in kitchens at the Aldgate Pub as a dishy, with the hope of getting some money together so he could take girls on dates. As a result, he hasn’t left the kitchen since.
As he properly settled into chef life, Nick travelled extensively and explored the world.
“I travelled around for 18 years or so, two laps of the country and one lap of the world,” says Nick.
Through his travels he gained invaluable experience, like working in England at The Royalist Hotel, which is in the Guinness Book of Records as ‘The Oldest Inn in England’, dating back to 947 AD. Nick believed this venue was definitely haunted!
When he arrived home to Adelaide he became the the Sous Chef of the then newly opened Regattas Bistro and was promoted to Head Chef in 2003 until 2005.
Nick then took up an opportunity to interstate and worked in Queensland at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat. He then moved to Melbourne to work at the Crown Casino and hatted restaurants Matteo’s and Bacash.
Nick then returned home and was appointed as head chef of Red Ochre Grill in 2011. Then, after a rigorous recruitment process, he became the head chef of the Jamie’s Italian opening team. This, once again, put Nick in England to train, before returning and opening the Adelaide restaurant!
With all of this culinary experience under his belt, Nick was able to partner with Charlie and Taras to open Lost in a Forest.
“Opening Lost in a Forest was nothing short of incredible. We had so much support and good press, which was really humbling because we’re just a little pizza joint in the hills,” says Nick.
Incredibly, Lost in a Forest has appeared in Vogue USA, The New York Times, and celebrity Chef, Marco Pierre White, has dined there. (His favourite dish was the mushroom, sage, and blue cheese pizza). Nick reflects on these as “pinch yourself moments”.
After employing a new Head Chef Paul Nelson to take the reigns at Lost, Nick was able to move back down to the city and become the Head Chef of Treasury 1860 last year in late April.
The former Treasury Building oozes South Australian history, first appearing in 1839 and being completed in 1860. This gives way to the name of the bar and restaurant venue being called Treasury 1860.
“Working at Treasury is excellent, because it has great management and allows a complete gig for a chef. It’s an incredibly versatile venue that offers casual dinning with a bar menu and also a more up market menu in the restaurant,” says Nick.
Nick has created a seasonally evolving menu, with some of the finest produce South Australia has to offer.
“I love to cook, because food gives people the opportunity to indulge themselves. I like to make my food accessible, allowing the diner to feel comfortable and welcome, whilst aiming to make food that’s like eating a hug, food that makes you feel snug and warm or that can take you back to a time and place evoking a fond memory or moment,” explains Nick.
“This comes through in quite simple, wholesome dishes with a lot of depth and substance.”
On the bar menu, you can find delicious meals like, chipotle pulled pork sliders, steak sandwiches and shepherds pie.
The more lavish restaurant menu features mouthwatering dishes like the Paroo kangaroo fillet with spiced carrot puree, braised lentils and blackcurrant jus, or the Port Lincoln Kingfish with inari coconut rice, bok choy, fried lotus root in a laksa broth.
“Everything I put on my menu is something I would eat. If I was a customer, I don’t know what I’d choose because I’d want to eat it all,” says Nick.
Wander on down to try Nick’s menu at Treasury 1860, located at 144 King William Street, Adelaide, SA, 5000.