At nel., we like to keep things interesting. Our eight-course menu changes every six weeks to showcase the best seasonal produce Australia has to offer.
Breathing new life into Sydney’s progressive dining scene, nel. restaurant is pioneering a global-infused culinary experience that is setting Sydneysiders’ tastebuds alight. Spearheading the kitchen, chef Nelly Robinson and his team are widely celebrated for their contemporary interpretations of modern Australian dishes. Nelly’s robust understanding and appreciation of the best produce is showcased in every dish and is guaranteed to throw guests into a food frenzy.
The modern venue encompasses an open kitchen viewed from every seat in the house, and fuses contemporary and traditional techniques to offer a sophisticated yet unpretentious space. nel. restaurant features leather booths, exposed brickwork and sleek copper facades, creating the perfect backdrop to any occasion.
Executive Chef & Owner
Nelly began his career as a kitchen hand at the tender age of 14 at Michelin- starred restaurant Northcote Manor (UK), stepping into the kitchen at 15 full time to start his apprenticeship. Trained by chef patron Nigel Haworth and his team, including Warrick Dodds and Mark Burchill, Nelly was one of the first to complete an apprenticeship at Northcote.
At 29, Nelly opened nel., offering guests the finest international cuisines with an innovative air. Well known for his role as nel. Restaurant’s executive chef and owner, Nelly has found his feet as one of Sydney’s top chef personalities. His attention to detail, especially when it comes to guest interaction, has earned him a loyal following of international and local guests.
Nelly has been invited to cook as a special guest at many Australian and international events. His recent visits include Bangkok and Abu Dhabi – the latter as a competitor in the Taste of
Abu Dhabi World’s Best Dish competition. He has also had the honour of cooking for Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday celebrations at the British High Commission in Canberra.
Nelly likes to stamp his own personality on his food with childhood memories, a fun innovative style and always cooks with a smile on his face.
meet the team
Owner & Managing Director
Born and bred in Sydney and growing up in an Italian family, Ashley’s love affair with food started at a young age. With over twelve years experience in the hospitality industry, it was only fitting that she moved into catering and event management. Ashley began her career at The Botanic Gardens Restaurant, then moved just around the corner to the iconic Sydney Opera House where she met Nelly.
After a few years working at the Sydney Opera House, she started working for Merivale as part of the Meetings and Events Team. During this time, both Ashley and Nelly dreamed up their own restaurant concept. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Executive Pastry Chef
Having worked most of his career in some of the world’s finest restaurants, resorts and hotels across the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia, Jason now has developed his own patisserie style and ethos. Jason’s goal was to begin his career working at the highest level possible. Drawn to the intricacies of patisserie, Jason has sought out the best chefs to learn from, and has to date worked with some of the most highly regarded chefs and patissiers, including Marco Pierre White, Peter Gilmore, Simon Neil Jenkins, Adam Simmonds and Alastair Waddell.
Jason has worked in a number of world-class kitchens including qualia, Quay, The Roxy (NZ) and Restaurant Adam Simmonds; and brings an invaluable wealth of knowledge, passion and innovation to the nel. kitchen.
Born and raised in northern Germany, sous chef Fabian Mucke has been part of nel. restaurant from day one. Starting his career as a chef at the age of 15, Fabian took an apprenticeship in a classic French grande hotel kitchen in Hamburg.
Over the next 13 years, Fabian worked in different kitchens and Michelin-star restaurants in Austria, Germany and Australia. With a focus on the world of fine foods, he developed most of his skills during his time at the famed Restaurant Ikarus in Hangar 7, where he worked beside world-class chefs including Daniel Humm, Sergio Herman and Frantzen Lindeberg.
At 17, Shelly started a chef apprenticeship at Peppers Anchorage and soon found herself working closely with the pastry section after realising she held a strong passion for all things sweet! From then on, pastry was her number one priority.
A life-changing move to Hamilton Island in 2011, Shelly began at qualia Resort, working alongside chefs Jane Therese Mulry and Alastair Waddell. After returning from a reconnaissance trip to Europe, Shelly moved to a Front of House position and worked her way up to Assistant Manager of the Long Pavilion restaurant, assisting with events. Meeting Nelly on Hamilton Island during her time at qualia, Shelly took the plunge and moved down to Sydney to work at nel. restaurant in January 2016.
Senior Sous Chef
Andy started his career with an apprenticeship in New Zealand, before moving to Australia to work under Scott Pickett. He then relocated to Hamilton Island and, like a few of the nel. team, worked at the renowned qualia resort. After three years there and a small stint in Brisbane, Andy then moved to Sydney to join the nel. family.
Working at nel., Andy loves the passion, the daily drama of the kitchen and the great bond between everyone in the team. Apart from his culinary skills – which he showed off in his own pop-up restaurant for the 2017 Sunday Sous Sessions – Andy has a few hidden talents, holding both a scuba diving license and a personal training diploma.
Born and raised in Ecuador, Francisco started his career in the food & beverage industry working at one of the first Relais & Chateaux properties in South America. After this experience, he decided to move to Australia to join Blue Mountains Hotel Management School, studies that led him to work in the renowned resort qualia. After this experience Francisco traveled to Asia as a volunteer tutor in a hospitality school in Vietnam, where he taught local students relevant skills and theory to succeed in the industry.
Months later Francisco moved to Adelaide where he studied a Master in Business Administration (MBA), a course that allowed him to develop, manage and plan hospitality related business and concepts. This location also contributed to Francisco’s interest for wine, an area that he continues to study. At the age of 25, Francisco has recently joined the nel. family as Restaurant Manager. Welcome, Francisco!
At 17, Abby started her career in a small town café. She soon completed her Bachelor of Business in Hotel Management at The Sydney Hotel School, and has since worked in some of Sydney’s best hotels. After working in Sydney for over seven years, she made the decision to move to Hamilton Island, where she worked at the Yacht Club as supervisor – working with both Shelly and Jason.
After almost two years on the island, it was time to come back to reality. Abby returned to Sydney and started working at Altitude at the Shangri-La. Working closely with executive sommelier and well-respected John MacKinnon, he both inspired and encouraged her to take the WSET Level 2. After a call from Shelly and an opportunity too good to resist, Abby started the next chapter in her career as Assistant Manager. After completing the WSET Level 3, Abby is now the nel. sommelier.