So, who is this guy in red shoes?
Stuart is the owner & sommelier of Fix St. James. He opened FIX in 2006 with the aim of having a wine focussed restaurant - and bar - that offered good quality food with a great range of interesting wines. Stuart always intended for FIX to be the relaxed & interesting kind of venue, that his guests felt comfortable coming back to.
As the years have rolled on, he’s stayed true to that goal. His team and the general level of craziness has just increased (and improved) with age! Of course, that will happen when you combine too much wine, owning a busy restaurant and having a young family.
For you, the good news is that you can now get a little bit of the red shoe, wine crazy wherever you are. Either on this blog, on FB and most often on instagram.com/fixstjames
Aside from this… what has he done lately? Well, in 2012 Stuart was awarded the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide Sommelier of the Year.
That same year he was also accepted to become a Len Evans Scholar.
The last two years have seen Stuart jetting about more & more, attending some exceptional wine educationals, and judging a number of well-known Australian wine shows. He’s been a regular at the Sydney Royal Wine Show since 2012. He has judged the Hunter Valley Wine Show and the McLaren Vale Wine Show in 2015.
And when he’s not doing any of this, he can be found at the beach or red-shoe shopping.
Now, if you're interested in how Stuart got into restaurants and the life of wine, please read on...
In 1997 Stuart began work at Edna’s Table with Jennice & Raymond Kersh. It was during his time there that his true interest in wine and food began. Lyndey Milan really ignited this passion with her food and wine matching sessions for Edna’s staff. Combine that with Jennice’s skill as a host and Raymond’s passion for truly local produce and Stuart knew this was the path that he would follow.
Late 1998 saw Stuart move to London and was offered a position as Assistant Sommelier at Sir Terrance Conran’s first restaurant Bibendum. Working with a 1500 bottle strong wine list & guided by leading UK wine writer & buyer Matthew Jukes saw Stuart stay on in London till late 2001 when he returned to the fairer weather of Sydney.
On his return he commenced as Sommelier with Dietmar Sawyere at Forty One Restaurant, within 18 months Stuart had also taken over the reigns as Restaurant Manager.
September 2005 saw Stuart go out on his own, first opening Fix @ Castlereagh, a lobby espresso bar then going on to open Fix St James in November 2006. He sold Fix @ Castlereagh in January 2008 to concentrate all of his efforts on Fix St James.
You’ll find Stuart working the floor every day, ready to point you in the direction of some obscure winery or variety, and always happy to drink it just in case it wasn’t to your taste!
Fix St James is a 60 seat brasserie style restaurant with a great little eat at bar. There’s a strong focus on the freshest seasonal produce – in the kitchen, and a 250 bottle strong wine list, focussing on small handcrafted – sometimes natural, often unusual - wines from around the globe.