ZAC Phillips and Ryan Carey have forged a strong friendship over the past nine years, were groomsmen at each other’s weddings and have now taken over one of Swanbourne’s most iconic businesses.
The chefs moved into the Kirkwood Deli on Friday the 13th in February and closed the following Tuesday to complete an overhaul of the corner shop with help from family and friends.
“We really wanted to change the place dramatically to show people it had new owners and it was a new chapter for the Kirkwood Deli,” Mr Phillips said.
“It’s gone through many transitions and the support of the community has been overwhelming… that’s what’s kept us going when we’re tired. We underestimated the love for this venue.”
Mr Phillips and Mr Carey met in Malta in 2006 when they were working in the kitchen on Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s boat Octopus.
Mr Carey, the former executive chef at Cottesloe’s Boatshed Market, said the pair gained a lot of experience working with up to 10 chefs on the 126m boat.
“It wasn’t normal restaurant food, we cooked for some amazing events with produce from all over Europe,” he said.
“I’ve been looking at this location for more than 12 years and now we’ve made it happen.”
The Swanbourne residents have created an open kitchen where they make pre-prepared meals daily and use their private chef experience to create personalised catering menus.