Jason Chan - You The Man

By Kelly On May 2, 2012

This week on the blog we are excited to introduce long time Joost collaborator and ‘Melbourne hospitality hero‘ Jason Chan, who shares with us his secret Lemonade Syrup recipe!

“I’d rather be a black sheep than a white sheep: I like to do things differently” Jason Chan. Image via Time Out

Who is Jason Chan?

It’s not easy labelling Jason Chan. You could call him a ‘master barista‘ – he
was 2005 Age Barista of the Year and owns Batch Espresso, a ‘mad bartender‘ – he won the 42 Below World Cocktail Championships and opened Seamstress, or a ‘spirits aficionado‘ – he has now entered the distillery game with his award winning West Winds Gin - however these labels fail to describe his sustainable food ethos, commitment to local community and ‘you make your own destiny’ attitude.

Originally from New Zealand, Jason’s introduction to hospitality began at a young age in the kitchen of his family’s restaurant. It was there that he watched his parents work hard to create a welcoming community establishment in which customers were well looked after. This generous spirit pervades all that Jason does today – he lives by the motto that ’hospitality is all about giving’.

Jason & Joost

After studying nutrition and food science, Jason came to Melbourne in 2004 and worked at some of the city’s iconic hospitality venues including Ray’s Cafe and Der Raum cocktail bar. It is at Der Raum where Jason met Joost, who was commissioned to create floral installations, and who is responsible for the bar’s signature hanging bottle display – a concept Joost devised whilst watching Jason struggle to identify different liquor bottles during a busy service. The two creative thinkers have been collaborating ever since, with Joost designing installations for Jason’s ventures Batch and Sweatshop, and Jason consulting on drinks at the four Greenhouse restaurants.

Above: Joost’s octopus strap and hook installation makes life easier for Der Raum’s bar tenders. Image via Pages Digital

Above: Joost’s fit-out at Jason’s Sweatshop bar features reclaimed airport departure signs and wafer board stools. Image via broadsheet

Jason’s philosophy

In 2005 Jason opened his first solo venture Batch Espresso, a cafe that embodies
his ‘thinking small, thinking local’ philosophy. With a passion for making things  from scratch, all Batch’s jams, muffins and slices are made in house from locally sourced ingredients. Besides producing high quality food and drink, Jason says that one of the most rewarding things about Batch is that it has evolved into a multi-generational gathering place for local residents: “The cafe offers an amazing way of looking at life – I’ve watched kindergarteners journey through to school, high school students graduate to university, customers get married and bring their kids in”.

Above: Joost’s road sign art piece watches over the daily happenings at Batch. Image via Breakfast out

The Famous Lemonade

Jason created this syrup recipe for the first Greenhouse at Federation Square. Wanting to offer something to the hoards of young children coming through the restaurant, and inspired by an excess of organic lemons, this lemonade was a hit with patrons young and old. It has become a fixture at the subsequent Perth, Sydney and Melbourne Greenhouses as well the Hidden Pizza experience. Now you can try it at home!

Above: Refreshing lemonades at the Greenhouse. Images via Gastronomel & All Hail You Huiness








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