Clarissa Sibley and her mum Claudia are running the new restaurant in town, Essen.
Clarissa Sibley and her mum Claudia are running the new restaurant in town, Essen.

Mother-daughter duo bring heritage to new restaurant

A MOTHER-daughter duo say they'll let their cooking do the talking as they aim to "pep up" the community through food.

Inspired by her Austrian heritage, Clarissa Pabst has made the bold move to open a restaurant, Essen, within eye-shot of where she was born in Stanthorpe Hospital.

Nearly two weeks in, Clarissa and her mum, Claudia Sibley, say the community support has been wonderful.

"We've had a really good response, especially from the locals," Clarissa said.

Despite all her family having a background in cooking, it wasn't a forgone conclusion that she would tread a similar path.

"It took me a couple years to realise I wanted to cook. Mum's a chef, dad's a chef, both my grandparents are chefs, my brother is too.

"I couldn't really help myself. I guess this is what felt good."

Clarissa did her apprenticeship in Melbourne, where she met her husband Stu, another chef.

"We were down there for about a year and then travelled around Australia for a while and then ended up coming back to Stanthorpe," she said.

"There was a bit of decision-making happening but in the end we decided to buy the place.

"We just did it. We really liked it when Ben and Lou (previous owners) had it and thought it was a really cool place.

"So it has been a bit of an unexpected adventure."

The menu has been inspired by family favourites.

"Basically childhood memories - which sounds corny.

"But most of the food is Austrian or has some kind of Austrian twist where my parents are from.

"I just really wanted to make some food I personally really love to eat."

Clarissa says the whole experience has been "really challenging", but is helped by the fact her Mum is by her side.

"What I'm making here now is my grandmother's recipes."

Essen will open Tuesday-Saturday from 5.30pm to late and is located at 2 McGregor Terrace.

For bookings phone 4681 4254.