Author(s): Stuart McKenzie
South of Johnston (or SoJo, as it's more affectionately known) is a fixture on the brunch circuit of Melbourne foodies...Sojo has resident bees, fruit trees, herbs and a worm farm too and its food showcases the fruits of the local providores. The Fitzroy cafe is Manhattan meets Melbourne, an artfully converted warehouse with a long airy dining room with communal tables, with an industrial chic edge...On the menu are brunchy, lunchy recipes for breakfast; pide stuffed with chorizo, egg and spinach, and indulgent brioche French toast with caramelised bananas and ice cream. This is eminently cookable sharable food and easily achieved at home...A blend of food and lifestyle, the book's content reflects the casual and creative mood of the cafe, with its vintage/industrial look and its locality, a buzzy street in a northerly suburb of Melbourne. The cafe context, as a place where people meet to catch up, do business, relax and work - the cafe as the modern living room where friends meet, eat, talk, relax...The food is seasonal and produce is sourced locally from trusted providores, so in spring and summer the recipes are bursting with fresh fruits, vegetables and salads and cooling dishes; in winter, the soups and risottos are warming, the porridge creamy with seasonal fruits, the eggs spiced with warming chorizo and truffle oil. ..
After running some of Melbourne's most successful cafes and restaurants Stuart McKenzie decided to concentrate on being his own boss. He put himself into the marketplace of good food and design and South of Johnston, on Collingwood's Johnston Street, parallel to Smith Street, was born. South of Johnston soon became known as Sojo in the neighbourhood and this reflects the casual and familiar feel the cafe exudes. In 2007 he and his partner opened Harts Lane HAUS and Stag & Millies accommodation in the central highlands region of Victoria. Located in the heart of the Daylesford spa country, the properties give a great lifestyle blend of inner city and country living. Stuart plans to open a produce store in 2016 just around the corner from Sojo, on the corner of Peel and Oxford Street, in Collingwood.