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Erinn Jordan

The Catbird Seat Bistro, QLD

A stone’s throw from The Gabba in East Brisbane, The Catbird Seat Bistro opened its doors in 2014. Operated by husband and wife team James Guldberg (kitchen) and Erinn Jordan (floor), the affordable bistro “aims to be the sort of place you can patronise often, but special enough to celebrate significant life events,” explains Erinn.

James is classically trained in French cuisine and the menu features European-inspired, Modern Australian food. “We prepare our charcuterie meats in-house and are known for our interesting, slightly quirky dishes, celebrating under-utilised cuts of meat and offal for example,” she says.

While The Catbird Seat – an American term for “sitting pretty” – is undoubtedly a labour of love, Erinn is just as passionate about making her employees feel valued and engaging with the local community. “Restaurateurs have a responsibility to set the tone and lead by example in their relationships with customers, suppliers, farmers, producers and staff. We see ourselves as part of a community, contributing to local fundraising ventures when they arise,” she says.

Being her own boss and seeing other people appreciate what they do are some of the most rewarding aspects of being a restaurateur, according to Erinn. But the best piece of advice she’s received? “One thing I learned early on from a well-known Brisbane bar owner was that the highest-ranking staff member should do the worst jobs,” she says. “I’ve stuck by that.”

Follow Erin on Instagram @catbirdseatbistro