FK Spiders: The pop-up bringing a taste of Australia to the capital

A pair of entrepreneurs from Australia who work for two of Edinburgh's top restaurants have launched a new pop-up that will bring a taste of Down Under to the capital.

Published 10th Jul 2019
Updated 18 th Sep 2023

With the new launch, passionate food and wine fans Caitlin Baker and Lucas Woods say that they are looking to break out of the box of what they call "Michelin star hospitality".

"We want to provide a platform for the next generation of hospitality as well as share our passion for food, wine and service," said Lucas, who works at Timberyard in the Old Town.

"We think should service should be genuine, from the heart, and come from passionate people who are knowledgeable of the product they are presenting.

"It should be less about white table clothes, calling people sir/madam and not having any conversation, and more about the food on the plate, where the wine comes from and the people who are serving it to you."

Taking their name from an Australian expression meaning that they aren't here to mess about, FK Spiders springs from their desire to do things differently.

The first event, which takes place on the 11th & 12th of August at Fhior (where Caitlin works full time), will see Ryan Carlson and Aidan Kidson, junior sous and chef de partie respectively, at St John in London create a five-course menu.

"They'll be whipping up food that is inspired by what we enjoyed in Australia as kids, using only fresh Scottish produce," Caitlin, who is one of the managers at Fhior, said.

"Though we don't have photos of the dishes as of yet - they are going to be a surprise for our guests - you can expect them to be inspired by the likes of kangaroo & trotter party pie, student staple HSP and of course vegemite on toast.

"We've even designed a dessert using popular Aussie chocolate bar Cherry Ripe as the basis. "

The pair, who originally hail from Canberra, say they fell in love with Edinburgh after visiting it on holiday; making it the only choice when they decided to quit their jobs at home and move abroad to pursue their passion for food and wine.

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"We just love the city, there are plenty of amazing restaurants and lots of people here are into their wine."

And wine is something that is equally important to them, particularly when it comes to FK Spiders.

"The debut of FK Spiders will feature some of our fabulous friends from home, including Brash Higgins, Latta Vino, Vinous Herion Society, Brian Wines & Ravensworth and we have even got Never Never Distilling Co on board with their gin as well.

"These producers don't currently have a strong presence in the UK and we are hoping to be able to introduce them to wine lovers in the capital and give people a glimpse into our world Down Under as well."

The pair will be backed up by a capable team on the night, including the aforementioned chefs from London. Caitlin and Lucas say their staff will include experienced hospitality workers from places as far afield as Berlin and Wollongong.

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Caitlin said: "Our staff on the night all come from extensive backgrounds in the hospitality industry, we have a truly amazing mix of experience and skill across many fields. With myself and Lucas, there's Charlotte Stevens ex-Bar Rochford in Canberra, now manager at Ora in Berlin; Jack Rooney and Alice Morrissey of Panda & Sons; Jeanie Taylor, who is manager at The Throsby in Wollongong; Justin Rebbeck, from Monmouth Coffee in London; the Timberyard's Sophie Elstone Sara; and Brad Colley, who is manager at The Black Cockatoo in Wollongong.

"We grateful to have all these legends together in the same city and to show them off as part of FK Spiders - Epsiode 1."

Tickets will cost £80 per person and will include five courses with matched wines for each dish.

When asked to sum up what makes this pop-up event so special, Caitlin said: "There will be an incredible collection of dishes that you won't often see here.

"Home is special, nostalgia to your childhood is a special thing and having food that invokes memories or offers something new is just such a lovely way to eat."

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• More information about the event here while ticket info can be found at


Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.
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