Xavier Mercader &
the napier hotel
Founded in 1866, The Napier Hotel is a Fitzroy institution, with a bustling front bar, a fire-lit pool lounge, cosy rear dining rooms and ever popular bricked courtyard.
About Xavier Mercader & Jan StanderThe kitchen of The Napier is run by the dynamic duo Xavier Mercader and Jan Stander, who are on a mission to turn this well-known venue into a solid and respected gastro pub. Serving not just pub classics (such as the notorious Bogan Burger), but well executed modern versions of French, Spanish and English dishes, the team deliver great value, authentic meals which showcase premium produce.
French Australian Xavier undertook his apprenticeship at Rockpool, before taking a year to travel and experience many different foods, cuisines and skills, which nurtured his passion further. Upon his return to Melbourne Xavier took up the position of Sous Chef at the Railway Club Hotel, where he worked his way up to Head Chef within 3 years.
His next move was onto O’Connells, one on Melbourne’s original gastro pubs, where his role as Head Chef provided great experience managing a team and bustling kitchen. From here Xavier took up a post as Head Chef of the Rum Diary Bar, a popular Brunswick Street venue. During this time Xavier also set up his own South American and Spanish influenced char grill pop-up restaurant.
In October 2014, Xavier commenced his role as Head Chef at The Napier Hotel alongside friend and colleague Jan Stander. Of South African descent, Jan’s career began in the UK with the role of Chef de Partie at St James London. With a desire to broaden his horizons Jan then relocated to Australia where he landed the role of Sous Chef at O’Connells hotel.
Working alongside Xavier, the pair realised their creative potential together and were keen to find a project they could both focus on. Following a brief stint at the Brighton Baths, Jan joined Xavier at The Napier where they equally share the management and direction of the vibrant pub kitchen.
Xavier and Jan have kindly shared with us their recipe for Bouillabaisse a la Marseillaise, which you can view on our website.