Tuesday, 5 August 2008

First Quarter Summary


Breaking in a new restaurant is always an anxious time for everyone involved;
re-opening after eight years has also been quite a ride. Is he past it? Can he remember how to cook? Has he lost his taste buds? I am sure that any cooks that have been a way from the front line for a while have felt the same.
The kitchen has been quietly sleeping for all those years with only the odd special public event to tax the equipment and its operators. A few repairs and adjustments [no chiropractor required yet] were always on the cards. Luckily most equipment breakdowns happened before we began in earnest.
The garden while looking quite green is still in need of heavy rainfall [as the whole state is] to provide back-up water if large plantings can be considered for spring and summer. The garden has a three year plan to bring it into full restaurant production. More new crops requiring less water are planned. All growers are facing the same conditions but I have to say that having a garden can take a lot of pressure off menu planning in the country. It’s also heartening to see so many more kitchen gardens developed in restaurants and schools in the last decade. All our irrigation system has been changed and new mulching medium is being trialled and employed. Most of the beds have been revitalised and a large crop of garlic is in, mulched and doing just fine. The artichoke beds have been replanted with new stock and the old asparagus beds have survived well and look like providing a bumper crop in the next few months. New berries are in and 40 new fruit trees are slowly starting to get established. The olives are thriving and may not need any further irrigation but the new truffiere will use the water usually allocated to them so it will be net neutral result there.
On the produce scene there are many new growers but sadly a few good producers have also disappeared. In particular Mt Emu Creek Cheeses, oh for that Pecorino! And the Freshwater Creek chickens are no longer available. Yabbies are not in abundance and even hares seem to be scarce.
Restaurants to me are places that make visitors comfortable, relaxed and hopefully restored in a way that reflects the environment in which they find themselves.
The biggest change has been the new menu format, a subtle evolution of what we did before.
I can’t fully express the joy of being back in the kitchen again. Not many cooks get the luxury of a long break and both Angela, [she has also had 7 years away from the stove] and I are revelling in being under the pump again. Madame is at the helm with all the behind the scenes systems in full swing. The new Sex Kitten Salon has raised a few eyebrows.
Bruce is back on the floor bringing his unique talent and joi de vivre to the dining room. Along with another old mate Jeremy, Bruce and I began together in the very first restaurant venture for the three of us; Boojum's in Carlton, way back in 1976 and our friendship goes back even further.
This photo is from the recent antipasto class. The new program for classes will be posted soon.
Learning about this new [to me] medium of the blogesphere is a steep learning curve.
I will keep it free of advertising and any product or place mentioned here has no commercial relationship with us.
Keep the email questions coming the Magic Robot is on a roll.
I hear the siren, pumped up for the second quarter…..


t h e - g o b b l e r said...

I'm sure not past it George.
you are in it for the long haul, slow & steady wins the race & all that, you're marathon athlete, not a sprinter!
I think its great that you recognize your passion is behind the stoves & also that point of difference about 'restoring' people. I reckon restaurnats fall into two categories, ones that 'Restore' people & the other that 'Process' punters.
Long may the former continue to attract people like yourselves with the passion required to make this disticyion not only possible but worthwhile.

ut si said...

Bonne chance George. Hope you still have enough energy to post on your fab blog.

ut si said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jack said...

Congrats George. I'm looking forward to the opportunity for my next visit... the asparagus sounds tempting!

Ed said...

Looking forward to the 24th. He for many more seasons.

Thermomixer said...

Good work George - anyone would think you have been idle for those 8 yrs !! You were supercharged as usual on May 10 waiting for the kickoff. Looking forward to getting back down soon.

Sunnybrae and all who sail in her said...

Gobbler... Where are you? Tasmania's finest ambassador cant just disappear...