I guess we’re trying to be worldly in what we offer and that explains elements of other cultures being represented, like japanese for example. But, it’s always in the same spirit. It’s an ode to people doing things the right way, the quality way and the way that’s endured.
One of the reasons I love bars so much is that people walk into your joint, and they’re yours. They’re drinking your drinks, they’re listening to your music, they’re looking at your aesthetic and they’re being cared for by you. They’re under your care. So you can transport them to a place, that is inspiring, exciting, homely, whatever etc. You give them something. What I wanted to portray with Kubricks is that if people come in and they really like the looks of this place, I can say “great, this is all Sydney people.” This is not trying to be an era in America that was great, it’s not trying to be a day of the dead themed...thing. It’s just celebrating who we’ve got at the moment.
"They’re drinking your drinks, they’re listening to your music, they’re looking at your aesthetic and they’re being cared for by you."
That really struck a chord with me and that was probably my first defining moment where I realised, that person serving me isn’t a “waiter” they’re a human being, and they’re doing it so you enjoy yourself. I think the reason people choose to make a career out of hospitality is that, at the end of the day, they like to make people happy, and they like making people happy their way.
So anyway, we sat there for an hour or two, just because it was such an inspiring environment. He put out such an amazing vibe. Not just with his food but with his surroundings, the music he was playing, he came and had a drink with us and a chat. For that two hours I was in his world. I was in a 65 year old Parisian’s world. That to me was probably the most authentic French experience I’ve ever had in my life.
"I think the reason people choose to make a career out of hospitality is that, at the end of the day, they like to make people happy, and they like making people happy their way."
Maybe someone who’s not so into hospitality can walk into a venue, they can have breakfast and later you might ask how it was. “Oh yeah, I liked it.” Maybe they don’t realise all the little elements that had to come together to ensure that they enjoyed it. If you do know hospitality you know it’s because the lighting is great, the music was great, the service was beautiful, the food was authentic and high quality. All of these things, done well, result in someone walking out and thinking they had a great experience.
That’s what I’ve tried to do with bars in Sydney. I’m not bad mouthing any bars in Sydney, everyone has a vibe. I just felt like I was often walking into places that were trying to be something that we as Sydney are not. There’s a lot of people in Sydney doing exciting new things. Maybe taking cues from other cultures but doing something new with them. I mean we’re sitting here in Edition Coffee Roasters and they’re doing Swedish Japanese Fusion. It’s amazing. It’s something different and it brings people in.
All of these things, done well, result in someone walking out and thinking they had a great experience.
That’s my Sydney synopsis...
Monday’s you get free cheese with any bottle of wine between two people. We’ll be featuring new cheeses every week and talking about where they’re from. Trying to get as much Australian stuff as possible because it’s really great.
Tuesday’s, monthly, we do sake tastings. The other week we had one of the most prolific sake makers from Japan. He’s one of three guys that grows his own rice and makes his own sake. He’s the fifth generation doing this. It was a fantastic night.
Wednesday night we do mulled wine and board games.
Thursdays we feature a range of negroni’s - including the recipes I’ve shared on Nourish. 15 on the list, $15 each.
Fridays and Saturdays it’s just party time.
Within the framework of those nights, there’s a lot more opportunity to tell people about where ingredients comes from, where recipes come from.
We’re trying to push a bit of education through hospitality I guess. We’re trying to offer different experiences, food, drink, atmosphere and history over the week.
This interview is continued from The Negroni Manifesto: An Interview with Timothy Maxwell Part I