In July this year Otis Armada put on its first seasonal dining event in a former motorcycle workshop in Carlton. The premise was simple: engineer a sublime evening in which first-class food, wine, music and art all play the role of protagonist. No single element was allowed to take precedence.
This time around, for Otis Spring, the same rules apply. And we like the sound of the theme for this instalment: play with your food.
“We’re really inviting people to strip back the adult elements of fine dining and have an experience of returning to the childhood things we love about eating,” says Gus Carmichael, one of the event organisers and its host. For the past three-and-a-half years he has worked for restaurateur Andrew McConnell at various eateries including Supernormal and Cumulus.
For $130 each, guests will be treated to a four-course menu put together by chef Clayton Wells, who recently left Momofuku Seiobo after three years to launch his own restaurant, Automata, next year in Sydney. One of his menu offerings for Otis Spring consists of pork neck, braised nuts and white pepper – just to whet your appetite.
Joining Wells in the kitchen is Peter Cooksley, junior sous-chef at Supernormal, and Ali Currey-Voumard, Otis Armada’s 21-year-old founding chef whose resume includes The Builders Arms Hotel and Cumulus. The wine list, which will feature a local, naturally produced selection, has been put together by Ned Brooks of Moon Park in Sydney.
Guests will be feasting at a new sleek warehouse in Cremorne, around tables designed specifically for the event. The irregular shape and placement of these tables is aimed at encouraging mingling and conversation.
The space will be filled with art and decor created and curated by Lucky Prawn (who, with Carmichael, are Otis Armada’s co-founders), with video projections by Melbourne collective Coco and Maximillian, and tableware by furniture designer Dale Hardiman.
As for the soundtrack, Otis Armada has appointed a different music director for each sitting. Radio host and producer Andras Fox is manning the decks on Friday night; DJ Zach PM is on music duty on Saturday; and DJ Simon TK is in charge of beats Sunday.
“There’s something really profound when there’s a tone shift when a new dish is placed on the table – it furthers the idea of the next chapter of the experience,” Carmichael says.
Otis Armada recommends that guests, “Forgo your dainty dispositions” when you walk through the doors.
“As the night progresses, we’re going to be encouraging mess,” Carmichael says.
Otis Spring will take place on Friday November 28 at 7pm, Saturday November 29 at 1pm and Sunday November 30 at 1pm. Tickets available at otisarmada.com.
68 Gwynne Street, Cremorne