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Designing a restaurant is hard. Designing one that needs to accommodate four unique restaurant concepts over 12 months is harder. And the clincher: the design team will have just three days this weekend to do it.
The Broadsheet Kitchen at Saint Crispin in Collingwood will open on November 2, with the first winning resident chef, Ryan Dolan, on the pans.
Scott Pickett's Saint Crispin as you know it will return reinvigorated in 2019, and for the next 12 months the former cobbler’s workshop will welcome four fresh faces.
Dolan’s concept Cabale channels bistronomy, a French dining concept instigated by fine-dining chefs bringing creative food to more casual bistros. Bistronomy spends more time on produce than presentation, and elevates humble ingredients – not just the premium stuff such as marron or caviar – with interesting techniques.
There are French flavours in some dishes, but the menu certainly isn’t classic French.
Because Broadsheet Kitchen is a platform for each resident’s restaurant vision, it needs to be uncomplicated in its form and function – and boutique interior design firm Samantha Eades Design has accepted the challenge. Eades is responsible for the Chin Chin fit-out, among others.
“We wanted a space that could showcase four wildly different concepts,” says Broadsheet founder and publisher Nick Shelton.
“The brief from Nick was to make it neutral and light and fresh – nothing too tricky,” says Samantha Eades, founder and designer at Samantha Eades Design. “You have to go fairly pared back and not slanted towards one particular genre.”
Cabale will be embodied through its finishings, including custom tableware, menus and window details; Dolan’s own curated music playlists; and Cabale’s logo, which is a riff on a fleur-de-lis, a stylised lily symbol used by the French monarchy and church.
Eades says the design must act as a stage to make each concept shine. “The hero is really the food. [The fit-out] serves the people and the food,” she says.
Downstairs will see soft, warm white walls, a new Italian green-marble countertop for the kitchen bar, forest-green bentwood chairs from Thonet, light-green powder-coated steel, pendant lights above the bar from Kate Stokes, and statement pendants from Huset and Cult Design – “It’s very classic,” says Eades.
“We’re working with the existing elements,” she says, referring to the five-metre ceilings and original timber floors of the old cobbler’s workshop, circa 1865.
Brunswick’s Green Space will supply the flora.
“There’s a really gorgeous arched window at the back,” says Eades. “We’re opening it up and then we’re building this sort of structure that has plants hanging in it. It will be a really lovely backdrop to the space.”
Upstairs the private dining room will also get a coat of light paint and dramatic feature pendants from Hub, keeping it fresh and bright for intimate lunches and dinners.