Broadsheet is opening a new restaurant, granting four big dreamers a three-month residency that will allow them to turn the space into their own fully-fledged dining concept. The winners will be selected by five judges who are leaders of Australia’s food and dining landscape.

Vicki Wild is one half of one of Sydney’s best fine diners. She manages front-of-house at Sepia in Sydney’s CBD, while her partner, chef Martin Benn, heads the kitchen. This winning combination has led to both local and international acclaim since the restaurant opened in 2009.

Sepia’s seafood-driven, Japanese-inspired food is precise and thoughtful but always creative, pushing boundaries both conceptually and technically with signature dishes such as Benn’s “Forest Floor” – a clever dessert dish designed to look like fallen twigs and leaves, which gained Sepia a new mass of fans when it appeared on Masterchef in 2016.

The dish combines cherry sorbet with rose geranium cream, green-tea moss, chocolate, and fennel seeds in an autumnal tumble on the plate. It represents the kind of innovation, creativity and freedom that Sepia embodies, and which Wild believes the Australian restaurant landscape encourages.

“Australian cuisine is celebrated for its diversity and lack of definition,” says Wild. “[Australian food is] not steeped in tradition and this allows us to be innovative.”

Applicants to the Broadsheet Kitchen will need to pitch a complete restaurant idea, not just a menu. After a career working front-of-house, Wild says the style of service must be just as distinct and thoughtful as the food.

“Each restaurant has to have its own unique DNA or style, and this starts from the greeting when you arrive,” she says. “A sense of humour and flexibility are paramount.”

Broadsheet Kitchen winners will gain mentorship from leaders in hospitality, branding and business, who will be selected specifically to match each concept. Each residency will also win its own designed brand identity, Broadsheet coverage throughout the three-month term, and the opportunity to be introduced to potential investors.

“A career in restaurants can be so very rewarding,” Wild says. “With the emergence of hospitality groups we’re creating career pathways so that the individual can have longevity and more opportunities.”

Entries are now closed. Watch this space.

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