It’s 7am one wintery morning we’re gripping strong coffees as we stand over a table set with plates of colourful dips, leafy salads, boiled eggs, freshly baked pita with labne and traditional Israeli dish shakshuka. This is breakfast at Shenkin Kitchen in Enmore, and the Haikin brothers, Din and Bar, are gathered round the table for a meal with their father Arie and brother Ben, who owns the Kürtosh bakeries.
As Jane de Graaff notes in the cover story on the Haikin family, hospitality is simply in the blood for some. For these three brothers, it’s all in the way they’ve been raised, at their parent’s feet in the kitchen, and then out onto the floor of their own rapidly expanding collection of warm, rustic eateries.
Both the Shenkin cafes (Erskinville, Enmore and Newtown) and the Kürtosh bakeries (Surry Hills, Crows Nest, Randwick) embody a combination of distinctive food, excellent coffee and welcoming service that marks them as unique for different reasons. But despite the individual characteristics of both venues, we found that their natural inclination for hospitality must be an inherited Haikin gene, and it’s something we’ve really warmed to in this issue.
So after an early start, we moved down the road to visit Sarah Doyle (the lively maitre d’ at Porteño and upstairs cocktail bar Gardel's Bar. If you’ve ever visited either, you’ve likely been greeted by this blonde bombshell, or seen her flittering around the restaurant, all done up like a doll in a fitted vintage frock she likely bought in Austin, Texas. Doyle lets us into her world and her wardrobe, and takes us through some of her most fabulous outfits. It serves as a fantastic articulation of why fashion isn't just about looking good – though she always does.
Our Sydney editor Sophie McComas spends a day out in Cabramatta, sampling all sorts of weird on wonderful things from pho to pandan waffles and custard apple smoothies, in a feature that really takes you inside this suburban Vietnamese epicentre.
James Cameron drops in to visit Nick Garnham of Australian furniture manufacturer Jardan, as the brand opens up its previously industry-only showrooms to the public in Melbourne and Sydney this September. Fifteen years in business and Jardan has gone from a little-known furniture maker with six staff to a poster boy for the green set with over 100 employees and a global sales reach, all the while maintaining their environmental credentials.
A little further afield, we visit London for our regular Dispatch column, but not before checking in on the Setouchi Art Triennale in Japan at Fukuda Elementary School (on an island in the Seto Inland Sea), where Australian artist Jackson Slattery was working alongside chef Andrew McConnell.
We also visit creative couple Jacqueline Hunt and her husband Patrick Blue at the space they’ve set up temporarily in Koskela to design the next Jac + Jack collection. They talk about the personal/business dynamic of living and working together.
And spring equals picnics right? So as the weather warms up, we’re making the most of it by having lunch outside. We’ve found four parks and four local purveyors who can provide the perfect picnic lunch in a moment’s notice.
Don’t forget to pack this paper in your basket.