On August 26, Mary’s Newtown will celebrate the 13th instalment of its Jump in the Fire series, in which it enlists hospitality guns to collaborate on a night of food and drink the last Monday of every month. This month it’s ringing in number 13 with one of the city’s best chefs, Mat Lindsay, Ester’s woodfire expert extraordinaire. Series alumni include Duncan Welgemoed (Adelaide’s Africola), Giovanni Paradiso (10 William Street), Shannon Martinez (Melbourne’s Smith & Daughters) and Monty Koludrovic (Icebergs, The Dolphin).
Lindsay and Ester sommelier Nick Stewart will be reworking the Mary’s menu for the evening with innovative spins on classic dishes. Expect lamb and falafel matched with wines made exclusively for Ester by Australian makers such as Basket Range, Commune of Buttons, and Manon, and beers from Memento Mori (an independent American brewer) and Marrickville’s Wildflower (which makes its beer from Ester’s woodfired sourdough).
“Ester has long been one of our favourite places to eat and drink,” said Tai Tate of Mary’s in a statement. “Their wine list follows a similar ethos to ours, and their food has always been no-compromise in terms of quality and flavour. The fact they cook with fire every day seemed very fitting also.”
Tate, who’s in charge of wines at Mary’s and created the Jump in the Fire series, says Ester might be financially out of reach for a lot of people, so this is a more accessible way experience its food. “Although [Ester] always delivers everything in a very welcoming, casual and warm fashion, I still consider it fine dining, in a very modern sense of the term,” he says. “Mary’s very foundation reeks of that same pedigree of service and food. The owners and a lot of the original staff have fine-dining backgrounds, so I think there’s a … cut-from-the-same-cloth kind of vibe, which should make for a good mashup.”
Lindsay, who also runs wine bar Poly, says he’ll be testing dishes for his new falafel and shawarma joint Shwarmama, which is due to open in Surry Hills in September, in collaboration with Russell Beard, Mark Dundon and Jin Ng (Paramount Coffee Project, Paramount House Hotel).
The Jump in the Fire series – which is named after the fourth track on Metallica’s debut album Kill ’Em All – aims to unite Mary’s favourite producers, importers, sommeliers, writers and drinkers outside of their usual environments. The crew often enlists their mates and local bands to choose the music (though there’s a blanket ban on Simply Red).
The Mary’s x Ester Jump in the Fire party will be held on August 26. Entry is free from 5pm until late.