Once a month Mary’s Newtown will turn its kitchen over to some of the world’s best chefs and top-notch winemakers for an evening of good food, excellent drinks and music.
The free Jump in the Fire evenings will be on the last Monday of every month and the format will depend on who’s on the bill. (There might also be ticketed masterclasses down the track.) The event curator Tai Tate (who is also a P&V wine buyer) says the nights always include “legends”: people who “get” what Mary’s – the Newtown burger and bar funhouse – is about.
To understand what that means exactly, check out the line-up for the next couple months.
The series will start with one of Adelaide’s most highly regarded chefs (and notorious party boy) Duncan Welgemoed. The South African-born chef’s Africola was featured in Broadsheet’s “Restaurants of Australia” series, with Broadsheet Perth’s editor Max Veenhuyzen calling it a “singular restaurant unlike anything seen before”. (Read more here.)
“Duncan is fucking insane,” says Tate, “so of course he's doing a few different dishes: French-dip burgers, loaded chimichurri fries and tikka-masala fried chicken. Hectic.”
Fellow South Australian Taras Ochota of Ochota Barrels, who is considered one of the country’s best makers of natural wine, will be pouring his blends. His winery is in the Adelaide Hills and Tate says, “although his wines can be deeply serious, you can't help but have a party with Taras around.”
Tate reckons that combination of high-end food and booze – created by quirky and talented people who want their culinary contributions enjoyed in a space that is fun and completely without pretence – perfectly encapsulates Mary’s.
September’s line-up is Campbell Burton of wine distribution company Campbell Burton Wines (and ex-Builders Arms in Melbourne where he was sommelier) and chef Josh Murphy, who made his name working with influential Victorian restaurateur Andrew McConnell, also at Builders Arms. He now runs Harley and Rose, a sort-of pizzeria in Footscray in Melbourne’s west.
Luke Burgess from the now-closed, excellent Garagiste in Hobart will be there in October, and in November chef Enrico Tomelleri of 10 William St will be cooking, while Giovanni Paradiso (10 William St, Fratelli Paradiso and Paradiso Wine Imports) will be on drinks.
Tate says the series is called Jump in the Fire after the Metallica song. “It’s track four off of their debut album Kill ’Em All, which was a staple in the playlists of the early days of Mary's. The first time Andrew Guard, seminal natural-wine importer and all-round legend, came in and got wasted at Mary's, he heard we were playing that song and lost his shit. After that we adopted the name for our hit-list – selections from the wine menu that we were most excited about,” says Tate.
“To us the idea of ‘jumping in the fire’ truly embodies what it meant to experience Mary's. And now we want to turn that up a notch by inviting our peers inside the gates, to show us their interpretation of what Mary's is all about.”
Jump in the Fire is on the last Monday of the month from August 27 at Mary’s Newtown.