Bourke Street Bakery is a Sydney institution. With a guaranteed flock of customers anywhere it chooses to open, there’s no real need for it to go moonlighting in its spare time. But moonlight it does. As well as its After Hours ventures, Wilbur’s Place and the training it offers refugees, it also offers up its Marickville depot as a mystery dinner location.
The concept is simple. You have no idea what’s on the menu until you get there; dishes are dictated by the seasons and prepared by accomplished chef, Katrina Hollis. Because the dinners are sporadic (there’s no regular schedule, rather you sign up to a mailing list to hear about the next dinner) they are totally dictated by whatever produce is available; “Some dinners can be as close as two weeks apart but the menu will still change to reflect what's happening during that time with produce and growers,” says Hollis.
Bakery Nights was borne out of a love of cooking and, in some ways, a shortage of time. After having her second child almost four years ago Hollis turned to the owners of the bakery for advice on her own venture, and they suggested the Bakery Nights concept. Hollis – who’s CV lists ventures in New York and the US as well as Rockpool, Icebergs, and baking at Bourke Street – happily admits that the dinners have given her “the best of both worlds.” She can now continue with her passion for food and cooking without “the massive hours and stress involved in opening and owning my own restaurant.”
With 40–60 seats at each communal-style dinner, and no real ‘turnover’ of tables during the night, there’s a limit to how many can attend. Private dinners can be arranged for no less than 20 people if you’d rather choose your company.
The price is a very reasonable $65 per head for a three-course meal, and BYO is allowed and encouraged.
Bourke Street Bakery Nights
2 Mitchell Street, Marrickville
The next dinner will take place on February 22nd
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for bookings or to join the mailing list.