Below, an email informing us of staff training. Beware the killer sign off. “Hello all, Vicki Sher will be joining us on Wednesday to talk all things Wagyu from 10am. This will be a fantastic opportunity for all our staff to meet a local producer with such passion for the industry, showcasing a product we are proud to promote I have asked Vicki and a friend to join us for lunch as a little thank you for her time. I would like to see as many staff at this as there were for the menu tasting, as I feel this is just as significant. Please pass on this message so that people are aware what is happening. Sent with love Your friend on the pass Todd.” Our team have never had a better friend on the pass.
A list of things to get rid of @golden_fields storeroom
3 crates of assorted ½ bottles of spirits 5 boxes of “cumulus” books 1 mortar no pestle 1 tote box of jars with flip top lids 10 crates of tiles 2 buckets of assorted kitchen equipment pans skewers etc 3 wine bucket holders 1 salamander 1 antique scales 1 toaster large “bertha” 3 crates of ass plates 1 box of damn ugly glasses/ goblets 1 steriliser for junkies used needles 1 bbq coal fired shaped like a guitar 2 bags of coal for above barbeque 1 box of fireblocks for above above bbq 3 staiinless shelves 2 plans for building Golden Fields 1 box of more ugly glasses 1 parking meter? 1 small deepfryer 1 electronic juice making machine 1 waffle iron 1 rice cooker
The comments were kind and dizzying, but we had a focus. Before each lunch or dinner, we would read our mission statement, and we would strive for a service that is generous and consistent, idiosyncratic and warm, professional and fun and without arrogance. We would serve food that is intended to share, and that draws on Andrews time in Shanghai and Hong Kong, and his love of the Japanese aesthetic, without being specifically or slavishly Chinese or Mandarin or Japanese (or worse: fusion!) And we are fortunate enough to be able to do so in a setting that is modern, “Melbourne” and handcrafted; in a dining room that holds it’s own after months of international dining and travel, and somehow still reveals new details and charms (or so we find).
We choose to conduct ourselves in a professional manner that displays a genuine care for all, and we hope to exhibit a genuine sense of hospitality, tempered by industry savvy. We choose to explore ways of doing things that are sustainable, aware, responsible, charitable, localized and independent wherever possible.
As a concept and an identity, we hope to be individual but as an operation, we are a sum of our many wonderful parts: the complete nature and clarity of Projects of Imaginations design and the lightness of CIBI and the ground of Shane Kent plates; the natural wines of Living Wines, the sweet Cantonese buns of Breadtop and the baby corn of Jenella (a farm that only grows corn, in the Western District), the beautiful Vanilla Netto photographs beside the landscape of Murray Fredericks, near the dresses of S!X and the anthropmorhpic lamps of Serge Mouille, all of which occurs to the turntabled soundtrack of punk charms (The 5, 6, 7,8’s), West African jazz and a little old school (cue: De La Soul, “3 feet high and rising”)
We are as thankful for the accolades as we are grateful for the many acknowledgements: Age Good Food Guide Best New Restaurant 2012 (one chefs hat); runner up in the Gourmet Traveller Best New Restaurant category, 2012; The Australian Good Food Guide Best New Restaurant 2012 and also Trip Advisor ‘Certificate of Excellence’ 2012. We were also thrilled to received places in both The Australian Hot 50, and Gourmet Traveller Hot 100 lists, not to mention Mr McConnells official new title: Australia’s Hottest Chef. For our charity involvements, we were the recipient of certificates from the Starlight Children’s Foundation (thanking us for helping to serve up a SMILE) and STREETSMART (for being in the Top 10 for Victorian fundraisers). Currently, we are also nominated for Best International Restaurant Design in the Restaurant & Design Awards to be held in London later this year.
Our first year has brought all of this, and nearly 40 000 lobster rolls! Hence, at Golden Field’s, we believe it’s time to pause for one small moment, refocus, and begin to imagine and organize what may lay ahead.
We want to remain a restaurant that is open to and available for all: as great for our staff as we are for our customers; a preference held and shared by die-hard locals and infrequent internationals; as much of a joy for the unintended as we are the foodies.
We want to continue to grow and surprise and confuse ourselves, and our guests.
We want to see our Ivy plant reach the ceiling, and our money tree flourish.
And we want you.
We want you Front of House, Back of House, as a Strong Section Waiter or a Chef de Partie, Bartender or Glasswasher or Restaurant Supervisor.
We want to see some fresh hungry faces in our team. We want professional individuals who feel that the values we’ve worked hard to establish and maintain are in line with how they like to live and work, who also don’t mind flipping ESG over on the turntable whilst polishing the Riedels.
We want customer-service focused, team-playing creatives who have a sense of humour and humility, style and/or grace.
Ideally, you won’t even mind picking watercress or French breakfast radish during quiet times, and you’ll remember to exude warmth and smile while you set perfectly laid tables in the middle of a Saturday night.
In exchange for your excellent attitude and covetable skills, you’ll be welcomed into a small and caring team in one of Melbourne’s most successful and progressive restaurant operations.
You will receive above-award wages, and considerate rosters which mean you can balance us with everything else that you do. Each week, there will be a training session or tasting for you to attend, and for the appropriately ambitious, we offer on the job and external management training.
You’ll learn to enjoy pork ribs in many guises through our delicious staff meals each day, and never have to worry about washing or ironing your own apron; we’ll get that.
Most important, we hope what you really take from us is a place in our restaurant where you feel you might want to be long term. We want you to develop new skills, be comfortable enough to give willingly and be appreciated enough so you can contribute and be heard.
And despite what they may say, who wouldn’t want that?
All optimistic cover letters and curriculum vitae may be sent electronically (email@example.com) or old school (2/157 FITZROY STREET, ST KILDA VICTORIA 3182).
(A Somewhat Lengthier Than Normal) Thought Of The Week
Yekaterina Samutsevich (Member of Pussy Riot)
“In the closing statement, the defendant is expected to repent, express regret for her deeds, or enumerate attenuating circumstances. In my case, as in the case of my colleagues in the group, this is completely unnecessary. Instead, I want to voice some thoughts about what has happened to us.
That Christ the Savior Cathedral had become a significant symbol in the political strategy of the authorities was clear to many thinking people when Vladimir Putin’s former [KGB] colleague Kirill Gundyayev took over as leader of the Russian Orthodox Church. After this happened, Christ the Savior Cathedral began to be openly used as a flashy backdrop for the politics of the security forces, which are the main source of political power in Russia.
Why did Putin feel the need to exploit the Orthodox religion and its aesthetic? After all, he could have employed his own, far more secular tools of power—for example, the state-controlled corporations, or his menacing police system, or his obedient judicial system. It may be that the harsh, failed policies of Putin’s government, the incident with the submarine Kursk, the bombings of civilians in broad daylight, and other unpleasant moments in his political career forced him to ponder the fact that it was high time to resign; that otherwise, the citizens of Russia would help him do this. Apparently, it was then that he felt the need for more persuasive, transcendent guarantees of his long tenure at the pinnacle of power. It was then that it became necessary to make use of the aesthetic of the Orthodox religion, which is historically associated with the heyday of Imperial Russia, where power came not from earthly manifestations such as democratic elections and civil society, but from God Himself.
How did Putin succeed in this? After all, we still have a secular state, and any intersection of the religious and political spheres should be dealt with severely by our vigilant and critically minded society. Right? Here, apparently, the authorities took advantage of a certain deficit of the Orthodox aesthetic in Soviet times, when the Orthodox religion had an aura of lost history, of something that had been crushed and damaged by the Soviet totalitarian regime, and was thus an opposition culture. The authorities decided to appropriate this historical effect of loss and present a new political project to restore Russia’s lost spiritual values, a project that has little to do with a genuine concern for the preservation of Russian Orthodoxy’s history and culture.
It was also fairly logical that the Russian Orthodox Church, given its long mystical ties to power, emerged as the project’s principal exponent in the media. It was decided that, unlike in the Soviet era, when the church opposed, above all, the brutality of the authorities toward history itself, the Russian Orthodox Church should now confront all pernicious manifestations of contemporary mass culture with its concept of diversity and tolerance.
Implementing this thoroughly interesting political project has required considerable quantities of professional lighting and video equipment, air time on national television for hours-long live broadcasts, and numerous background shoots for morally and ethically edifying news stories, where the Patriarch’s well-constructed speeches would in fact be presented, thus helping the faithful make the correct political choice during a difficult time for Putin preceding the election. Moreover, the filming must be continuous; the necessary images must be burned into the memory and constantly updated; they must create the impression of something natural, constant, and compulsory.
Our sudden musical appearance in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior with the song “Mother of God, Drive Putin Out” violated the integrity of the media image that the authorities had spent such a long time generating and maintaining, and revealed its falsity. In our performance we dared, without the Patriarch’s blessing, to unite the visual imagery of Orthodox culture with that of protest culture, thus suggesting that Orthodox culture belongs not only to the Russian Orthodox Church, the Patriarch, and Putin, but that it could also ally itself with civic rebellion and the spirit of protest in Russia.
Perhaps the unpleasant, far-reaching effect of our media intrusion into the cathedral was a surprise to the authorities themselves. At first, they tried to present our performance as a prank pulled by heartless, militant atheists. This was a serious blunder on their part, because by then we were already known as an anti-Putin feminist punk band that carried out its media assaults on the country’s major political symbols.
In the end, considering all the irreversible political and symbolic losses caused by our innocent creativity, the authorities decided to protect the public from us and our nonconformist thinking. Thus ended our complicated punk adventure in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior.
I now have mixed feelings about this trial. On the one hand, we expect a guilty verdict. Compared to the judicial machine, we are nobodies, and we have lost. On the other hand, we have won. The whole world now sees that the criminal case against us has been fabricated. The system cannot conceal the repressive nature of this trial. Once again, the world sees Russia differently than the way Putin tries to present it at his daily international meetings. Clearly, none of the steps Putin promised to take toward instituting the rule of law has been taken. And his statement that this court will be objective and hand down a fair verdict is yet another deception of the entire country and the international community. That is all. Thank you.”
Please bear this in mind when someone asks for a wine from Malborough, or Tabasco sauce for their oysters, or a Coke Zero. We are a restaurant that believes in free speech, in a country where we are free to do. And that is awesome.
These women will be in jail for two years for colour blocking & playing punk rock. That is not awesome.
Extract from Shift Report: Friday Dinner (10.08.12)
Sidebar, from Fitzroy Street:
Fog v. heavy over The Golden Fields Field (opposite restaurant).
Nine people seen queuing for The Snake Pit at 02:23, with approx thirty-five other people outside singing to Third Eye Blind, ‘Semi-charred Kinda Life’.
One guest in queue was wearing Sass and Bide corset & jeans/no jacket (temperature: eleven degrees celsius).
Sighted: two of the bakers from Baker d. Chirico arriving for work. They parked their car out the front and I thought they were heading to the Adult Store. Exciting! My mistake.
We are now The Restaurant of Choice for People With Sore Feet in Melbourne, thanks to our new cushion. A small milkmaid stool, a cosmic-design cushion, sore foot and the diner is free to focus on their food (and do so in style, too).
Reading some bookmarked Pitchfork articles and came across this, in Resonant Frequencies; an article describing the magic of voice, with ten examples.
This was the final, amazing, listing (& it happens to share it’s name with an oyster of ours):
Unknown Vocalist: “Au Clair de la Lune”
Released with great fanfare in 2008, and since pressed on a 7” by the Dust to Digital sub-label Parlortone, this is the earliest known recording of the human voice in the world, dating from 1860. Just a bit over 10 seconds long, the singer doing a snippet of “Au Clair de la Lune” was captured on a device called a phonautogram, which translated sound waves visually by etching them on a paper scroll that has been blackened by smoke from an oil lamp. There was no way to play back these recordings at the time, so the voice remained as squiggles on paper for almost 150 years until a computer was used to turn the visual pattern back into sound.
Think about the fragility of that recording set-up— lines etched into smoke on paper— and marvel at how it was preserved for so long and finally heard again through the air. It makes (a) Charley Patton record sound like Steely Dan, but you can still make out the voice in the murk, warped and garbled but carrying a tune, struggling to tell us something.
The beginning of the new financial year has found us very busy at Golden Fields. And I know, for our fifty four avid followers, perhaps the tumblr hasn’t been as active as it has been in the past. I’m sorry. We’re sorry.
But we have been working on a couple of things!
1. A new dish: braised eggplant, szechuan pepper, coriander and birds eye. Round, small white eggplants, slow braised, with chilli and spice, and so great with the lamb.
2. Two new playlists. I found myself watching ‘Spectacular’ the other weekend while I was ill, and the result is a playlist called JAZZHANDS: Jane Badler, Kiley Gaffney, Jens Lenkman and Grace Jones covering ‘Tomorrow’ from Annie. Brilliant on a Tuesday, I think.
3. Two new cocktails named after kitchen staff: AYA, and (my favourite), The Giblett (montenegro, tequila, rhubarb and ginger).
Locally, we’ve welcomed new neighbours to our right, at Cafe a Taglio, and learnt to live with our ongoing neighbours to the left, at the construction sight (but we believe the end closer than it once was!).
We’ve observed Ronnie di Stasio select a couple of songs from the iPAD for the end of his dinner, and of our service (Just quietly: Ronnie loves the new Beach House album as much as we do).
We’ve found the time and the will to visit the new Builders Arm Hotel, and Moon Under Water, and have been thrilled by each visit. Without bias, I can report the room to be very beautiful, the Brendan Van Sek neon excellent, and the food as good as you could hope (I make no mention of my two new favourite beverages outside of GF: the Sipsmouth gin martini, no vermouth but with a twist; a wonderfully wee-coloured 1988 vouvray).
Of course we’ve also: completed stock takes, and honed our roster writing skills; booked in holidays, and/or adjusted to the never-ending and always-decreasing cold weather; edited the sake list; dust busted the office with the new Dyson; had the unexpected pleasure of Tony Abbot; continued to workshop the blankets for out the front (via postal mail, mind you; very old school) and the flowers, and continued to love and welcome Todd Moses into our fold, as head chef.
But the hibernation cannot continue indefinitely. Please expect regular posts, again.
Thanks for following.
LKW & GF
PS: Outside of 2/157 Fitzroy St, I continue to watch and rewatch the first seasons of GIRLS, and that is all. That is enough.