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Monday, May 23, 2022

10 – 13 March long weekend

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Maddawgs of Melbourne

This is Casey. He is the head honcho of Andrew McConnell’s empire, running the kitchens of Cutler & Co, Cumulus Inc and Marion (best. restaurant. evah).  He has always been into cooking ever since his first job as a kitchen hand at 13 which was followed by a salt-spinkler (omg) at a fish’n’chip shop before working his way up to ‘proper’ restaurants at the tender age of 20. Casey and his legendary wife (high school sweethearts AWWWW) worked the hospo scenes of NZ for a few years, and then flew off to London and San Fran where they werked with some of the best chefs in the world. They moved to Melbs 6 years ago and reckon it’s pretty choice aye.

Worst thing to happen to you in a kitchen?
I was working with Charlie Trotter who was a notorious psychopath – when someone dies people tend never to speak ill of them but if you watch Netflix’s Chef’s Table you’ll hear about his awful tyranny and how much people hated working with him. Anyway, I was plating one of his dishes in a line of ten chefs, and I served a tiny smidgen too much sauce on one plate. He screamed at me so horrifically that my colleague started crying. It was absolutely horrendous.

Best thing to happen?
Three months later I was told I had to go to Charlie’s house to cook a private dinner for him and some of his friends. I was absolutely sh*tting myself.  But when I showed up not only did he NOT remember me – thank fck – but he showered me with praise and was the nicest guy ever. It was like Jeckyll and Hyde.

Best dish you’ve ever had?
From Alinea in Chicago, a dish called the Truffle Explosion. I thought I knew what truffle tasted like until this little parcel of liquid erupted in my mouth.

Worst dish you’ve tasted?
After smashing a few cans I decided to cook my wife chocolate pudding and I used salt instead of sugar. It is the sort of thing I have screamed at people over before. Maybe I am Jeckyll and Hyde. Actually please don’t print that story.

Sure thing. Best dish you’ve ever invented?
The butter bean salad at Cumulus – using something that people think is crap and making it delicious. Also the marron dish at Cutler I’m pretty happy about too.

Best restaurant in OZ?
Igni in Geelong. Aaron Turner has the most hospitable staff in the industry and has created a really fun place to dine. There is no menu so you are just served whatever they are making, but you will look around at the other tables and people are eating all different things to you. The zucchini stuffed with mussels was so good I could have had another hundred.

Restaurant life goals?
I would like to have a restaurant set up in a shed in the North Island of NZ, that has a huge kitchen garden and a caravan out the back where my wife, kids and I live.

Dem carni-folk feels.

ChillOut @ Daylesford (9th – 13th March) – I can guarantee there will be no participants ‘chilling out’.
Groundswell Music Festival @ Lake Tyers Beach (11 March) – finally, the ground is healthy again.
Philip Glass’ KOYAANISQATSI @ Arts Centre (10 March) – Phillip, Koy and Ann do squats. Is the Crossfit craze over yet srsly.
Monochrome Organism @ Juddy Roller (10 – 24 Mar) – what happens when you go home with an accountant.
Tastes of Rutherglen @ Rutherglen (11 – 12 March) – I keep making Rather Glen jokes. Is there room for a Glenn Close joke? Hmm gotta think of one. Don’t forget to think of one before sending out.
Amanda Palmer@ NGV Friday Nights (10 March) – the last of these for the season. Who run da world? The New World Order guys, why?
Run The World TECHFORMATION @ Fed Sq (11 March) – as above.
Who Run The World @ European (12 March) – how are you not getting this?
Shindig By The Sea @ Seaworks Williamstown (9 March) – pirates roll in with the sea mist to smash mugs of rum and spit together, talk treasure and dance to hip hop by Nathaniel Rateliff and C.W. Stoneking (ummm so this is a kewl name).
Port Fairy Folk Music Festival @ Port Fairy (10-13 March) – over weight fancy folks don fairy wings and spew glitter out of their magic wands. Also there is a mass ukulele ensemble. Which is not code for anything.
Golden Plains Festival @ Meredith (11-13 March) – this festival has always sounded really plain.
Lost Trades Fair @ Kyenton (11 – 12 March) – they’ve lost the trades and it isn’t fair. FIND THEM.
Fun Run @ Arts Centre (12 March) -Tristan Meecham runs 42km marathon on a treadmill and the crowd collectively sing: Gurrrl I’m gonna make you sweat, sweat til you can’t sweat no more, and if you cryyyy, I’m gonna push it some more.. hmm so those lyrics sound questionable.
Pokemon Championships @ Melb Park (10 -12 Mar) – how do you get Pikachu onto a bus?? You Pokemon.
Bayside Foodtruck Fiesta @ St Kilda (9 – 13 Mar) – eat by the sea. Sea by the way. Whey in your bowl. Bowl down the pins. Pins looking gewd gurrrrrl. Gurls aren’t for sexualising, man. Man goes to women’s march. Feminist men for #lyf.
12th Australian Music Prize @ Toff (9 March) – all the nominees are from Victoria HUZZAH we are music.
Donut Festival Melbourne @ St Kilda (12- 13 March) – a festival dedicated to getting that sweet sweet D.
The Lion King Pop-Up Cinema @ South Wharf (12 March) – Maaaaa ze venya mada mi diss ama. Hold your little Simbas HIGH.
Close All Slaughterhouses @ Treasury Gardens (11 March) – Animals. Are. Friends.
Asian Street Food Weekend @ Food Truck Park (10 March) – lol yeah cos they just get one weekend trololol #staplediet.
A Weekend In The Garden @ Botanical Garden (11 March) – back in my day we went to gardens on the weekdays too.

Grants Picnic Reserve @ Sherbrooke Forest – In the middle of a rainforest just 45min drive from Smellbourne is the most tranquil and terrifying place in Australia. A peaceful oasis and a human hell in one, where the hierarchical order of man and beast ceases to exist. Beneath a stunning forest canopy of ancient trees, magical ferns and soft green moss, lays a 7 x 7m Gladiator-style arena, of concrete and hard metal barriers – a place that pits us against them.
I am a huge fan of a big cocky – black or white – so when five giant sky-gods flew towards me I did not flinch, but opened my arms lovingly holding aloft a small bowl of seed for them to dine upon. An offering that would encourage us to see through our exteriors and appreciate the spirits within us, knowing that we were team mates all fighting this mortal battle together *until we go up to the alien spaceship above and get recycled again*.
What a fool I was.
Like carnivorous angels from Greek mythology, they attacked. I hadn’t even entered the arena properly when two were head first in the bowl, two were clawing at my back and nipping at my legs and a giant, dragon-sized one was using my head to sharpen its beak. They bit my fingers, scratched the exposed skin off my body, head butted me and one tried to take a chunk of my eyebrow. They drew blood. The battle was short lived, the victors clear.
I retreated whimpering clutching my wounds and searching for an ice pack.
Do I recommend it? Hell yes. The adrenaline from having survived an attack of Winged Zombies of the Sky is still pumping through my veins, four days later.
It’s like a drug – go get yourself hooked.