No longer satisfied with baking beautiful bread and pastries, the Brickfields crew are heading over to the other thing that wheat is best at: pasta. The new restaurant will be situated within the Brickfields bakery in Chippendale, except it will be open late into the evening.
“We already work with grain,” says co-owner Simon Cancio, “We use a lot of flour, and the miller who handles our milling has a really good contact for durum semolina.” The guys are being taught how to make pasta by Glenn Choy, sous chef at Sagra and ex-Sean’s Panorama and River Café in London (that’s the restaurant where Jamie Oliver learned how to make pasta too). This is a fella who knows his pasta, although to these guys he’s a buddy first, “He’s a pasta master, and just a really good friend,” says Cancio.
As for what diners can expect, their cabinet of pastry delights will soon be shared with antipasti, and the menu will be veggie and seafood heavy, with a focus on seasonality – which benefits them both ethically and economically. “We go to the markets once a week and we buy the produce that’s cheaper – and the reason that it’s cheap is because there’s a lot of it about,” says Cancio. “We bought 350 kilograms of pumpkins last week, and by my calculations, within two and a half weeks we will have gone through it. So we’re looking at doing a pumpkin bread – if you use the seasons you’re forced to think about these things, to look at things differently.”
They’ll start off introducing pastas into the café’s lunch menu over the coming months, and once they’ve got things down pat, the restaurant will open up in the evening with no more than five dishes on the menu: “three pastas, a salad” says Cancio.
They’ve already got their liquor licence, with a beer tap being installed within the next few weeks. “We’ve got the licence until 10pm and we’ll change up the beers – there are a lot of great breweries in Marrickville and Enmore just down the road,” he says, “We will be selling Manon wines by our good friends Tim Webber and Monique Milton from South Australia. And Poor Tom’s gin distillery is just round the corner – we’ll be working with local, artisan producers like us.”