Three Sydney locals with a keen eye trained on the city's hospitality industry have found a clever (and extremely aesthetically pleasing) way of supporting businesses as they emerge from lockdown: by creating downloadable recipe journals made in consultation with Sydney's best chefs and bartenders.
The creators of Cartilage – Critic and chef David Matthews, illustrator Anna Vu, and animator and developer James Lark – have always had close ties to Sydney's restaurant scene. Each journal contains three recipes, plus a series of annotations, illustrations, and scribbles from the venue's individuals. Each recipe is chosen in consultation with the venue, with a spotlight on signature dishes – especially those you can recreate with some authenticity at home. Unless you're Julie following in the footsteps of Julia, recreating dedicating an entire cookbook to each institution could easily become far too overwhelming for the average at-home cook. Being short, sweet and easy to follow, the recipe journals ease the burden of trying new flavours and techniques by allowing novices and experts alike to try out a cocktail from Earl's Juke Joint one night, and a kimchi pancake from Sang by Mabasa the next. No commitment.
In these financially turbulent times, Cartilage operates on an ethos of supporting individuals and businesses, not just through 'exposure' or gestures of goodwill, but through tangible support: the monetary kind. For each journal sold, $10 goes straight back to the venue, reflecting the notion that the time, effort and talent that goes into developing the city's best-loved dishes should be compensated as such.
And the journals themselves? The list of those that the Cartilage team has roped in reads like a list of the who's who of Sydney's food and drink scene. Paddington's Saint Peter, Pyrmont's Pioik Bakery and Newtown's Lankan Filling Station, winner of two Time Out Food Awards in 2019, are all included in the first drop. The team have covered off six Sydney suburbs so far, and are looking to expand into more – and there's a hint of a Melbourne line coming soon, too. Shop online here.