Chef and condiment king, Tom Sarafian, is about to embark on a two-and-a-half week residency at Gray and Gray Bread and Wine in Northcote, cooking the food of his Armenian heritage with a focus on autumn flavours.
From May 12 to 29, Sarafian will flip the restaurant's menu from Georgian and Russian fare into the food of his father's family, headlined by quince-glazed suckling pig cooked over charcoal with smoked chestnuts.
The 14-dish feast is an all-new menu for Sarafian. It opens with a fleet of six mezze, then moves on to tiny mante (dumplings) that Sarafian's grandmother used to make. Baked in the oven and finished with warm tomato sauce, their final texture is similar to a pot-sticker, with one crunchy side and one steamed side.
Armenia shares a border with Georgia, a touchpoint of Gray & Gray's menu, thanks to co-owner Boris Portnoy's time there making wine.
"These are things I've wanted to cook for a long time and haven't found the right place or time," says Sarafian. "But Gray and Gray feels like the perfect place to do that [because] of Boris's knowledge when it comes to that kind of food."
The drinks list will celebrate Armenia's 6000-year-old culture of fermented drinks, which stretches nearly as far back as Georgia's.
May 12-29, Wed-Sat from 6pm, Sun from noon.
Gray and Gray Bread and Wine, 188 High Street, Northcote; $80 for four courses (pescatarian and vegetarian menus available), 0434 618 331, breadandwine.com.au