Chef Paul Carmichael has flown under the radar in the 12 months since the award-winning Momofuku Seiobo closed. But for his first professional step since serving his last tasting menu at the two-hatted Sydney restaurant last June, Carmichael is designing meals for the home.
The chef has jumped in with a new home meal start-up, Fix, a joint venture between the very high-brow Fink Group (Quay, Bennelong) and Stix, the catering outfit owned by chef David Allison that produces first-class meals for Qantas.
The tie-in between the two hospo heavyweights will cross into events, Stix Farm on the Hawkesbury, the Stix cafe in Marrickville (which reopens in early July), and a new cafe opening at Hunters Hill in a couple of months.
Fink chief executive Jeremy Courmadias says Fix meals will be available online from August as well as from the Stix cafes. Consumers will tuck into meals designed by Quay chef Peter Gilmore and Firedoor's Lennox Hastie, and they've also drafted in talent including chef Analiese Gregory and Carmichael.
"[They'll be labelled] Fix by Analiese Gregory, Fix by Lennox Hastie, Fix by Paul Carmichael, and Fix by Peter Gilmore," Courmadias says. "We are also really excited to be welcoming Palisa Anderson to the platform in the not-so-distant future."
It'll be interesting to see how the role of drafted-in talent such as Carmichael develops within the new joint-venture. It is certainly ambitious in its breadth. Former Quay co-head chef Brian Murray is running the Stix kitchen.
Stix Farm will be a vital cog in bringing the two companies closer, both as a supplier of produce for Fink restaurants and as a destination for its organic waste.
"We're in the process of replanting crops following another heavy recent bout of rain," Courmadias says, "but we already have beautiful seasonal vegetables in the greenhouse, including Tuscan kale, shallots, silverbeet and broccoli, which will supply Fink and Stix."