There’s been a bit of action behind the closed doors at Chester Street Kitchen, which is planned to open sometime in June.
What a lot of the action has been around its newly built Alan Scott oven – a wood fired ocean blue tiled construction that at the moment sits centre stage in an otherwise bare shop space. Don’t worry, the rest of the furniture is on its way, but the oven and its caretaker Phil the baker have needed time to get to know each other.
Baker Phil was introduced as a self-taught bread geek, whose dedication to the Chester Street Kitchen oven might look more like a marriage. He has already lost the hair on his arms and some of his fringe, and has a few battle scars to prove his devotion to this 200-400°C inferno, but what relationship doesn’t suffer from a couple of spats in its early days? After all, it is said it can take weeks or months to learn to work the oven. He’s been blogging about the process here.
Chester Street Kitchen and Baker Phil were not kidding when they said everything will revolve around the oven. Baker Phil likened it to sailing the Titanic – it takes to change very slowly and so, he has been logging temperatures and times to work out the best schedule to not inconvenience customers without wasting the energy in the fire bricks that make up this centre piece.
Chester Street Kitchen plans to be bakery by day, churning out handcrafted loaves such as ciabatta, sourdough and flatbreads (though sourdough will be the primary feature), and in the evenings, serve a simple menu of savoury bar food dishes, such as pizza (by Darryl, the chef responsible for the sweets at Alfred & Constance) and local olives. Oh, and serve cocktails, spirits and wine with cider and beer on tap to wash it all down.
Here’s a look at the samples during our sneak preview.
Stay tuned for Chester Street Kitchen’s opening day details!