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  • Sydney
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  • Arkhé & Friends: How Jake Kellie is Igniting Adelaide's Culinary Scene

Arkhé & Friends: How Jake Kellie is Igniting Adelaide's Culinary Scene

A collaboration between arkhé's Jake Kellie and hospitality heavy weights from around Australia and the globe, this is the dinner series set to light up Adelaide until 2025.

arkhé's open flame cooking approach.

Adelaide (and all of Australia), this is something to get excited about!

Say hello to arkhé & friends, brought to you by Laphroaig Whisky. This exclusive dinner series is a collaboration between Adelaide's very own Chef Jake Kellie and hospitality heavyweights from across Australia and around the world. 

Join the celebration as 12 chefs over 12 unforgettable months craft up magical 5-course set menus licked by open flame.

Adelaide's food scene is burning up - and we've got Jake and friends to thank for it! 

arkhé (Image Credit: Duy Huynh)

The series kicked off officially last month, with the arrival of Porteño's Ben Milgate and Elvis Abrahanowicz to the arkhé kitchen. In just one week's time, arkhé will welcome in a second guest chef, Jemma Whiteman.

Jemma has been a fixture of the Sydney hospitality scene for many years, beginning her cooking career alongside Kylie Kwong and making her mark across acclaimed Sydney restaurants the likes of Berta, 10 William Street and Cafe Paci. Her current venture with partner Matt Young is the hatted restaurant, Ante, a sake and record bar in Sydney’s bustling Newtown, where seasonal food and culinary approachability shine. 

Ahead of next week's arkhé & friends dinner on Thursday May 9th, we caught up with Chef Jake Kellie to learn more about the inspiration behind this exciting series, what's in store on the menu for the collaboration with Whiteman, and his love for Adelaide—from its incredible local produce to his favourite spots in the city. 

Jake Kellie (Image Credit: Duy Huynh)

We're thrilled to learn about 'arkhé and friends', your year-long collaboration with renowned chefs from Australia and around the world. What sparked the idea for this exciting venture? 

"This venture honestly just came from the pure excitement I felt when thinking about getting the opportunity to collaborate with these chefs - they are all very good friends, with many of them having been either a mentor or inspiration to me at some point in my culinary journey.

I can't wait to bring these incredible people to arkhé and not only show them what we do, but also see their food and brand in this environment."

Jake Kellie, Ben Milgate & Elvis Elvis Abrahanowicz (Image Credit: Will Salkeld)

What drives your passion for collaborating with other chefs? How do their unique culinary perspectives inspire you, especially when they bring different approaches to the table?

"I think collaboration is something imperative to success, and to education. Collaborations such as this help me to keep learning - seeing these chefs come in, and getting to witness how they work in our kitchen and what drives their flavours. I also think it's an incredible opportunity for my staff, and I love how enriching this is for them. It's really cool to see them go out of their day to day operations and learn something different from a world class chef."

Jemma Whiteman

Your upcoming collaboration with Jemma Whiteman of Ante in Sydney sounds amazing. How has the experience of working with Jemma been, and can you give us a glimpse of what to expect from the menu?

"I haven’t had the opportunity to work with Jemma before - we did a Tasting Australia a few years ago, however we were stationed separately. I’m super keen to see her Japanese style of cooking over the grill. In terms of the menu, there will be a couple of snacks, some light seafood, some main protein and a ripper dessert."

Will Sake be involved on the drinks list?

"Yes, there will definitely be sake at our Ante event! Guests will be treated to a 5 course menu with paired sake, which we're very excited to pull together"  

Jake Kellie (Image Credit: Duy Huynh)

Your resume is ridiculously impressive. With it has come mentorship from culinary giants like Dave Pynt, Heston Blumenthal, and Scott Pickett. What’s been the most valuable advice you've received from any (or all) of them?

"I think what Dave showed more than anything was the ideal style of mentorship, mixed with dedication and just pure drive.

These guys are incredible leaders and their drive for perfection makes it clear why their businesses have been so successful. The way their talent intersects with creativity is pretty amazing."

arkhé (Image Credit: Duy Huynh)

arkhé celebrates South Australian produce in an open-flame setting. What attracted you to opening up a restaurant in Adelaide, and tell us why South Australian produce shines brighter than most. 

I was attracted to South Australia largely by the uniqueness of what Adelaide and the wider state have to offer - amazing wineries and great produce in a large format country town. It’s so unique. We have amazing stuff down here - we have one of the best beef farms in the world, Mayura Station, as well as incredible lobsters from Port Lincoln and King George Whiting on our doorstep. We are really lucky. 

Beautiful beets from K&R Produce

Which local ingredients are currently inspiring your creations? 

"We get beautiful veg from K&R Produce - Kaz is a former chef and restaurateur who started a veg farm and the list he sends us is really inspiring for our menu. Seeing what he’s growing is always really exciting."

You can find K&R Produce at the weekly Barossa Farmer's Market. 

arkhé - Pork tomahawk dish

Do you have a favourite dish on the menu right now or that’s upcoming as part of your collab with Jemma?

"My favourite dish on the menu at the moment is our pork loin chop - we use great pork from The Dairyman Barossa, and get the whole middle cut of the pig. We break it down to get the loin and marinate it in an adobo rub. Then just simply grill it over the fire and serve it with an adobo sauce and fresh lime. I love the simplicity in it - it's pretty tasty."

What's your favourite cocktail right now?

"From our current menu I am loving The Islay Word - it's Laphroaig 10YO, green chartreuse, Luxardo maraschino and lime. It really hits the spot."

Paint us a picture of your ideal day in Adelaide, morning through night.

"You can't beat Tell Henry in Kent Town for that first cup of coffee. For breakfast, it's got to be My Grandma Ben. I'd recommend trying the Roo Crumpet Stack - it's the perfect hangover cure. You get two housemade crumpets topped with roo bolognese, harissa, yoghurt, chilli jam and a fried egg - incredible. 

For a cheap eats lunch or dinner fix, there's no better place than Cafe Saba. It's a Vietnamese spot near me - and I absolutely love the place. Their pho is unreal.

For a special occasion, Muni is Willunga is fantastic. I love it there. For a date night closer to home though, I'm picking Proof Wine Bar. There's a really great feel in there, and they have awesome staff." 

Image Credit: Duy Huynh

Before you go, tell us about your third event in the series, set to occur in late June. 

"Our third event in the series is going to be held with Mat Lindsay from Sydney's Ester. I did an event with him in 2017 at Burnt Ends in Singapore so I’m really looking forward to jumping in the kitchen with him again. 

Nathan Brindles, Mat's head chef at Ester, is a great mate of mine and he’ll be there too which will be fun."

arkhé (Image Credit: Duy Huynh)

Other upcoming events will showcase culinary luminaries including Vaughan Mabee of Amisfield (NZ), Rosheen Kaul of Etta in Melbourne, and James Lowe of Lyle’s in London.

As the headline partner, Laphroaig Whisky will elevate the dining experience with its distinctive Scottish whisky. Think specially crafted cocktails, tasting flights, and culinary pairings for an unforgettable gastronomic journey of the highest calibre. 

Click here book the arkhé and friends dinner with Jenna Whiteman next Thursday May 9th. Mat Lindsay's culinary leanings more suited to your palate? Book his arkhé and friends evening here, or visit here to see who else is upcoming in the lineup. For more amazing culinary experiences in and around Adelaide, check out our guide to Tasting Australia and our list of the best new restaurant openings so far in 2024. 

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