SA Life

Get CityMag in your inbox. Subscribe
March 20, 2024

Bring your mates along to Norwood for Arkhé and Friends

Twelve chefs over 12 months will take over the Arkhé kitchen to give diners a taste of nationally and internationally-recognised restaurants.

  • Words and above picture: Claudia Dichiera

As executive chef and co-owner of Arkhé, Jake Kellie is passionate about collaboration in the culinary world.

He says “it’s not easy because each chef is completely different”.


Arkhé and Friends
First event: April 11, from 6:30pm ’til late
127 The Parade, Norwood 5067


“I’m not the bee’s knees of cooking — I love what I do, but I still want to learn,” Jake tells CityMag.

“I think the biggest thing for us and our team is that we always want to keep learning about what other people are doing, and food and techniques.”

Since opening Arkhé in 2021, Jake and his team have hosted and been a part of five collaborative events Chin Chin being one that comes to mind as they have a “good relationship”.

From L—R: Ben Milgate, Jake Kellie and Elvis Abrahanowicz

Now, starting on April 11, Jake is introducing “Arkhé and Friends” in collaboration with the whisky Laphroaig.

“It’s 12 chefs over 12 months, with six international chefs and six Australian chefs and basically, they come in and take the venue over for one night,” Jake says.

“So they come in, they create the menu, and basically a full takeover and our team is there to obviously execute it.”

Jake says he also took inspiration from his time at Burnt Ends in Singapore, as the restaurant’s founder Dave Pynt launched a similar series. Jake told us in 2022 he was “very lucky to be in that moment”.

Names set to hit the Arkhé and Friends menu are Sydney chefs such as Jemma Whiteman from Ante and Mat Lindsay from Ester.

Ben Milgate and Elvis Abrahanowicz from Sydney’s Porteño are the first to give Arkhé and Friends a go.

When showing us the menu, Jake says “I hope you’re not vegan or vegetarian”. Luckily, this CityMag reporter is not.

“You’re going to be seeing little escabeche of wagyu tongue, you’ve got some beautiful sirloin skewers with uni and fresh wasabi,” Jake says.

“We have a morcilla-stuffed calamari with carrot and ink sauce and we have some beautiful Mayura Station short ribs to finish off, with a lot of Argentinian flow from that as well.

“And then a pina colada barbecue pineapple to finish.”

An Arkhé spread. This picture: supplied.


However, Jake says the core and concept of his restaurant is trying “to cook everything over fire”. There’s no gas or electricity-powered appliance in the kitchen.

“Arkhé means the beginning of all elements, so the beginning of fire… in Greek,” Jake says.

“There’s no souvlaki’s on the menu though.

“We’ve got a two-and-a-half-ton jewel cavity wood oven, so essentially, one side of the oven is like a furnace that gets up to about 700 degrees on every surface.

“We use redgum that kind of breaks down into coals, and then we shovel that out into our three elevation grills.

“The other side of the oven is like an offset oven and still sits at about 170 [degrees], but we’ll use that for like slow roasting, so like lamb ribs or loins, or whole cuts.”

Other appliances include a grill section and a deep fryer that is “maintained with hot coals”.

Jake says the benefit of cooking with fire is in the flavour.

“I think getting that beautiful caramelisation you can get from cooking over fire just brings the food to another level,” he says.

“Whether it be smoke or light char or heavy char, hot roasting in the hot oven. There’s so many different ways you can cook over fire which is something that I really enjoy.”

Inside Arkhé. This picture: Johnny von Einem.


Jake admits the Arkhé and Friends chefs might not all be used to the heat

“Some do, some don’t” have experience cooking with fire, but Jake is looking forward to seeing different styles shine.

“We’ve got Rosheen [Kaul] who’s coming over from Etta in Melbourne, which she’s very fire-orientated in her kitchen, but with Asian flavours,” Jake says.

“To see that here is going to be unreal as well.”

Jake is drawn to these types of events and sees great value from a business owner’s perspective.

“I still get excited – I get a bit of a buzz out of it. And I just like cooking with my mates.

“I’ve had some sort of connection with them all at some point in my career, or we just get along really, really well.

“For them to come to my restaurant and just hang out and cook some delicious food for some happy customers, that’s where I get the kick out of it.”

The first Arkhé and Friends event will take place on April 11 from 6:30pm until late. Tickets are on sale now.

Arkhé is located at 127 The Parade, Norwood. Connect with the business on Instagram for more.

Share —