Victor Churchill is turning five and to celebrate, the boutique butcher will host a series of special events throughout September as a way of saying thanks to its customers. Expect the likes of in-store tastings, cooking demonstrations, and even glasses of Champagne on arrival.
"We've resisted the idea of having just a party," says Anthony Puharich, owner and CEO of the butchery and its parent company, Vic's Meat, "in favour of doing something more meaningful.
"Victor Churchill is the most significant thing that myself and our family have ever done," he says. "When you do something that is hugely ambitious and it pays off and is supported, it's an immensely satisfying feeling."
The hot-ticket items of the month will be the on-site dinners, for 18 guests only, by five of Sydney's best-regarded chefs: Matt Moran (Friday, 5 September), Luke Mangan (Thursday 11 September), Neil Perry (Tuesday 16 September), Peter Gilmore (Thursday 18 September), and Ross Lusted (Thursday 25 September).
Puharich is also announcing plans to renovate the premises - more a major upgrade than a facelift. The team is set to take over the space upstairs, with a view to opening a new concept in 2016. The first floor will be transformed into an eat-in bar serving many of Victor Churchill's cured meats, terrines and desserts.
The cooking and butchery classes that it currently offers will also be held in a dedicated area in the new upstairs space. The hugely popular rôtisserie, meanwhile, will undergo an expansion, as will the range of cured meats, desserts and pastries, which will also be given a new area of their own.
And the butchery's renovation is not the only project that Puharich and his team are taking on. Vic's Meat is opening a retail outlet in the Sydney Fish Market, offering a range of fresh meats and products smoked on-site, set to be up and running by late September. "The core component of what we're doing at the fish market is retailing great-quality Australian meat at a competitive price, but in a natural, market environment," he says. "The range will be incredible, with everything from staples through to wild meats, highly marbled cuts and paleo-friendly grass-fed produce. There will also be a meat 'candy bar' packed full of snack-size salumi and biltong."
Until then, though, we're just looking forward to seeing the flagship turn five - and Puharich is, too. "We'd like to think Victor Churchill continues to be a beacon of hope for the art of butchery and butchers who struggle to compete against supermarkets," he says, "and for it to still mean what it does five years on - that's an important milestone."
Tickets for the dinners cost from $350 per person and are available via ballot. Victor Churchill, 132 Queen St, Woollahra, NSW, (02) 9328 0402