Lose weight. Pay off debts. Save money. Keep a lid on the crack habit. As noble as those goals may be, your average New Year’s resolution can be a pretty tedious thing, so we asked a bunch of non-average culinary professionals what they had in mind for the coming year. From the earnest to the hilarious to the hilariously earnest, Australia’s cheffing top-guns cover the spread.
Neil Perry, Rockpool Bar & Grill, Melbourne
Drink more juice and less wine. Get that whole pig on the rotisserie at Bar & Grill Melbourne that I've been dreaming of. Age the 36-month beef for more than 60 days.
Andrew McConnell, Cutler & Co, Cumulus Inc, Melbourne
I have decided to start smoking. Really, every time I've gone through an opening of a restaurant I usually smoke for a few months for the pure release and the warranted excuse for five outta the kitchen. So, as for a Jan opening for "Cutler & Co" in Gertrude Street, I reckon I'll be back on it, except that rather than taking up cigarettes this time I'm building a smokehouse instead. What will I smoke? Pretty much anything I can lay my hands on.
James Kidman, Otto, Sydney
I have started using sous-vide cookery this year with a great deal of success for both protein and vegetables. The scope for making our work here more consistent, of better quality and visually appealing is amazing. It has already become an essential element of our kitchen. Like other forms of cookery, there is much to learn and I feel after nine months of investigation and trials that the water is warm and ready for us to dive in.
Ben Shewry, Attica, Melbourne
On New Year resolutions for the kitchen I'm probably a bit serious. Most of mine will centre around pushing on and keeping things interesting for myself and the staff - constant innovation and refinement in everything we do. It will never be good enough…
Greg Doyle, Pier, Sydney
Work less and drink and eat more.
Martin Benn, Sepia (opening early 2009), Sydney
I resolve firstly to actually get my own kitchen! And to then create a kitchen team environment where we all constantly learn from each other and where anything is possible.
Aaron Carr, Vasse Felix, Margaret River
All I want for Christmas is a PacoJet!
Jocelyn Riviere, The Courthouse, Melbourne
Get a new pair of Birkenstocks, hit the gym, spend more time with my newborn daughter and keep hassling the boss to buy an immersion heater and sous-vide machine for the kitchen.
Maurice Esposito, Esposito, Melbourne
Stop eating so many Esposito fillet o’ fish sandwiches!
James Hird, Buzo, Sydney
Learn to play my Les Paul Gibson guitar that continues to gather dust next to my amp, and rid the world of fresh coriander. It’s been the same resolution for years now; not made much progress, but I’m feeling good about 2009.
PICTURED (clockwise from top left) AARON CARR, GREG DOYLE, JAMES HIRD, ANDREW MCCONNELL, JOCELYN RIVIERE, BEN SHEWRY, SEAN CONNOLLY, JAMES KIDMAN, NEIL PERRY, MAURICE ESPOSITO, MARTIN BENN