The Year of the Monkey looks like it might also be the year of the collaboration. Kicking off next week, Sydney's Automata opens its doors to its friends in food and wine for a monthly lunch series called co.lab kitchen.
"We did a Pinbone takeover last December, which was really popular and that got me thinking about a lunch series concept," says chef Clayton Wells.
With equal focus on what's in the glass and what's on the plates, Wells is gearing up to push boundaries with a lunch of "many different perspectives". The series débuts on Saturday 20 February with young-gun chef Lee Westcott from London's Typing Room sharing the pass for a relaxed six-course affair.
"We'll showcase what Lee does but we'll mess it up a bit," says Wells. "It'll be fun to take him around to the fish markets and farms before we write the menu."
While the line-up is still in the works, the mooted list of talents includes chefs Analiese Gregory (Acme), Pasi Petänen (late of Café Paci) and Monty Koludrovic (Icebergs), and wine writer and GT contributor Mike Bennie will make an appearance.
The collaborations are expected to run until the end of the year, so keep your eyes and ears peeled and get in on the action.
Co.lab Series, Automata, 5 Kensington St, Chippendale, NSW, (02) 8277 8555; from noon Saturday 20 February, $100 per person.