Beware the Ides of March, historically marked the death of Caesar and a new era for Rome. Today, in 2016 this prophetic phrase heralds a different new beginning, the celebration of 14 years work and a new era for chef Peter Gunn. His first restaurant Ides will open its doors mid March at 92 Smith Street, Collingwood, Melbourne.
Originally from New Zealand, Peter Gunn’s introduction to the world of gastronomy was not the most glamorous. A job at 16 in a fried food joint may have fulfilled the very really need for income, but it did not inspire. The restaurant across the street however, did. His dream one day to improve his environment coupled with his inherent determination, not only saw him achieve a position in that restaurant, but it also marked the beginning of a journey that would bring him to his culinary home – Melbourne.
After 5 years studying, learning and working in restaurants in New Zealand, Gunn arrived in Melbourne. His raw and often daring approach to cooking saw him achieve positions in Ezards, The Royal Mail with Dan Hunter and Attica where he spent the last five years as sous chef to Ben Shewry.
Throughout this period however Peter Gunn needed his own outlet. In addition to his full time employ, he hosted monthly dinners throughout the city, allowing him to explore further the energy of risk that drives his approach to cooking. After 4 years of events from warehouses to tramcars, the opportunity to open a permanent home for Ides arrived in the Collingwood site.
“I really like that danger zone, the risk of not planning a menu too much” explains Gunn, “and making dish decisions as last minute as possible so I can keep that energy in the menu. The success of the monthly dinners really gave me the confidence that I could run a permanent kitchen in this way. At Ides we want to deliver that same edge in our dishes, but this time not limited by the restrictions of a makeshift kitchen or dinning room”
Seating 36 guests Ides will open from Wednesday to Saturday dinner only. The single menu will offer 6 courses (4 savoury and 2 sweet) with alternatives for dietary requirements. Working with acclaimed designer Grant Cheyne the restaurant interior has been created with a lot of imagination and a challenging limited budget. The result is a space whilst comfortable, remains connected to its urban location and energy from the kitchen. With a nod to its roots, Ides will also continue to challenge itself by introducing ‘One Day Sunday’– a selection of monthly dinners that will have no association with the restaurant, reinventing the whole venue and giving a totally different dining experience each month.
For reservation information please contact www.idesmelbourne.com.au