The City Lane was recently very fortunate to be invited to the launch of Bread Wine & Thou, a new quarterly magazine born and bred in Melbourne but with contributions and stories from national and international voices. If you’re wondering, the name comes from the Persian text, Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, but I digress.
The brainchild of Editor-in-Chief Yossi Klein, Bread Wine & Thou aims to explore not only food and drink, but also the experiences around food and drink. Boasting some of the most beautiful imagery I have seen in a magazine in some time, the first issue features various diverse voices telling stories about musicians, forgotten milk bars, and of all things, potato salad. The stories are accessible, honest, and in some cases, incredibly moving. It’s an interesting angle to take, and in many respects serves to highlight one of the more power aspects of food, namely it’s power to connect and bring people together.
Bread Wine & Thou also boasts the support of renowned chef Marco Pierre White, who attended the launch. A keen supporter of the magazine, the chef flew into Melbourne especially for the event and will be a continuing contributor. Those in attendance were given the opportunity to hear Marco share some interesting stories and insight, as well as have some questions answered.
Pictured above: from left, Creative Director Mel McNamara, Editor-in-Chief Yossi Klein, and Contributing Editorial Consultant Marco Pierre White.
As with any magazine, the content focus and style will change from issue to issue. The current issue’s theme is ‘Unloved’ but the next (due in October 2015) is slated to be on ‘Maternity’. Based on what we’ve seen from issue one, it’s hard to not to think they might be on to something here.
Below is an extract from the excellent ‘Let’s Go Izakaya’ by Bruce Milne, appearing in issue 01. For context, the article chronicles the author’s transition from having had an Australian ‘white-bread’ upbringing, to his experimentation upon visiting Japan.
When alone in Japan, I am happy to find one of the multitude of vending machines that adorn her big city streets at regular intervals, grab a can of corn soup, wash it down with a can of sickly sweet coffee and get on with my day. Put me in an izakaya with Japanese friends though and suddenly, instead of looking for the blandest, most Western items on a menu, I challenge myself to eat the most exotic dishes I can find. It’s as if an unspoken, unacknowledged, invisible gauntlet is thrown down. When a Japanese friend tells me something might be too strange for me, I take it as a call to culinary arms. Which is not to say I always enjoy the taste, not by a long shot, but I do love the thrill that comes when I manage to empty my plate.
It isn’t only the thrill of adventurous challenge that spurs me on. Sitting at a table, surrounded by friends who are relaxing and tucking into their food without a second thought, I’ve found a very real satisfaction in confronting my ingrained prejudices. Often I still have to cajole, persuade and will myself merely to get my hashi (chopsticks) up to my mouth… but, a gauntlet is a gauntlet.
Issue 01 of Bread Wine & Thou is available from newsagents and all good bookstores now.