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In Conversation with Arlo Communal
Friends & Partners
April 7, 2022

This week we hosted an intimate dinner to celebrate the Incu community, creating a beautiful moment to connect with old friends and make new ones. The menu was curated by Arlo Communal, a dynamic dining experience created by three mates – Cal, Tobi and Miles, who serve up seasonal, sensational and expressive food alongside natural and biodynamic wines.

Read our interview with the boys where we discuss their love of food and community, and take a look back at how the night came together.

 

Welcome guys, tell us a bit about Arlo Communal.
Arlo hosts one off dining experiences for the public and like-minded brands. Through these events where we display tasteful food, thoughtful wine and creative decors, we can emphasise and facilitate what Arlo is at its core - a place for genuine, surprising and novel social interaction.

How long have you all been mates?
We came together and formed a friendship through Arlo which began one and a half years ago.

Arlo’s menu is directed by time and place - seasonality and local produce.

Place us at the moment where you decided that you would make Arlo a reality.
Cal came to me (Tobi) with the original idea of a supper club (small, intimate dinners in the comfort of one's home) which was popping off globally. Both being young and in the food and wine, we craved a space where we could display our personal taste. It was only when Miles (head of wine) jumped on board did the ideas start popping off. The three of us sat down at Miles’ dinner table discussing menu ideas, wine pairings and potential locations for our first event. From there, we locked in a space and jumped straight into the deep end and hosted our first event.

What did each of you want to be when you grew up?
Tobi: I wanted to be a mathematician when I was younger. Cal: Definitely far from hospitality. Miles: Musician.


    Food at its core is a vessel for culture and is utilised to break ground and ignite conversation. Over food, the community has an opportunity to come together, culturally exchange and more importantly, bond in an intimate setting.

    Who is your dream dinner guest, and why?
    Anthony Bourdain would be amazing. The stories and knowledge he has would make it memorable.

    Inspiration takes shape in many forms, where does Arlo draw it from?
    Arlo’s process is malleable and therefore changes for each event. We draw inspiration from artists and chefs both within Sydney and overseas such as Ignacio Mattos and Laila Gohar. With venues shifting for every event, we utilise the space and setting as a source of inspiration for decor, menu design and crockery - keeping in mind the lighting and sound. The time of year is also one of our key inspirations, dictating the menu and floral elements of the event. People, setting and seasonality are our major inspirations.

    Talk us through the menu creation process.
    Arlo’s menu is directed by time and place - seasonality and local produce. The menu is influenced by cuisine from all over the world. Most importantly, the menu is in constant evolution as we try to serve what is ripe and familiar in new and satisfying styles. In a more practical sense, we try to cover what we believe makes for the best set menu - bread and butter to start, raw seafood, cheese, vegetables, mains and a dessert. That is our process for a successful dinner.

    Tell us about the relationship that exists between food and community.
    Food at its core is a vessel for culture and is utilised to break ground and ignite conversation. Over food, the community has an opportunity to come together, culturally exchange and more importantly, bond in an intimate setting.


    How do you go about creating menus that are innately Arlo?
    We try to create food that is bright, layered, familiar yet surprising and most importantly playful. Arlo’s menu is created around this philosophy - food that is thoughtful and precise, but not taken too seriously that would impede on the diners' bonding experience.

    You’ve fed half of Sydney’s creative scene by now, are there any standout moments since you launched?
    Our Lucy Folk event was a standout. Turning their shopfront into a restaurant was a blast. Lacking a kitchen, we had to utilise the outdoor space and cook everything over charcoal. The diners and team that we worked with were amazing - they really made the experience special.


    What can we expect from Arlo in 2022 and beyond?
    Larger, more detailed and experimental events both with the public and like-minded brands. Just going to keep on doing what we do.

    See Arlo at work here


     

    PHOTOS BY BROGAN CHIDLEY
    WORDS BY PETER BAIN
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