The Brae Way

One hour after I landed at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport, I arrived in the city only to depart straightaway, from Southern Cross Train Station, and arrived in Birregurra two hours later.

I wheeled my belongings behind me through a shack of a train station to the parking lot—a thin layer of gravel spread over dirt. I surveyed my surroundings and dry farmland spread before me for miles, with all the hay bundles and cows that come with it. I didn’t see people, cars or buildings. I was in the middle of nowhere.

Two guys who alighted the same train as me were chatting with each other and waiting for someone to pick them up. One of them asked, “Are you waiting for Damien [the sous chef]?” “Yes,” I replied. “Yeah, I figured,” he responded. “No one comes out here unless they’re staging at Brae.”

Welcome to the Brae way.

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Mbok Crystal

The first leg of my travels have officially concluded.

It’s unbelievable that after two months I could be so attached to a kitchen staff, but that’s the nature of a professional kitchen. When working under pressure with a group of people for ten hours a day, six days a week, a family forms. There’s no option but to be close to one another.

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