Otis! What a croc!
NYC, 30.07.17

Book now

A thick-skinned feast of American eating and Australian drinking.

Sunday 30 July - 6.30pm
North Brooklyn Farm
320 Kent Av (@ S. 4th St)
$110 per head
4 courses + beverage
Swamp table decor Mathery
70 tickets only

Brunch bar open to public from 1pm

Book now


Just like alligators and crocodiles, these two cultures share so much yet are completely different beasts. What a Croc! will dredge up from murky waters unique cultural tidbits which are palatably, audibly and visually crucial to each country. A mouthful of culture shock which highlights both the differences and the similarities of how we dine.

Just alike these prehistoric reptiles the dichotomy may not always be so stark; yet through thoughtful pairings, strategic presentation and frivolous dialog we hope to see each country’s toothy idiosyncrasies (for better or for worse). The event will present a wide stream of considered food, wine and installation destined to stimulate engaged chomping.

What to expect

The Otis Armada team prides itself on approaching a feast in no style but it’s own. Experiences which are to be as gratifying to the eyes and ears as they are to the palate. Over the course of a few hours a parade of curated food, wine and art will be served. Otis Armada salutes communal eating so it is likely you will meet some other reptiles you ought to revel with. All will sit together and be served at once. Before and in-between the 4 courses will be some small snacks keeping everyone hooked. Beverage will be paired and praised with each plate. You won’t leave hungry, you won’t leave empty handed and we advise you don’t drive or swim.

Featuring the chefs of North Brooklyn Farms, Kenneth Monroe and Emma Jane Gonzalez. The majority of the produce used will be grown on site or sourced from nearby.

Are there real gators' involved?

Visually perhaps, but physically, no... By using the comparison of two similar, yet disparate beasts we hope move through many unconsidered cultural duets. Whether it’s the milk-bar meets the bodega, the pumpkin pie versus the meat pie or the sausage roll aside a hotdog; our cultures dip in and out of being related and then being totally estranged. We wish to look at cultural artifacts (edible or otherwise) which are dear to each culture; not so much as to mix them together but to herald each a in a new light.

Only with prior notice can specific allergies and dietary concerns can be accommodated for.

Fig.1 A riverside feast of thick-skinned American eating and Australian drinking, coming this July 2017 under the Williamsburg bridge.

Fig.2 What a Croc! will present a wide stream of considered food and wine, rooted in both present day and historical Australian and American culture.

Fig 3. What a Croc! will take place at North Brooklyn Farms an initiative which reshapes unused land into public green spaces. It’s a publicly accessible space for people to connect with nature and each another through agriculture and sustainably-grown produce.

Fig.4 Each crocodile jaw has 24 teeth that are meant to grasp and crush, not chew. They swallow stones that grind food inside their stomachs, and also act as ballast.


Otis Armada
Bootleg dining

Otis Armada was conceived in 2014 by a group of Melbourne based stomachs who are committed to exploring, re-contextualising and celebrating the ritualistic aspects of communal dining. Pairing thoughtfully curated food, wine, music and installation art together, Otis Armada creates bootleg dining experiences which honor engaging service, artistic collaboration and most of all creative eating.

What is Otis Armada

With any Otis Armada event we strive to be the antidote to rigid hospitality; which despite its intentions, restricts the unpredictable nature of a good feast with friends. Our events aim to give rise to an inspection of food that ultimately lets people feel confident to embrace the new. Whether that's a new location, a new cuisine or a new approach; at Otis we believe no food is sacred and that communal eating is the perfect battleground for pushing important ideas.

With each Otis Armada event there is a theme that envelopes the entire feast. Pricking each sense, all elements engage a concept far beyond standard hospitality. Whether it’s an architectural movement or a specific animal, we look everywhere but the restaurant for inspiration.


Long Prawn
Ali Currey-Voumard

Previous project partners

Assemble Papers
Bureaux Collective
Ben Clement
Brooks & Amos
CHAMP Magazine
Coeval Magazine
The Creators Project
Dale Hardiman
Gourmet Traveller
Hunted + Gathered
Lloyd Mst
Mathery Studio
Open House Melbourne
Sample Brew
Troy Wheelan
Puebco Japan

Site designed by PSP
built by WM

Fig.1 ‘A Brutalist Being’ campaign imagery for Otis.Brutal. (2016). Photograph: Phebe Schmidt.

Fig.2 Bountiful lunch time courses are revealed in paint on paper at Otis Spring (2014).

Fig.3 Brutalist’s raise glasses of Pat Sullivan ‘Love Juice’ forged in Victoria exclusively for Otis. Brutal. (2016).

Fig.4 ‘Play with your food’ campaign imagery for Otis Spring (2014). Photograph: COCO and MAXIMILIAN

Fig.5 ‘A Brutalist Being’ A being of such magnitude needs to be adequately fed. He reaches for a brutalist staple; some tinned fish. Confined, stark, strong and long lasting. Just like the A Brutalist Being. Otis.Brutal. (2016). Photograph: Phebe Schmidt Phebe Schmidt.

Fig.6 Trays pass through a production line of focused cooks lead by Ali Currey-Voumard for Otis.Brutal. (2016)

Fig.7 Pro-play disproportionate tabletops are covered with sketch paper and placed in a circular formation to encourage playful involvement for Otis Spring (2014).


Otis. Brutal.
For the bloody minded

Otis. Brutal. channeled the Brutalist’s triumphant indifference to commonality. A deliberate ousting from conventional ideas of beauty. Brutalism has always sparked vehement debate about the necessity and/or irrelevance of aesthetics. A debate which Otis Armada was determined to bring back to the surface. Otis.Brutal. reclaimed the core elements of food, art, wine and music by avoiding superficiality – honing in on elements that happily triumphed in discordance with the norm. Over six carefully curated sittings the Brutalists delivered a raw barrage of gratifying food, art, music and wine.

Guests were led from the street through the Brutalist facade of the venue to a vacant textile factory where the brutalist fare ensued. Once seated in immovably solid rows, guests were presented with a standard issue prison tray for their first course: cold cut meats, sloe berry jam, cultured butter and grilled chicken hearts served alongside handmade dry crackers. The courses that followed showcased Chef Ali Currey-Voumard's(The Agrarian Kitchen) brutal expression of local produce paired with an entirely organic natural wine list written and beaconed by Campbell Burton. The result was a culinary fare that both challenged the norm of dainty food delivery whilst comforting diners with relatable and traversable flavours.

From the wearable napkins to the synchronised service, a comfortable control was imposed throughout the feast. A Brutalist's utopia allowed people to learn about Brutalism and engage with dining in a completely new way. Otis.Brutal. deprived guests of non-essential niceties, heightening their appreciation for the basics and arresting their attention. Function was everything – durable tarp aprons designed for Freitag, heavy duty tables and chairs designed for the event and a menu which listed every single ingredient. Each guest received forged steel knives specifically created for the pork course which was carved in the center of the space for immediate dispatch. Throughout the sittings a generous barrage of unfussy food and wine ensued, whilst bespoke soundtracks matched the meat.


May 2016
Brutalist Warehouse
122 Roseneath Street, Clifton Hill
5 courses + snacks + beverages
6 x sold out sittings of 50

This event was a part of the Brutalist Block Party presented by Assemble Papers and Open House Melbourne.


Hors d’oeuvres: Alex Albrecht/ Julian Cairns
Bread service: A.r.t. Wilson
Wet course: Francis Inferno Orchestra
The Pig: Tamil Rogeon / Otis Armada
Cheese / Pudding: Elliot Munn & Gregor
Digestive: Wush
Otis Brutal playlist


Campaign photography: Phebe Schmidt
Event photography: Ben Clement, Nadeemy Beetros
Event film documentation: Caity Shannon, Freya Esders
Identity: Lloyd Mst
Wearable napkins: Macmillian-Yenn
Apron design: PSP
Take-home knife: PSP & John Hall
Coding: Sam Hains

Brand partners

Assemble Papers
Open House Melbourne
Bureaux Collective
Hunted + Gathered
Troy Wheelan

Key Press

Gourmet Traveller
The Creators Project
Coeval Magazine
Champ Magazine
Assemble Papers

Fig.1 ‘A Brutalist Being’ ...eats in a way that is systematic, pure and controlled. Coffee black, toast burnt. A Brutalist Being eats the whole apple. Photograph: Phebe Schmidt.

Fig.2 Hand bevelled and embossed steel knives by PSP and John Hall are distributed to Brutalists in time for the pig course. Cream of pork soup with lovage, roasted pork belly dressed with sea urchin and potato, pearled barley with crisp greens and nettle.

Fig.3 Raw chipboard tables and benches were custom made to reference brutalist silhouettes and systematically aligned in a totalitarian configuration.

Fig.4 Wet course: Fermented tomatoes served with sea bream, dried bonito and sesame paste.

Fig.5 Bread service: Standard issue Cambro mustard prison trays prepared with house made processed meat, sloe berry jam, cultured butter and grilled chicken hearts.

Fig.6 Fig.4 ‘A Brutalist Being’ by COCO and MAXIMILIAN is screened alongside the digestive course with brutally unadorned chocolates by Hunted + Gathered.

Fig.7 A utilitarian overhead projector swatches the interior surfaces of Roseneath Street with the Otis.Brutal. formulaic menu.

Fig.8 Otis.Brutal.’s savage identity by Lloyd Mst,


Otis Spring
Play With your food

Otis Spring celebrated the most affable aspects of both childhood and adulthood. Held in a light-filled small-goods factory, the OA team served up an open-ended banquet of joyous offerings centered around a four course feast created by Clayton Wells (Automata, Momofuku Seibo). Wells delivered a menu which like the feast, was hard to pigeon hole yet vivid in colour and playful in flavour. Fermented cherries, Hapuka under a blanket of seaweed, clear pork broth live with edible flowers. Each sitting saw a most artful mix of snacks such as salt and vinegar fish skins, eccentric wines poured by our frivolous booze teachers and a live mixed soundtracks we are still listening to.

The underlying theme of Otis Spring ‘Play with your food’ sought to channel those all-too-often suppressed urges of mess-making and childhood play. Custom built communal tables lined with sketch paper and wonky ceramic cups evoked feelings of being at the kid’s table, whilst guest wine guy Ned Brooks (Moonpark, Brooks and Amos) embraced adulthood as he free poured a selection of small-batch beverages, scrawling their names largely onto the tables with hand gripped crayons.

At the end of lunch, guests were invited to sip on a digestive tonic inside the industrial refrigerator room that housed an installation of six films by COCO and MAXIMILIAN. Otis Armada Spring was a true slew of edible and interactive art. An afternoon of sophisticated springtime flavours, childhood nostalgia and most of all a triumphant tabletop mess.


November 2014
Smallgoods factory
68 Gwynne St, Cremorne
5 course + snacks + beverages
3 x sittings of 40


Friday: Andras Fox
Saturday: Zach PM
Sunday: Simon TK
Otis Spring playlist


Campaign photography:COCO and MAXIMILIAN
Brand mark: Jack Howe
Event photography: Ben Clement, Morgan Hickinbotham & Harry Scott
Digestion film: COCO and MAXIMILIAN

Brand Partners

Brooks & Amos
Dale Hardiman
Hunted + Gathered
Mathery Studio
Puebco Japan

Fig.1 Frivolous painted ply sculptures and chip board A-frames festoon the small-goods factory dining space.

Fig.2 The Otis team wearing Superbirki polyurethane clogs made for ‘professionals’ and supplied by event sponsor Birkenstock Australia.

Fig.3 Playtime in full swing with guests parked at custom-made tables lined with sketch paper.

Fig.4 Snack course of crispy fish skins with salt and vinegar served by Sydney guest chef Clayton Wells (Automata, Momofuku Seibo) and team.

Fig.5 ‘Play with your food’ campaign imagery. Photograph: COCO and MAXIMILIAN

Fig.6 A playsafe menu flash-card is given out with each course for each guest to take home alongside egg yolk glazed pinch pot cups served with frenet branco.

Fig.7 Diner’s refresh from the Spring heat with cool scented wet towels prepared by William Rankin.

Fig.8 Wriggly Otis Spring wordmark by Jack Howe


Otis Winter
The first feast

The Winter of 2014 saw Otis Armada give birth to the first in a series of seasonal bootleg dining experiences in Melbourne. To fight the cold this event channeled feelings of bacchanalian gatherings, Rothschild’s surrealist dinner parties and gluttony. Over two nights in July, the Otis Armada team served up a brilliant composition of considered music, small batch wines, installation art and a ten-course winter feast that encapsulated all the warmth and amity of the season.

The dinners were held in a retired motorcycle workshop in Carlton where guests gorged communally under the ambience of a six-meter long hand stitched tent. Each course was delivered in unison to pieces of specifically composed music reflecting the dish’s produce and temperament. As a the duck left the pass and flew onto the floor, a crescendoe of duck noises arrested our guests before drifting off into their subconscious.

The creative team worked closely with head chef Ali Currey-Voumard (The Agrarian Kitchen), Moon Under Water) and Pete Cooksley (Embla, Supernormal) to fortify aspects of the Macabre style menu. For example, two hundred resin cast bullion bricks in hues of duck blood sauce were created. Each guest left the event with a unique red bullion embossed with 'Otis Armada' making the main course of ten-day-aged-duck and steel cut oats a centrepiece not to forget.


July 2014
Motorcycle workshop
10 Courses
4 x sittings of 30


Friday: Alex Albrecht
Saturday: Simon TK
Otis Winter playlist


Event photography: Travis Fryer
Bread: Karl’s Loaves
Code: Jack Beilby
Graphic design: Jack Howe
Printing: Dawn Press

Brand Partners

Pat Sullivan
Jarad Curwood
Sample Brewing
Troy Wheelan
Hungry Workshop

Fig.1 Hedonistic campaign imagery photographed by Travis Fry, featuring macabre elements of the Otis Winter menu.

Fig.2 Chef Ali Currey-Voumard (The Agrarian Kitchen, Moon Under Water) intricately places duck hearts for the inaugural ten-part Otis Armada menu.

Fig.3 Otis guests take winter refuge inside a warm six meter long tent constructed inside the ex-mechanic garage venue.

Fig.4 Seasonal beets and greens served to cut through the main course of ten-day-aged-duck and porridge.

Fig.5 Otis Armada is born. The maiden event channeled dark but delicious feelings of bacchanalia, Rothschild’s surrealist dinner parties and unrequited gluttony

Fig.6 150 hand cast resin bullions which signified the flavours of the event were produced for Otis guests to take-home.

Fig.7 The sound of quacking ducks rang out as Alex Albrecht played live accompaniment the centerpiece of the feast, the ten-day-aged-duck and porridge.