This month, the ALTD team sat down with Ilanit Bard, General Manager of Lûmé, a multi-sensory fine dining restaurant situated in a terrace house in South Melbourne that was formerly a burlesque club.
Lûmé set about to create a venue with the bones and soul of a restaurant, but with a theatrical and multisensory approach.
Lume is a fully ‘dry restaurant - or in other words, boozy staff knock-off drinks at the end of service aren’t a thing there. Ilanit believes that’s an old fashioned mindset and they want to stay far from it. Read the full interview online...it’s awesome.
As a venue that defines itself against the status quo, Lûmé is the perfect venue to champion serving the ALTD Spirits range in its extensive non-alcoholic menu.
Here’s what Ilanit had to say:
Name, age, gender, location
Ilanit Bard, 32 years old, Melbourne. I don’t like gender.
Please tell us a bit about Lume & your work there
Lûmé is a special place. The weird kiddo of the fine-dining scene. The trend is going on the right, we choose to go on the left. We tend to not follow codes and be ourselves.
I started working there alongside Shaun Quade and other talented people like Eileen Horsnell, Orlando Marzo, Michael Clarke and never stopped being inspired by the incredible humans of Lûmé since then.
I came from a wine bar/bistro background, I don’t feel like myself in most fine-dining restaurants and wanted to change this. Lûmé is a very large and sumptuous living room with impressive and fine food from all over the world. Lûmé is Melbourne in a Nutshell.
What is your main focus at the moment?
I am focusing on our beverage list with Ben Knight and Orlando Marzo. I am also taking a big curve into improving technology at Lûmé. Never stop getting better version of ourselves.
Lûmé is a Dry Restaurant...how does that work?
Yes, we never wanted to give alcohol to our team members as a reward. This is an old fashioned mind-set and we want to stay far from it. It was already this way when I started and I embraced it. We also started practising Yoga about a year ago, with Paolo (Chef of Yoga) once a week.
We do drink a little on Saturday night after the last shift of a week, more like a celebration of our accomplishments and lessons that we learnt as a team. Nothing crazy, there is still a non-alcoholic option. Some team members aren’t drinking alcohol at all.
Any lessons or insights for other restaurants / venues curious about doing something similar?
Treat your team members as athletes and try to be this fair coach that they need.
Any major challenges / successes with being Dry?
Team members see their workplace more seriously.
The last alcoholic drink you had was & when?
A Negroni on Monday night.
On Saturday night my go-to drink is a...
Usually half glass of sparkling, or just sparkling water :) it depends on the mood!
Favourite alcohol-free drink?
Lûmé zero-proof’s page. It is a celebration to Australian’s flora; it is considered, complex and suits our degustation very well.
Share something that most people don't know about you
I am afraid of public speaking.
What are you really into at the moment? Can be anything – beverage, food or, other!
Foraging :) Those little aromatic herbs and flowers are so underrated. Most people think they are just decorative but they are much more than that. So, I have joined Spurrell Foraging’s team to learn more about it and be able to bring this to the tables at night.
Anything else you want to say?