Community Always | Matthew McDonald
Community Always | Matthew McDonald

As we view the world through our screens, we witness a declining trend of innovation and creativity. It is apparent that the concept of "newness" has lost its relevance, and we find ourselves surrounded by a culture of remakes, remixes, and reboots. This approach to creativity often results in the dilution of original ideas, betraying the cultural and nostalgic significance that they hold. However, if we look closely, we can find instances of work that break new ground while still paying homage to their roots. Authenticity is the vital ingredient in such work, and as Nike prepares to release the Air Max 1 "Shima Shima" collection to celebrate the original drop 20 years ago, we see an excellent example of this ethos in action. To mark this event, we are thrilled to feature Matthew McDonald, the head chef of Mummucc', our favorite wine bar, in the latest COMMUNITY ALWAYS. Matthew embodies the perfect balance of innovation and creativity while maintaining a deep respect for tradition, making him the perfect guest to share his creativity and the importance of honouring one's foundations.


Meeting Matthew, you immediately feel a sense of calmness. You wouldn't be able to tell he is the head and only chef of Mummucc', a 60-seater Wine bar and Italian restaurant and wine bar located in Wembley, a suburb in the western suburbs of Perth, Australia.


The skill and precision his dishes illustrate a large team of skilled chefs, although he is the mantle of the kitchen by himself, you would be mistaken to assume he has a stubborn personality. Matthew is one of the most humble people we know. "Community is everything!" Matthew says. "Without the community, their support, their suggestions, the success of the food industry and small business wouldn’t exist." While he aims to cook and curate for that he enjoys, his focus is always on his customers and their fulfilment. "Not only do they help to validate the good ideas, but also help to navigate the bad ones! Their support and guidance is essential for the growth of any chef and business. Creators and Community hold a very symbiotic relationship for me."


Celebrating the original release from 2003, the Air Max 1 "Shima Shima" 2023 still features many of the signature details from the original pack, paying tribute to the original design while creating something entirely new. Matthew observes the shoe in-hand, and as he tries them on foot, we ask him how important it is maintaining authenticity in his work. "In this current world, authenticity is becoming harder and harder to find across all industries and platforms. The age of information has given so many people access to intel and skill sets they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to find. So many people trying to do so many things, all at once. So when I discover something or someone’s work that is expressed through passion and authenticity it makes it especially inspiring."


He pauses and takes a small retrospective, mentioning that sometimes cooking can be a challenging role. The balancing act of meeting industry trends, preferences for your diners whilst also trying to create a plate or curation of food that reflects your ethos can be quite a burden. "For me, the only way to combat these issues is by simply refining back your ideas until they reflect your core concept or natural instinct. Often taking away, striping back anything that isn’t necessary with the hopes of letting the important ingredients shine whilst becoming easier to deliver without compromising your mental bandwidth."


His food can often be very simple, never too complicated. But that's what he had always hoped to achieve. "At the end of the day, that’s what I feel to be authentic and an organic contributor to helping to develop my concepts which will hopefully resonate with my diners."


Just like the Air Max 1 "Shima Shima", taking a look at Mummucc's menu reveals a Japanese-inspired spin on classic Italian favourites. His latest seasonal dish on the menu is the Linguine Con Volgole with Shima Clams. Keen to showcase his new dish he enters the kitchen and shows us the recipe. Black garlic, wakame Butter and dashi are some elements part of the dish. We couldn't help but ask him, what inspired his creativity? 


 "When I started at Mumucc', it was an obviously Italian inspired establishment, I was simply emulating all the knowledge I had procured over time. But, as the menus changed, I started looking to other cultures for inspiration. Japan and it’s culture remains a place I have always been infatuated with. Not only for the food, but their expression and celebration so many other things I feel passionately about" Matthew cites the longing devotion that the Japanese have for their craft and emphasis for the final details. "It is something I admire and try to apply to my lifestyle."


Parallel to the Japanese culinary offerings, he also opens up about the creativity he found in the Japanese celebration and curation of Americana and vintage fashion. An authentic refinement and respect to original inspirations, he is passionate about sharing his love for vintage. "They encapsulate the golden era of vintage Americana better than modern America itself. Motorcycles, Denim, Rockabilly, it’s all there and with flawless attention to the choices of fabrics, designs and the integrity of each choice and martial used in their process of creation or recreation."


This is certainly an ethos that can certainly be applied to a cooking environment. "In some respects..." Matthew pauses. "It is similar to my approach of honouring the simplicity components of a good original concept. It didn’t take long for me to combine a culture I knew about, with a culture I was invested in!"

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Linguine Con Volgole • Black Garlic • Wakame Butter • Chilli Vinegar
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Makes 2 Serves

INGREDIENTS

  • 200g Dried Linguine
  • 500g Shima Shima Clams Or Pippies (washed)
  • Butter
  • 3 cloves Crushed Black Garlic
  • 50-100ml Dashi - Supermarket Fish or Konbu stock will suffice
  • 25ml Chilli Vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Sliced Wakame Seaweed (Fresh or Dried)
  • 150ml Lastnights White Wine (some for the pan, some for you)
  • 2 Tablespoons Sliced Garlic Shoots

METHOD

In a large pot, bring seasoned water to the boil. Add 200-250g Dried Linguine to rapid boiling water. Allow 12-15 minutes or cook until aldente.

Meanwhile, in a large sauce pan. Brown a generous amount of Butter, Chilli Vinegar, Black Garlic, Garlic Shoots, Wakame. Sauté until aromats have been released and golden.

Once golden, add fresh Clams to the saucepan along with 1 glass of white wine and 100ml of Konbu stock. Bring to a simmer, whilst occasionally agitating the pan to rotate the clams and incorporate all ingredients, taste for seasoning and adjust to your requirements. Reduce at a medium temp until ALL clams have opened - This will suggest they are cooked throughout. Set aside on a low temp and wait for remaining pasta to cook.

Once ready, Add Linguine to the pan and return to high heat. Incorporate all ingredients until the pasta is coated evenly.

Serve Immediately. Garnish with fresh parsley and a splash of extra virgin olive oil.

Bread Essential.


Concluding our interview, we couldn't help but ask him about his steak. We reckon it's probably one of the most sought-after dishes in Perth. Just when was it coming back? "Sometimes you don’t know what you have until it’s gone!!! I am pleased to announce that my steak, in some embodiment, will be making an appearance alongside the Linguine Con Volgole with Shima Clams this month!" After serving lunch to us and trying out the Volgole alongside the news that the steak is coming back. We assure you, from this Saturday, 11th March when the new menu including the Shima inspired Linguine Con Volgole will be available at Mummucc', you will see us there every weekend for sure!


REGISTRATIONS ARE NOW OPEN : NIKE AIR MAX 1 "SHIMA SHIMA"


Back from a two decade hiatus, Nike unveil their Air Max 1 "Shima Shima". "Shima shima" is a Japanese term that means "striped" or "stripe pattern". In the context of the Air Max 1 Shima Shima sneakers, it refers to the unique black and white striped design on the shoe. The term is often used in fashion to describe clothing or accessories with a striped pattern.



REGISTER NOW VIA LAUNCHES!



COMMUNITY ALWAYS SERIES


Call us biased but we believe we live in one of the best places on Earth! COMMUNITY ALWAYS is taking our lens and zooming in to focus on our local Australian community and their world-class talent. We believe in celebrating the diverse skills, talents and achievements contributing to the community spirit that makes Australia so great. COMMUNITY ALWAYS is dedicated to you, our community, going above and beyond, kicking goals and pushing boundaries – Always evolving. Always collaborating. Always creating – and showcasing you to the world.

Australia. COMMUNITY ALWAYS.

Talent : Matthew McDonald (@mattmcdonald____)

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