"Does a voice call to you when the charcuterie is out?" head chef/owner/sommelier Tim asked, as I photographed him for around the fourth time slicing chilli-infused salami. I hadn't realised, but yes. Yes it did.
La Bonta is in Kyneton, Victoria. This is one of those places that allows you to sink into the experience: the Chesterfield, the wisecracking staff (hi Adam!), the clear pride in good wine and Italian food.
Janet and Tim have a great thing going here. While editing the photos it all got a bit much and I had to book a table - true story. Beetroot risotto, pumpkin gnocchi, the charcuterie...
I was there to take some 'natural, candid photos of a busy night during service. Nothing set up' for their website and social media. This is my happy place. Photography Ninja.
The personal, grounding moments during the peak of a busy night were familiar from my own experience in hospitality. A space to sharpen your knives, survey the room and wipe the counters before diving in for more of the action.
And a knock-off glass of red.