Head chef and owner of Sydney’s acclaimed contemporary modern Australian eatery Oscillate Wildly, Karl Firla’s culinary style has been referred to as young, playful and bold.
Operating out of the vibrant inner-Sydney suburb of Newtown, Firla has created one of the city’s most exciting restaurant experiences.
We recently caught up with Karl to chat about his food philosophy, success and being creative in the kitchen.
How do you approach the creative process?
Creativity comes from so many things: life experience, fresh produce, pressure in the kitchen, making mistakes and success. We are open to anything when looking at food.
I think understanding your ability and palate is extremely important… and to be able to fail and evolve.
You’ve been in and around kitchens since your youth, how’s your food philosophy changed over time? How would you describe it today?
We work really closely with the people that supply us to help everyone involved to try and push a forward thinking attitude. Australia is the lucky country and we are not bound by any single food tradition, so we’re able to incorporate a really diverse and multicultural outlook on dining.
What flavours or combinations are capturing your imagination at the moment?
We are now in winter so mushrooms are at the top of my list! We have amazing quality and variety, it’s about texture and depth of flavour- raw, dried and fermented are used a lot currently.
You’ve been a Senior pastry chef at Marque and Sous chef at Est, now owner at Oscillate Wildly, what does it mean to you? Is this the restaurant you always wanted to create?
Oscillate Wildly was always the dream. I feel so lucky to have been able to work with the people that I’ve been involved with along the way. I wanted a place that was small, fun, controlled and with no limits – I believe we have achieved that here.
What do you want people to feel after dining at Oscillate Wildly?
I want people to leave excited when they finish – and look forward to returning. We hope to show people an experience they have not seen before and to educate people by showing them where dining is currently at in Australia.
You’ve received two chef’s hats in this year’s Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide – why do you think people enjoy Oscillate Wildly?
I think it’s the platform we offer – extremely professional but in no way stiff-mannered. We like to think what we offer is an experience you will only get when you dine with us.
Next? Well the pot is always simmering… lots of fun things ahead.