Regional Victoria’s status as a world class food bowl has been underlined as the country’s leading chefs increasingly adopt low food mileages practices to prioritise local producers as their primary source of fresh ingredients.
St Kilda’s famous Stokehouse, celebrating its 30th anniversary this year as one of Melbourne’s most iconic culinary institutes, will continue their popular dinner series What Grows Together Goes Together over winter. Head Chef Ollie Hansford, Group Sommelier Gavin Cremming and the team have been hard at work to coordinate four dinners that will each highlight a Victorian region. Victoria’s Macedon Ranges will be the focus for the winter series return on Thursday 6 June before High Country (Thursday 18 July), Grampians (Thursday 22 August) and Great South East Coast (Thursday 19 September). The series was created to bring regional Victoria to St Kilda, featuring local produce matched to beverages from the same area for those with an interest in tradition, technique, seasonality and the paddock to plate ethos.
From bayside neighbourhood of St Kilda to the banks of the Yarra River, The Langham Melbourne’s popular Melba Restaurant has just launched Season’s Harvest, a celebration of fresh, local produce, including meat, seafood, dairy and fresh produce. Diners can feast on regional produce for breakfast, lunch and dinner with 70% of produce sourced from within the state. Melba’s commitment to fresh local produce extends beyond their culinary offering with staff trained on Victoria’s diverse regions and where the ingredients are sourced from.
Flames, coal and incredible local produce headline chef Scott Pickett’s South Yarra restaurant, Matilda 159 Domain. The Australiana inspired hatted diner is a visual and sensory journey, fuelled by open fire and hot coals with a feeling of comfort and warmth. The neighbourhood restaurant celebrates fresh regional produce, along with Macedon Ranges duck, Lakes Entrance seafood and Gippsland beef. 159 Domain Rd, South Yarra, Victoria, 3141. (03) 9089 6668.
Located on the outskirts of Melbourne’s eastern suburbs in Beaconsfield, O.My restaurant has been founded on fresh produce and sustainable practices. Such is the commitment, the hatted restaurant has opened a farm in nearby regional Victoria to grow its produce for dishes crafted around fresh, seasonal produce. The once humble butcher shop has been transformed into an intimate fine diner and adjacent O.My Bar. 23 Woods Street, Beaconsfield, Victoria, 3807 (note: from 20 June 2019, the restaurant will move next door to 19-21 Woods Street, Beaconsfield, Victoria, 3807). (03) 9769 9000.
This inner-city laneway restaurant Pastuso is Peruvian by name and by nature but founded on fresh regional ingredients. The head chef behind the grill cevicheria and pisco bar, Alejandro Saravia, is such a supporter of the Gippsland food bowl that he had a street artist paint the region’s famous rolling hill landscape on the wall outside of his fine diner. Along with hosting regular Gippsland themed events, Saravia will open his new dedicated regional restaurant Farmers Daughters in the much anticipated 80 Collins St culinary precinct next year. 19 AC/DC La, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000. (03) 9662 4556.
Australia’s best restaurant, Attica, has built its success on beautiful, unique and rare local ingredients. The Ripponlea neighbourhood fine diner is ranked the 20th best restaurant in the world by the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list – the only Australian restaurant to appear on the coveted list. Chef and owner Ben Shewry can be found foraging wild plants and vegetables for the menu at Attica. Visitors shouldn’t expect a stuffy atmosphere with chatty staff and an eclectic music playlist to match a degustation menu that features saltwater croc ribs, hand picked crab and a black ant lamington. 74 Glen Eira Road, Ripponlea, Victoria, 3185. (03) 9530 0111.
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