MACEDON RANGES, VICTORIA
After years spent working in Melbourne and Paris, chef Steve Rogers and his wife Sarah moved to the Macedon Ranges in 2008 to start a family, then opened Kyneton restaurant Midnight Starling three-and-a-half years ago. Steve believes the region has lots to offer visitors, including beautiful countryside, outstanding produce, and more than its fair share of highly regarded restaurants. Can you recommend some local restaurants? Du Fermier in Trentham is a favourite. Annie Smithers cooks rustic French farmhouse food using produce she grows in her kitchen garden. Kazuki’s Restaurant in Daylesford offers an exceptional dinning experience. The food is inspired by owner-chef Kazuki Tsuya’s Japanese heritage and the produce around him. What’s the best place for children? Pizza Verde in Kyneton is a good place to take the kids for an early dinner. Do you have a favourite café? The Trentham Collective — they have great breakfast and lunch menus, and the service is always friendly. Best coffee? Monsieur Pierre in Kyneton serves Allpress coffffee. What’s your pick of the local wines? Bindi Wines in Gisborne is a favourite — Michael Dhillon produces wonderful pinot noir and chardonnay. And Joshua Cooper [the son of the winemaker at Cobaw Ridge] is making and selling amazing wines under his own label. Are there any notable providores? The charcuterie at Piper Street Food Co. is a must and Powlett St. Ices produce fantastic ice-cream and sorbet. What local produce is worth seeking out? The black truffles from Georgie at Aussie Truffle Dogs in Trentham and pasture-raised beef from Sam and Miranda White at Sidonia Beef. Is there a good farmers’ market in the area? The Kyneton Farmers’ Market is held on the second Saturday of the month at St Paul’s Park on Piper Street. Keep an eye out for Anna Kelly from Plains Paddock Lamb — she has great produce and is always good for a laugh. Can you suggest some natural attractions to explore? Nearby Turpins Falls — when it’s flowing — and Bald Hill Reserve are both worth a look. In Kyneton itself, the Campaspe River Walk is always good.
CLOCKWISE, FROM RIGHT A beautiful table setting at Trentham’s Du Fermier, where Annie Smithers serves rustic French food; chef Steve Rogers at Midnight Starling in Kyneton; the restaurant serves classic bistro fare, such as this roasted spatchcock with petits pois à la Français.