Flock­ing to coun­try fare

Sunday Herald Sun - - News - DAN STOCK

THEY might have worked in the world’s best kitchens, but our top chefs are choos­ing re­gional Vic­to­ria to show­case their tal­ents.

It’s the qual­ity of life — both in­side and out­side the kitchen — that drew young­gun chef Josh Pel­ham to the Morn­ing­ton Penin­sula.

Pel­ham, who worked at The Square in Lon­don and at Keller’s fa­mous French Laun­dry in Cal­i­for­nia, is now in charge of the restau­rants at the new RACV Cape Schanck re­sort, in­clud­ing the flag­ship of­fer­ing, Cape.

“The in­dus­try is grow­ing and is be­com­ing less city cen­tric,” Pel­ham said.

“There are lots of chefs do­ing great things in this area; there’s a real ca­ma­raderie.”

Chef Derek Boath took ex­pe­ri­ence gained at New York’s Per Se — Thomas Keller’s three Miche­lin-star tem­ple of gas­tron­omy — and shunned the city for Bal­larat.

His restau­rant Un­der­bar is a de­gus­ta­tion-only, 12-seater that only opens two nights a week.

Boath makes use of many small lo­cal pro­duc­ers and for­ages for much that adorns the no-choice, mul­ti­course set menu.

Even though a meal will set you back $155 a head, a month of book­ings are snapped up as soon as they are re­leased.

A zeit­geisty, cool restau­rant in Bal­larat that peo­ple from Mel­bourne travel to is a sit­u­a­tion al­most un­think­able even a year ago, but Boath said there was a real ap­petite for fine din­ing out­side the CBD.

“Set­ting up in Bal­larat lets me cook the food I want to and have a qual­ity of life with my fam­ily I wouldn’t get in the city,” he said.

In this year’s de­li­cious.100 — a rank­ing of the 100 most de­li­cious restau­rants in the state — al­most a third of the list is found out of town. DON’T MISS YOUR SUN­DAY HER­ALD SUN ON NOVEM­BER 18 FOR THE 2018 DE­LI­CIOUS.100, WHERE WE RANK VIC­TO­RIA’S 100 MOST DE­LI­CIOUS RESTAU­RANTS.

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