Flocking to country fare
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.