World's 50 Best Restaurants Chef's Feast in Melbourne

The Chefs’ Feast, the first official event of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, was held last night at West Beach Bathers Pavilion in St Kilda, Melbourne, with a who’s who of the Australian culinary scene cooking. Ben Shewry from Attica, the highest-ranked Australian restaurant on the current World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, welcomed guests at the informal beachside celebration. Melbourne turned on sublime weather and the beach scene was magical.

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Shewry said: “Having some of Australia’s greatest chefs cooking beachside with extraordinary Australian produce was the perfect way to welcome our international visitors. It was a memorable and unique experience for them.”

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Guests arrived to Kylie Kwong (Billy Kwong), Jock Zonfrillo (Restaurant Orana) and Lennox Hastie (Firedoor) cooking on the beach. On the menu were Moreton Bay bugs in XO, 200+ day dry-aged Ranger’s Valley rib of beef and Northern Territory magpie goose cooked over fire (which we also saw Jock demonstrate at his masterclass at the Sixth Estrella Damm Gastronomy Congress).

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Inside, Martin Benn (Sepia), Peter Gilmore (Quay and Bennelong), and Shannon Bennett (Vue de monde), looked after the sit-down element of the night with Mooloolaba yellowfin tuna, Paspaley pearl meat and David Blackmore Wagyu served to the international visitors.

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Rising Australian culinary star, Analiese Gregory (Bar Brose), served Hawkesbury River finger lime splices fireside, to end the night.  Wine Australia matched wines to each of the courses, highlighting the diversity of Australia’s wine regions.

Federal Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, the Hon. Steven Ciobo MP said: “It was great to see Australia’s finest on display last night at the Chefs Feast. These chefs are the best in the world and they will be travelling around Australia and experiencing some of the most amazing experiences we have to offer, from oyster farms on the NSW south coast to snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef to dining under the stars in the Kimberley. I am positive they will fall in love with Australia while they are here and leave as true advocates for our great country.”  

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Tourism Australia Managing Director, John O'Sullivan said that hosting the awards in Melbourne and the Australia-wide program of events being organised alongside them was the next exciting chapter in its ongoing Restaurant Australia story. “The traditional Chefs’ Feast sets the tone for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, and I think we got the event just right. Beaches are a quintessential part of our country’s DNA and I think the iconic venue and beachside setting provided the perfect backdrop for some of our country’s most talented chefs to showcase Australia’s ever improving food and wine story. The dishes they served up were incredible and really demonstrated the sophistication of our cuisine and the diversity of our native ingredients.”

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Over 100 chefs and restaurant representatives, as well as 50 international media outlets and the 26 Academy Chairs, are currently in Australia for the week-long official event program, hosted by Tourism Australia. 

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Tourism Australia has worked closely with William Reed Business Media, owners of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, on the official event program. These events showcase Australia’s outstanding food and wine culture to an international audience of chefs, restaurateurs, winemakers, sommeliers, media and food lovers, and marks the next phase of Tourism Australia’s Restaurant Australia campaign.

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The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards ceremony will be held tonight (Wednesday 5 April) at Melbourne’s historic Royal Exhibition Building. Ahead of the prestigious World’s 50 Best Restaurants ‘list’ being announced, up to 1,000 guests will enjoy Australian seafood, meat and produce served up by Australian culinary legend Neil Perry at an installation designed by award-winning designer and florist Joost Bakker. In addition to the visiting chefs and Academy Chairs, the red carpet and gala ceremony will be attended by more than 200 domestic and international media outlets from over 40 countries.

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