Epic Australian Open Chef Series Dinner with Alejandro Saravia
Where to dine at the Australian Open in style? Look no further than the Australian Open Chef Series. The World Loves Melbourne was invited to an epic dinner showcasing the best of Gippsland produce by iconic chef Alejandro Saravia at The Glasshouse (across the road from Hisense Arena).
The ability to enjoy such high quality cuisine featuring excellent Gippsland (and Australian) produce at The Australian Open is fantastic. But this dinner series for chef Alejandro Saravia is part of a long term project called "Farmers Daughters" in elevating Gippsland cuisine. Farmers Daughters is about a Farm, a Restaurant and a Deli elevating producers. The restaurant is set to launch in 2018.
We were "welcomed to Gippsland" then given an amazing dish of Carrot, rye crackers and tomato dashi with Home brewed peach kombucha! A fun and delicious dish with crunch and texture showcasing the produce of the land.
The kombucha was delicious, refreshing and not too tart.
Butterfly Factory cultured butter with puffed bread was a revelation of the quality of butter from the Gippsland. A sprinkle of salt set it off.
Cannibal Creek Sauvignon Blanc 2016 from West Gippsland was the perfect wine for the next course. We have fond memories of our visit to Cannibal Creek Winery.
Showcasing the Veggie Patch we imbibed this superb Lettuce heart, Pangrazzi feta, thyme oil dish with radish, avocado and dill. We were fast realising this was a foodie tour of Gippsland coming to our plate. The first 3 dishes were designed to eat with our hands so no cutlery in sight.
More theatre as wait staff poured the Lettuce soup - not apparently on the menu but Alejandro believes in using all the vegetable and the lettuce leaves were put to great use! A delectable soup.
Showcasing the water of East Gippsland, we were treated to duck fish ceviche, nasturtium, buttermilk, coriander oil with this standout Lightfoot & Sons Myrtle Point Chardonnay 2016. This duck fish was an absolute highlight and something unique.
This was also Alejandro Saravia displaying his South American heritage with the ceviche.
A further treat was Lakes Entrance Oyster with lemon. These oysters were apparently close to extinction until recently but have been spawned and seen a resurgence. It was an exclusive pleasure to taste one of these jewels of the sea, which we shucked ourselves from the root. A larger than normal oyster perfectly matched with the Chardonnay.
Please hit me again with the William Downie Gippsland Pinot Noir 2016, so elegant.
Main course featured Central Gippsland and was spectacular with Gippsland Natural Beef oyster blade, red gum charcoal, as well as Gippsland Natural Lamb leg, radish remoulade and chapa bread.
The beef was a highlight, melt in your mouth high quality. The oyster blade was so tender and full of natural flavour.
Sides were also top notch featuring White cabbage, zucchini flowers, kohlrabi and Silverbeet, whey oil.
It all made you feel like visiting the Gippsland and indeed excited for Farmers Daughters and bringing the produce to the people!
Dairy, honey and vine was the theme of our desserts. Butterfly Factory yoghurt, honeycomb, fennel, hazelnut and apples was a triumph. Alejandro told us he even used bruised apples with rich flavour.
Bring on the honeycomb!
Another unique dish with compelling texture and taste was the Wheatgrass, elderflower, green grapes, vine leaf. Served with a delightful dryish dessert wine of The Wine Farm Gewurztraminer 2016.
Feedback from tables of tennis lovers around us was that this was a wonderful and extraordinary dinner. A highly impressive showcasing of Gippsland and Australian produce with kudos to iconic chef Alejandro Saravia.