The 50 Best restaurants juggernaut has rolled into Melbourne ahead of the annual announcement tonight.
The London-based awards, which look set to feature two Australian restaurants, Ben Shewry’s Attica in Melbourne and Dan Hunter’s regional Victorian fine diner, Brae, are here thanks to sponsorship from Tourism Australia and Tourism Victoria.
One of the rituals of the World’s 50 Best awards is “the chef’s feast” the night before the announcement, where the chefs invited to the awards are fed. Melbourne decided to make it a very Australian occasion by holding the dinner on the sand at the West Beach Bathers Pavilion in St Kilda.
Several of Australia’s best chefs – alas not in the eyes of the 50 Best voting panel – cooked the meal, with Sydneysiders Kylie Kwong of Billy Kwong and Lennox Hastie of Firedoor, along with Jock Zonfrillo of South Australia’s Restaurant Orana kicking off proceedings on the beach with Moreton Bay bugs in XO sauce, 200+ day dry-aged Ranger’s Valley rib of beef and Northern Territory magpie goose all cooked over fire.
The guests then moved inside where chefs from three of former 50 Best listers, Sepia’s Martin Benn, Quay’s Peter Gilmore and Shannon Bennett of Vue de monde served Mooloolaba yellowfin tuna, Paspaley pearl meat and David Blackmore wagyu beef. Analiese Gregory of Sydney’s Bar Brose served Hawkesbury River finger lime splices fireside, to end the night.
Here are some photos from the occasion.
Australian 50 Best hopefuls Dan Hunter and Ben Shewry
World no. 1. Massimo Bottura of Italy.
Australian chef David Thompson and Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn, in San Francisco, the 2016 best female chef
Some of the international chefs in Melbourne, including Heston Blumenthal
The Australian chefs who cooked for the world’s best – Martin Benn, Shannon Bennett, Peter Gilmore, Lennox Hastie, Analiese Gregory, Kylie Kwong and Jock Zonfrillo
Australian wines were poured – including the $16 white from Griffith winery Calabria Estate
Congee of pearl oyster, blacklip abalone, heart of palm, black vinegar laver by Peter Gilmore
Sashimi of yellowfin tuna, with Jamon iberico cream, avocado, ponzu, wasabi, and pork crackling by Martin Benn
David Blackmore’s Wagyu beef, with nasturtium, seaweed by Shannon Bennett
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