Food News

GT Food News: Your news wrap for all things food

All the new openings, food-fuelled events and tasty things happening around the country.

By The Gourmet Traveller team
Sonoma Bakery x Icebergs Dining Room and Bar panettone
The super-popular Sonoma x Icebergs panettone returns
Returning for its fourth festive season, the super-popular Sonoma Bakery x Icebergs Dining Room and Bar panettone will be available for purchase from 13 December. Made from 100 per cent sourdough starter through a three-step fermentation process, this rich and buttery panettone is studded with almonds, brandied cherries and Belgian chocolate callet, and encrusted with almond macaronade. It can be ordered from Sonoma's website, Icebergs Dining Room and Bar, DRNKS, PNV Paddington and Newtown, and Vic's Meat.
Aaron Ward steps into head chef role at Bathers' Pavillion
The north shore's most beautiful dining room is entering a new era with the arrival of Aaron Ward. Coming off the back of his tenure at Shell House and Sixpenny, Ward's stepping into an executive chef position at the Balmoral beachside stalwart. Ward's sea change will see a new culinary vision infused into Pavillion classics, which have kept the waterside restaurant a firm favourite with locals. Ward has said he'll be making the most of seafood throughout summer, and he'll also debut some more tableside concepts, with plans to head out into the dining room to explain the stories behind each of the dishes directly to guests. In a double-hitter of talent, Bathers' has also snapped up Thai chef Pacharin 'Air' Jantrakool, taking over Betel Leaf, the first-floor terrace-dwelling restaurant within the building.
Vue de Monde's newly refurbished private dining room Photo: Jason Loucas
Vue de Monde reopens after a massive three-month renovation
Perched 55 floors above Melbourne CBD, Vue de Monde and sister bar Lui dazzle with fresh interiors, a brand-new 18-plate dégustation menu and the same spectacular city views. From a completely revamped private dining room and bar space to dining room updates and a fresh new tasting menu, the renovation embarks a new epoch, with fresh interiors and the same award-winning chef, Hugh Allen. Vue de Monde is now open for dinner Wednesday to Saturday as well as lunch on Fridays and Saturdays. Lui Bar is slated to open on Wednesday 8 November, operating from 5.30pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays and from 11.30am on Fridays and Saturdays.
Chef Danielle Alvarez to take over the Sydney Opera House
Australia's most iconic building is set to welcome chef Danielle Alvarez beneath its sails as she takes on the new role of culinary director for Sydney Opera House's event venues. Alvarez joins Trippas White Group – operator of the Opera House's internal food and beverage event spaces – who also oversee dining at Taronga Zoo, Centennial Homestead and Bar 83. Alavarez joins an already stellar line up of culinary talent that call the Opera House home, including Peter Gilmore at Bennelong; and Indigenous chef Mark Olive at Midden.
As part of her new role, Alvarez has crafted bespoke menus for guests dining in the Yallamundi Rooms, the Utzon Room and Northern Foyers, offering 56 dishes in total, across canapes and plated mains.
"I don't think enough people know that they can hire those spaces for a birthday, a wedding, corporate functions, whatever you want," says Alvarez, who hopes to bring more eyes (and mouths) to the private dining spaces with her fresh line up of menus, which draw direct inspiration from the Opera House's location.
Fortitude Valley favourite Gerard's reopens with a new executive chef
Fortitude Valley's much-loved Gerard's is reopening in early November following a four-month closure for renovations, with Scottish-born head chef Jimmy Richardson stepping up to executive chef, following Adam Wolfers' departure. The revamp sees the restaurant drop 'Bistro' from its name, although the menu will continue to focus on Levantine cuisine and promises to offer "wholesome cuisine rich with fresh and sustainably sourced produce from the Brisbane region".
Lennox Hastie at Kokomo Private Island Fiji Photo: Markus Ravik
Firedoor chef Lennox Hastie is heading to Fiji for four days of fire cooking
At Kokomo, the super-luxe private island in Fiji, chef Lennox Hastie is planning his upcoming four-day takeover from 8 to 11 February 2024. For Hastie the call up to work in paradise ("quite possibly the dream") was too tempting to ignore. Even more so, given this particular paradise includes vast villas, three dining spaces and sustainability projects ranging from water desalination to coral restoration. The Kokomo Private Island getaway with chef Lennox Hastie starts from $3160 + VAT per night, per room. Meals, Lennox Hastie experiences, and VIP transfers included.
Melbourne has a newly refurbished rooftop bar in time for summer
Melbourne's Rooftop at QT has undergone a revamp ahead of summer. Expect cleverly modified cocktails — each of which can be ordered as a single serve or for up to six people — alongside a new menu with attention-grabbing shareable snacks such as fried mortadella and provolone sandwiches, a bright lobster cocktail served with Cognac-horseradish Marie Rose; and a shortbread ice-cream sandwich with lemon mascarpone ice-cream.
Popular gluten-free cheesecake business 15cenchi to open second Sydney location
Just because the cheesecakes are tiny, doesn't mean the business has to be. Darling Square favourite 15cenchi (named for the size of the 15-centimetre tin used for its cheesecakes) is expanding into its second location at The Galeries in Sydney's CBD, slinging gluten-free cheesecakes, tarts and pastries as well as fresh coffee to early morning city commuters. The new Galeries shop opens late November.
Two Good has a new cookbook and chef-led dinner series
Social enterprise Two Good has released a thrid cookbook packed with nourishing recipes from leading Australian chefs. To celebrate, Two Good has partnered with Ace Hotel Sydney's Loam for a special quarterly dinner series. Keep an eye out for dates and snap up a copy in the meanttime.
Chocolate-filled bomboloni at Fabbrica Bread Shop Photo: Trent van der Jagt
Fabbrica's new bakery is now open, serving vindaloo pies and chocolate bomboloni
From a lockdown pivot pop-up to a soon-to-open bakery, Fabbrica Bread Shop is back - and this time it's here to stay. From the brains behind Fabbrica Pasta Shop, Fabbrica Bread Shop is a tested success that is now open in Rozzelle permanently. It promises sandwiches, pastries, and baked goods that gained cult status in the pop-up's previous short run in 2021 - think pork and fennel sausage rolls, chocolate-filled bomboloni and banoffee tarts.
On the savoury side, there will also be golden Pithiviers, cross-laminated masla croissants stuffed with spiced potato and spicy vindaloo pies, plus loaded focaccia slices and stacked sandwiches for takeway lunches. For sweeter treats, it promises pillowy Roman cream buns, decadent chocolate tarts and neatly coiled morning buns. Naturally for a self-identified bread shop, the Rozelle iteration of Fabbrica will also peddle freshly baked loaves of sourdough.
The food is led by Aniruddha Bhosekar, head baker of the Love Tilly Group - the hospitality collective behind Fabbrica and other popular Sydney spots such as Ragazzi, La Salut and the newly opened Palazzo Salato.
Taronga Zoo's harbourside Me-Gal restaurant has opened to the public
For the first time ever, the restaurant inside Taronga Zoo's onsite Wildlife Retreat is opening to the public. The elegant dining room is surrounded by native bushland and, thanks to its floor-to-ceiling windows, offers multimillion-dollar views of Sydney Harbour. Named Me-Gal, which is the Cammeraigal word for 'tears' and symbolises the saltwater of the harbour shoreline, the restaurant is operated by Trippas White - the group responsible for venues in many Sydney icons, including Bar 83 in Sydney Tower, Botanic House in The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, and Reign in the Queen Victoria Building.
The kitchen is led by executive chef Stefan Schröder who has created a menu that champions native ingredients and sustainable produce from local farmers. Dishes include stuffed zucchini flowers with wattleseed ricotta and macadamia crumble; char-grilled tiger prawns with lime labne, coriander and pickled onions; 12-hour slow-cooked lamb shoulder; and lemon myrtle and pear tart served with Chantilly cream. As for wine, sommelier Louella Mathews has pulled together a smart list of predominently Australian producers, including organic and biodynamic drops alongside bottles from classic wineries such as Penfolds and Leeuwin Estate. There's also a concise cocktail list that also heroes native Australian ingredients.
  • undefined: The Gourmet Traveller team