While all eyes will be on Melbourne this April when the city hosts The World's 50 Best Restaurants, the Sydney Opera House is set to briefly steal the spotlight ahead of the event when Massimo Bottura, currently the world's number one, takes the stage with three other leading chefs for #50BestTalks, a discussion of their cooking practices and philosophies.
Joining the Osteria Francescana chef will be Quay's Peter Gilmore, Australian expat Brett Graham of London's The Ledbury (number 14) and Dominique Crenn, who last year was recognised as the World's Best Female Chef for inventive French cuisine at San Francisco's Atelier Crenn.
Melbourne will hold its own #50BestTalks two days later at Margaret Court Arena - albeit with different talent. There, Eleven Madison Park (number three) chef Daniel Humm and co-owner Will Guidara will chat with Jordi Roca of El Celler de Can Roca (number two), Gaggan Anand of Bangkok restaurant Gaggan (number 23) and Grant Achatz of Chicago's Alinea (number 15). GT contributor and known cake aficionado Annabel Crabb will moderate both events.
Beyond events held in conjunction with Melbourne Wine and Food Festival, the majority of the awards are by invitation only, making these two talks a rare chance to hear from the world's best first-hand.
Tickets are on sale now, so best be quick - and if you're looking to badger Bottura for his tagliatelle ragù recipe or ask Crenn why her dish descriptions lean literary, there's no need to stake out the stage door. VIP tickets are available at both events, allowing for an in-person conversation of your own - with a glass of Champagne to settle the nerves.
#50BestTalks Sydney, Saturday 1 April, Sydney Opera House Concert Hall, 1pm, $20-$119, sydneyoperahouse.com
#50BestTalks Melbourne, Monday 3 April, Margaret Court Arena, 7pm, $30-$99, ticketek.com.au