Thanks to our geographical lot in life, many Australians can only dream of eating at many of the World's 50 Best Restaurants. We're a whole hemisphere away from half of them and a flight away from everything in Asia.
But next month, the unattainable is within reach when Rodolfo Guzmán of Boragó, Chile's only top-50 entrant, cooks alongside Dan Hunter at Brae. The dinner coincides with the launch of Guzmán's book, Boragó: Coming from the South (Phaidon, $80), which details the chef's painstaking sourcing of native Chilean ingredients, a process that's earned his Santiago restaurant much acclaim and the number 42 spot on the list this year. A team of more than 200 individuals - scientists, farmers and foragers among them - help the chef get lesser-known Chilean ingredients such as Patagonian deer and beach dill onto the plates of diners.
"We mainly use very unique ingredients that flash up for a small amount of time each year," Guzmán says. "Boragó is located in a very seasonal city that allows us to offer an incredible amount of ingredients during the year."
Guzmán first met Hunter four years ago when he dined at Brae, but both chefs did time at Mugaritz earlier in their careers. Today, they follow a similar path of looking to the surrounding landscape for ingredients and inspiration, Hunter with the Victorian Otways as his backyard; Guzmán casting the net wide from his base in Santiago to trawl deserts, mountains and the coast for his produce.
Guzmán will be showcasing as many Chilean ingredients as possible in the collaborative menu he's preparing with Hunter, but he's also keen to incorporate some of Australia's native produce.
"I think he wants to put finger lime on everything!" Hunter says. There's also talk of Boragó's lamb à la inverse - the meat slow-cooked over fire before being seared - making an Australian appearance.
Hunter has started to give Guzmán a list of the produce coming up in the Brae garden. Guzmán will arrive in Birregurra a few days before the dinner to meet with the team and prepare.
"It's always very difficult to make a cuisine that's based on your own terroir in a foreign country," Hunter says, reflecting on his own experience touring his Brae book through Europe, Asia and North America earlier this year.
"We'll try to assist him to make his dishes sing as much as they would if he was cooking at home," he adds.
The intimate dining room at Brae will give guests the opportunity to speak with Guzmán himself, and to experience a rare melding of Chilean and Australian ingredients. At times like these you can count your geographical blessings.
Guzmán will also appear at Margaret River Gourmet Escape 16-19 November.
Boragó at Brae, 21 November, $360 for eight courses and a signed copy of Boragó: Coming from the South; drinks not included. Brae, 4285 Cape Otway Rd, Birregurra, Vic. Bookings (03) 5236 2226.