From regional farms to CBD plates
A farm-to-plate philosophy and all that seasonality and regionality has to offer is striking a chord with Melbourne chefs and diners.
Melbourne CBD chefs and diners are famously passionate about fine food and dining – and even prouder of tasty meals made from the very best of Victorian produce, with an eye to sustainable practices.
The revitalisation of the city’s dining scene post-lockdown includes a trend towards using the best local and sustainable produce, especially after demand for everything Victorian spiked across 2020 and 2021, largely thanks to successful campaigns such as Click for Vic.
Melbourne even has a 100 per cent sustainable urban farm at Federation Square called Future Food System. It’s the brainchild of Joost Bakker, and has aquaponics, solar power, micro-farms and a rooftop garden. Guest chefs showcase a unique dish on Instagram each week.
Although you can’t eat at Future Food System, there are plenty of places in the CBD where you can enjoy local and sustainable produce, such as Sojourn in New Chancery Lane. Whether it’s native herbs and edible flowers from Warrandyte, artisan cheese from Thomastown, or ethically raised ducks from a small Victorian farm overlooking the Southern Ocean, Sojourn’s chefs take the time to source the best local ingredients.
Sous Chef Callum Nugent, who oversees the menu for Sojourn, says it’s wonderful to work with fresh seasonal produce and diners notice the difference.
“We’re passionate about using the finest and freshest ingredients,” Callum says. “It makes a difference to know where your produce comes from and how is it treated. Whether it’s vegetables or an animal, people are looking at it in relatively the same way.”