Yarra Valley, Victoria, Sunday, April 9, 2017
After a brief summer hiatus, Melbourne-based seasonal pop-up project Chapter 53, are popping up at a stonefruit orchard in the Yarra Valley, Sunday April 9 for an adventurous 5-course lunch degustation with matching Victorian wines. The theme for the ‘mindful dining’ event to be hosted at Rayner’s Stonefruit Orchard in Woori Yallock, is “Stoned In The Yarra Valley”, with all menu items using stonefruit from the orchard and reflecting other local produce.
This is the third event for Chapter 53, whose mission from the beginning was to reconnect high-end diners with their meals by sourcing interesting and ethical local producers for their menus and presenting discussions from the producers and farmers sprinkled between the courses, with each one sharing their unique story.
Chapter 53 found Len Rayner, of Rayner’s Orchard, through a friend who had heard him express the difficulties of farming. Len has recently shifted his focus toward tourism due to the unpredictable and challenging industry. While still producing – but only for his onsite café and tours – Chapter 53 decided they wanted to use his produce back in early February when the season was still strong. Using the orchard as the venue for their Stonefruit event only came about when they visited Len and fell in love with the place.
Some hiccups forced the summer event to be moved into autumn, but given the un-predictable climate, Chapter 53 thought it almost fitting to hold an event ‘mid-season’ as a way to further push the message about the unstable seasons that hold many farmers at ransom.
While Len is not selling his produce anymore, his story is still one that resonates with the crew from Chapter 53 – who aspire to show foodies first hand how important it is to support local producers. The event will also include a tractor tour through the orchard where guests are able to pick and eat fruit from the tree.
The Stoned In The Yarra Valley event will also see a presentation from local legends, Yarra Valley Caviar. Mark Fox will share his passion for hand-milking salmon and trout to produce some of the most sought after caviar in the country. And of course, salmon caviar will make an appearance on the menu. The menus are secret however and Chapter 53 guests require an adventurous nature, which is half the fun of the event. For the wine lovers, there will be some of the smaller Yarra Valley wineries represented, including Yering Farm and Coombe Farm, plus family run Anderson Wineries (whose wine is not available in Melbourne) from a little further north.
Chapter 53 events have been marketed for ‘elegant rebels’ who appreciate fine dining, but also care about knowing where their food comes from – this element of the events add a depth that truly enhances every bite. There is always a creative story throughout chef Nicola Romano’s dishes, whose Italian heritage has taught him to respect the ingredient while his Michelin Star training has given him the skills to push it to the limit to enhance the drama on the plate, without losing any merit. Diners are treat to a real palette journey with his dishes.
A chartered bus will depart from Melbourne at 11.15am and return at 6.45pm. The bus is included in the ticket price as well as the tractor tour, an adventurous 5-course lunch with matching Victorian wines plus a few extra surprises (including live music at the orchard). Limited tickets still available through Eventbrite for this event but there will be another event announcing in the coming months.
Contact: Mandy DelVecchio
Phone: 0405 107 055