A passion project over 3 years in the making, Gippsland Inspired “Farmer’s Daughters”, officially opened its doors on January 28, 2021, in the transformative 80 Collins precinct. Respected Melbourne chef Alejandro Saravia brought his vision to establish an embassy for Gippsland in the heart of the CBD, in this highly anticipated venture. All areas of the striking three-level concept will champion the true essence of Gippsland, celebrating the diversity and richness of produce from the region
From Gippsland to Melbourne
At Farmer’s Daughters the food philosophy is one of fresh seasonal produce that tells the stories of the Gippsland region’s seasons, people and producers. It will provide a unique approach to provenance-based cuisine, with the menu taking diners on a seasonal exploration across regional Victoria from the coast to the mountains – and everything in between.
Starting on the ground floor, the Deli will bring Gippsland to Melbourne and offers a casual dining experience including an open kitchen, gourmet deli and retail pantry. The Deli will feature a sharing menu inspired by the various cooking influences Alejandro has discovered during his time spent exploring the region, with dishes such as the lightly poached Baw Baw Alpine Trout with Mountain Pepper cream and a house-made beef cheek pastrami roll. The Deli will also showcase a range of specially curated products from across regional Victoria specialising in Gippsland produce wherever possible.
Melbourne journeys to the heart of Gippsland upstairs in the Restaurant, where the food concept will be a formal interpretation of the Gippsland offering – designed to suit long business lunches, formal dinners, or a place to celebrate special occasions. Set amongst a backdrop designed to emulate the diverse regional landscape, every element has been thoughtfully considered – from the soft greens and greys which resemble the beautiful rolling hills and native gumtrees of the region, to the reclaimed timber from Gippsland, found in the tables and benchtops. The open kitchen is fuelled by charcoal and wood, bringing a sense of theatre to the rustic yet elegant dining room designed by Luke Hickman from Agents of Architecture.
A bespoke ‘campfire kitchen’ sits prominently within the restaurant space; designed by Alejandro to evoke nostalgic memories of regional cooking around a campfire. It represents a stand-out piece of culinary engineering, adding precision and flexibility to wood and charcoal cookery. With multiple oven spaces and cooktops, variable heights and a misting system to maintain clean, fresh air, it is a superb new instrument placed in the hands of Alejandro, the master of wood fired cooking.
Working alongside Alejandro is Head Chef David Boyle (ex Lake House and Pastuso). Together, they have worked collaboratively on the expansive menu that keeps within the philosophy of working with only fresh seasonal produce supplied directly through a unique supply chain philosophy, whilst telling the stories of the seasons and producers in Gippsland.
With the menu complemented by an exclusive beverage list overseen by Beverage Director Matthew Jensen (ex Vue de Monde and Atlas), there will be a focus on Gippsland wines and spirits, featuring a selection from renowned winemakers such as Bass Philip, William Downie and Patrick Sullivan, as well as Loch Gin, and a handpicked selection of Australian and European wines.
Perched high on the third floor, the Rooftop at Farmer’s Daughters has been designed to bring a little piece of the oasis that is regional Victoria to the city. The rooftop bar will offer house-made cocktails, curated beers including the Stringer’s Creek Pilsner; a collaboration between Farmer’s Daughters and Stomping Ground, as well as Gippsland brewer Sailor’s Grave and select wines by the glass. The signature cocktails will be influenced by the botanicals of the Gippsland region, with many crafted using the Farmer’s Daughters Gippsland Vermouth – made exclusively for the venue in partnership with Maidenii. The rooftop space will also feature specially grown native Mountain Pepper trees and an in-house herb garden which will influence the drinks and bar menu.
After arriving in Melbourne in 2014, Alejandro went on to explore Gippsland through his connection with local suppliers – many of whom are heavily involved in Farmer’s Daughters today. It was his connection to the mountainous landscape and the integrity that drives its producers that echoed a sense of familiarity from Alejandro’s native Peru. His authentic connection to the place, the people and their stories resulted in his appointment as the Official Food & Beverage Ambassador for Gippsland, and eventually manifested in the creation of Farmer’s Daughters.
Of his latest project that remains close to his heart, Alejandro said: “ Farmer’s Daughters brings a sense of place for everyone that wants to discover Gippsland and I want to help share this vision whilst shining a spotlight on what I believe to be one of the most important farming regions in Australia. Off the back of the devastating bushfires and in the wake of a pandemic, supporting regional Victoria on the road to recovery has never been so important”.
He continued, “Farmer’s Daughters will be a place that allows diners to escape; to take a journey into the countryside and connect with the real food culture of Victoria”.
6/80 Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria
Enter from Exhibition Street
T: 03 9116 8682
For bookings or enquiries, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Coffee & Pantry:
Monday to Friday 7:30am till 4:00pm (takeaway)
Wednesday 4:00pm till late
Thursday to Saturday 12 noon till late
Wednesday to Saturday 6:00pm till late
Wednesday to Saturday 4:00pm till late
Edited by Arrnott Olssen