MELBOURNE | Agliss Restaurant at William Angliss Institute has a little known secret, that allows those in the know to experience menus designed by some Melbourne’s top chefs for a lower price than you’d pay in their restaurants. The concept is very simple. William Angliss Institute has trained many aspiring chefs over the years, many of whom have gone on to do great things in the Melbourne food scene. The Great Chefs program, which has been running for over 20 years, provides cookery and hospitality students with the opportunity to work alongside some of Australia’s most recognised chefs.
For the public, it means the opportunity to experience exclusive three course menus from well-known chefs for lunch and dinner at prices between $50-80 (including matched wines) while supporting the next generation of chefs and hospitality leaders.
2017 sees a stellar roster of chefs getting involved in the Great Chefs program, including David Verheul (The Town Mouse), Anna Polyviou (Shangri La, Sydney), Shaun Quade (Lume), Frank Camorra (MoVida), and Guy Grossi (Grossi Florentino). Some of the industry’s heavy hitters indeed, and that’s just a sample.
We were invited to experience one of these lunches first hand, and visited on a day when Adrian Richardson (La Luna, Bouvier) was heading the kitchen. Richardson is well known for his restaurants, cookbooks, and various appearances on television. He’s an affable character who prefers to be respected, rather than feared by his staff, and this attitude was apparent when we saw him mentoring the students in the kitchen, during some of the more high pressure stages of service. Richardson likes to ‘cook the food he likes to eat’, which can best be described a modern Mediterranean, with a “fresh is best” philosophy, and food that lets the produce shine.
To start, we were treated to a lamb, spinach and feta filo pastry pie, with saffron spiked labne. The dish, inspired by Richardon’s Egyptian grandmother’s cooking, was fantastically balanced and full of vibrant Middle Eastern flavours. It was paired with a beautiful Stockman’s 2004 Artisan & Collegian Shiraz.
For a main, it was chicken galantine with roasted shallots, fennel, spinach, and peas served with Stockman Chardonnay 2016. A simple, rustic dish that hit just the right spot. To finish, it was a creamy, almost custard-like mascarpone stuffed pavlova with vanilla and berries, served with Miss Moscato 2016. A perfect finish to a fine meal.
To see a full timetable of which chefs will be involved on which days, and to make a booking, visit the Great Chefs program website.
Agliss Restaurant at William Angliss Institute
555 La Trobe Street
Telephone: (03) 9606 2111
See website for events calendar