Melbourne is famous the world over for its star chefs, diverse culture and culinary entertainment. This year, we bring them all together with local creatives to curate a collision of cuisine and culture that can only be experienced at Taste.
In the spirit of creative fusions, top chefs will collaborate with graffiti artists, designers and sculptors in secret kitchens and studios around the city to concoct unique creations revealed throughout the festival. Each pair will create an iconic dish and limited edition artwork. Our creative counterparts and chefs will produce one dish and one memento. The mementos range from totebags, t-shirts and tea towels, produced by Tea Towel Keepsakes. These creations will be exclusively available at Taste of Melbourne, 30 November to 3 December.
George Calombaris & Ash Keating
George Calombaris is known for his creativity and his contemporary twist on classic Greek cuisine at The Press Club. Paired with Ash Keating, whose 20-metre-high artworks blasted with bright colours from a repurposed fire extinguisher are equal parts precision and organised chaos, this collaboration taps into the physicality of creativity and the balance between passion and precision.
Micheal and Josh
Mamasita’s Michael Smith and Yorta Yorta/Gunditjmara street artist Josh Muir, whose work was projected across the entire facade of the NGV for last year’s White Night, share connections with Indigeneity. Muir is currently artist-in-residence in Oaxaca – the Mexican state known for its rich Zapotecan and Mixtecan Indigenous cultures, crunchy tlayudas and agave cultivation, while the restaurant’s authentic Mexican dishes use native ingredients such as huitlacoche.
Liz ande Evie
A different spin on local ingredients is explored in Shadowboxer head chef Liz Contini’s collaboration with Evie Cahir. Contini’s sophisticated yet approachable dishes are based on local, seasonal ingredients and punctuated with an impressively Australian wine and spirits menu. Cahir’s colourful, intricate illustrations and photographs of farmers’ market finds and Australiana relics made this the perfect pairing.
Scott and Geoff
In contrast, Melbourne chef and restaurateur Scott Pickett and artist Geoff Nees are united in a love for minimalism and incredible attention to detail, yet Pickett’s bold flavours and rustic cuts of game and charcuterie diverge from Nees’ trademark monochromatic geometric designs.
Christy and Nixi
For something sweet for the tooth and the eye, internationally acclaimed pastry and dessert chef Christy Tania will be paired with Nixi Killick’s vibrant and psychedelic art. Killick uses fashion to articulate a utopian freshness while drawing parallels between the possible and impossible, a perfect fit for Tania’s whimsical and elegant creations, which includes the famed ice-cream float dessert.
We can’t wait to reveal what killer concoctions they create, so stay tuned to be the first to find out!