It’s not just the tennis that’s shaping up to be world-class at the Australian Open this year. With the AO Chef Series featuring the likes of Peter Gilmore, Angela Hartnett, Alejandro Saravia and Jake Nicolson, the food at the Aussie grand slam is set to be an experience in and of itself.
AO Chef Series
“I’m very excited to introduce the first AO Chef Series – it is shaping up to be a spectacular addition to the precinct, and the line-up of chefs is outstanding,” says Enda Cunningham, Tennis Australia’s Head of Onsite Revenue.
“We continue to build new experiences to complement the Australian Open, which is now truly one of the world’s biggest sports and entertainment events.”
This year's open will showcase some of Australia’s – and the world’s – best chefs with a series of pop-up restaurants, with each chef creating a personalised, premium and exclusive fine-dining experience.
Each pop-up will be housed in The Glasshouse, a stunning venue located on the banks of the Yarra River and just moments from Rod Laver Arena. The series will kick-off on 15 January, with a four-course degustation menu from Jake Nicolson.
Jake Nicolson presents Blackbird Bar & Grill
The two-hatted Executive Chef from Brisbane’s Blackbird Bar & Grill has put together a heritage-style Australian menu that draws on seasonal, local produce from Queensland’s most sustainable resources as well as native Australian ingredients.
“I’m very excited about returning to my home turf of Melbourne, especially for an event as prestigious as the Australian Open,” says Jake.
“Blackbird prides itself on fresh, seasonal produce, simplicity on the plate and amazing flavour. Expect the best of the season’s offerings, prepared simply, to highlight every ingredient.”
Chef Alejandro Saravia presents Farmer’s Daughter
Alejandro has created Farmer’s Daughter, a farm-to-table experience that will showcase the abundant fresh produce of regional Gippsland.
“After planning this for a long time, and working with a lot of different regions in Gippsland and a huge variety of produce, we are finally ready to display this, in the amazing space that is The Glasshouse,” he says.
His six-course shared menu, matched perfectly with the finest local wines, was inspired by the strong relationship producers have with the land.
Angela Hartnett presents Murano of London
“It’s 10 years old next year, so we are putting together a menu that really shows what Murano is about,” she explains.
The Michelin-starred chef is “super excited to be coming to Melbourne”. And she’s no novice when it comes to cooking for tennis crowds. “I always cook at Wimbledon, so love the tennis side, but the real selling point is the fabulous food in Melbourne, which I cannot wait to eat.”
Angela's five-course degustation menu, based on the offerings from Murano, will feature modern, seasonal Australian food with an Italian accent.
A Night with Peter Gilmore
The final set of the series goes to Peter Gilmore, Executive Chef at two of Sydney’s best restaurants, the Quay and Bennelong. He’ll be hosting an intimate one-night-only, five-course degustation menu on Wednesday 24 January.
“I’m looking forward to being a part of one of Australia’s greatest sporting events and showcasing a selection of Quay’s signature dishes down in Melbourne,” says Peter.
Each event includes a meet-and-greet with the chef, so you can find out the story behind the courses and their wine pairings.
All this talk of food, and it’s easy to lose sight of the main event: the tennis! Not to worry – every AO Chef Series ticket includes general access to the Australian Open from 10am until late each day, so you will be able to enjoy the AO experience onsite as well as your delicious dining session.
For more information about the AO Chef Series or to book tickets, head to ausopen.com.
Jake Nicolson: 15 – 16 January
Alejandro Saravia: 18 -20 January
Angela Hartnett: 21 – 23 January
A Night with Peter Gilmore: January 24.
Australian Open tickets are now on sale at ticketek.com.au.