Notable Presentations from Four Australian Chefs

Picture-snapping tourists in Australia tend to think of exotic ingredients—emu eggs, the odd ostrich steak, anything done on the ‘barbie—as the distinguishing elements of the country’s cuisine. But local chefs know better. Because any country that has to wrestle agriculture out of a continent dominated by an unyielding, ozone-depleted Outback is going to take serious care of their indigenous products. And that’s exactly what we found with these four high-caliber chefs, the rank and file of the country’s top culinary talent, whose dishes were a visual and culinary homage to the precious largesse of Australian agriculture. Chefs Matthew Wilkinson of Circa, the Prince, Andrew McConnell of Cutler & Co., Ben Shewry of Attica, and Dan Hunter of Royal Mail each work within a distinct perspective, employing classic techniques and integrating many modern culinary influences. But these dishes share a common trust in the integrity of the products of Australia’s farms and gardens. And what distinguishes their plating is the visual echo of this trust, a look of naked restraint, an organic naturalism that minimizes flourish without sacrificing finesse.