Adelaide Festival’s much-anticipated floating venue, The Riverbank Palais, will host a series of three-course lunches in March next year.
Six guest chefs from around Australia – all with ties to Adelaide’s restaurant scene – will prepare a themed menu every weekend of the festival. The chefs are Cheong Liew (Neddy’s, The Grange), Cath Kerry (Petaluma, Art Gallery of SA Restaurant), Christine Manfield (Paramount, East@West, Universal), Mark Best (Marque, Pei Modern), Michael Ryan (Range, Provenance) and Karl Firla (est. Restaurant, Oscillate Wildly).
Curated by Gill Minervini (Dark MOFO Winter Feast) and Duncan Welgemoed (Africola, Lola’s Pergola), the “culinary experiences” will guide diners through each chef’s own culinary journey and the history of Adelaide’s booming food scene.
“Adelaide really kick started as a culinary crucible in the 1980s, with such creativity and experimentation across the city,” Minervini says. “It was a really exciting and really dynamic time; a lot of the chefs were subverting the stuffy, classical restaurant experience. It became more theatrical.”
The decade gave rise to trailblazing restaurants such as Possums, Petaluma, the Uraidla Aristologist and Cheong Liew’s famed Neddy’s. “It was a perfect storm,” says Minervini.
“A number of chefs and self-taught cooks had landed in Adelaide or evolved in Adelaide and were cooking things that weren’t found elsewhere. That whole idea of fusion food, which we now consume as part of our everyday diet, definitely, in Australia, started in Adelaide, and some people say it started worldwide in Adelaide.”
Cheong Liew will draw on Adelaide’s “gastronomic golden era” with a menu inspired by his former eatery. The Malaysian and Chinese cuisine of Neddy’s will meld with modern influences from Europe, the Mediterranean and the Americas for a multicultural Australian feast.
Each long lunch will consist of three courses designed to share, plus canapes and a welcome drink on arrival.
The lunches will be held on March 4, 11, 12, 13, 18 and 19 on board the Riverbank Palais, moored on the River Torrens at the Adelaide Riverbank, Elder Park. Tickets are $145 per person and are available here.