Good beer. Photogenic botanic gardens. One of the country’s most exciting restaurants: Igni. Just some of the reasons you might want to pay Geelong a visit over the holidays.

This summer, the port city adds another attraction to its CV: Hot Chicken Project’s new summer Sunday session series.

Hot Chicken Project owner Aaron Turner – also the man behind the aforementioned national restaurant of interest – says the idea came to him by chance following a text message chat with a chef friend.

“We all love cooking with other chefs, but you’re in a restaurant and you’re doing tasting menus and being fancy,” says Turner. “I was having a chat one day to Duncan Welgemoed of Adelaide restaurant Africola, about coming over to cook and it snowballed from there.”

While Turner is perhaps best known for cooking over wood at Igni, Hot Chicken Project relies on fryers rather than fire to feed customers, as will the guest chefs invited for the inaugural dinners. The series starts in January with Welgemoed heading to Geelong. In February, Daniel Wilson from Huxtaburger will be on deck, and David Moyle (Longsong and ex-Franklin) closes the series in March. Positively Positive Party DJs are in charge of the stereo and will be playing vinyl at each event.

In addition to the restaurant’s mostly-natural, mostly-Australian wine options, locally brewed beer and spirits will also be served.

The opening event also doubles as a celebration of the restaurant’s expansion into next door. Moving into the second space has increased the capacity to 100 with much of this extra seating spread across communal tables.

Hot Chicken Project Guest Chef Fryer Takeover begins on Sunday January 21 with Duncan Welgemoed. Entry to each event is free and an a la carte menu will be served.

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