Caribbean native Bernard Glaude has worked in many kitchens around the world and studied at the Slow Food Movement’s University of Gastronomic Science in Italy. It was there he met his wife and Daylesford resident Bess Mucke. The pair (plus their new family) returned to Daylesford to open Belvedere Social in late 2015.
Produce-driven and sustainability-minded, this bistro and bar ensures local farmers are the heroes of each dish. Baby heirloom beetroots by organic farmer Florian Hofinger are served with wild rice and goats curd; and Jonai Farms pork becomes a katsu croquette paired with gochujang mayo.
The farm-to-table mindset extends to the cocktails. The Navy Preservation features local grower-preserver Natasha Morgan’s homemade spiced elderberry cordial, Four Pillars Navy Strength gin, Starward whisky and lemons from Mucke’s aunty’s backyard. It’s safe to say Glaude’s take on a Dark ’n’ Stormy is probably unique: Dr Chan’s ginger tibicos (probiotic drink) paired with housemade falernum (a spicy Caribbean syrup), activated charcoal and true Caribbean rum. There’s also a selection of local beers and Australian and imported wines.
The 1880s building was originally dubbed The Belvedere Hotel, where miners, farmers and townies would gather to be social. The current rendering sees a dining room bookended by a mood-lit front bar and leafy courtyard. Mucke’s dad made the beautiful wooden stools and tables in the bar, which add warmth to the raw-feel concrete walls.
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