If you know anything about Australian natural wines, you’ll know the names William Downie and Patrick Sullivan. The Victorian winemakers teamed up with Gippsland chef Trevor Perkins to open Hogget Kitchen on the outskirts of Warragul in early 2017.
The trio had been making wines together for a few years when the lease came up at Wild Dog Winery. The 130-acre property looks out to Strzelecki Hills of the Great Diving Range, and is home to a spacious restaurant (overlooking that incredible view) and an even larger winery.
Perkins’ father is a butcher and passed down nose-to-tail appreciation to his son. This sees the kitchen source ethically farmed whole beasts from Gippsland Natural Beef and Moyarra free-range pork, then break them down on site for housemade charcuterie, pork-shoulder terrine, potted head, and lamb-belly bacon. Perkins has even built his own American-style reverse-flow smoker from recycled materials. It sits out front, puffing away during service.
But meat isn’t the only hero on this menu. Perkins goes to the Baw Baw Food Hub twice a week to collect everything from chestnuts to pomegranates and turnips direct from farmers. Some produce also comes from the on-site veggie patch as well as his mum’s garden, and the team can often be found foraging for mushrooms on days off.
The wine list is predominantly local, featuring many of Sullivan and Downie’s own wines plus a handful from other Victorian winemakers; and imports from France and Italy.
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