Dan Hunter's fine diner Brae has been named the 58th best restaurant in the world – the first Australian restaurant named in the 2018 World’s 50 Best Restaurants List.
The title of World's 50 Best is a misnomer since the annual list includes 100 restaurants – the top 50 will be announced in Bilbao in Spain next week. Since its 2002 inception, the London-based awards have grown to be the undisputed authority on what's hot in global gastronomy. The 2017 event was held in Melbourne.
Brae was named 87th in the 2015 awards, 65th in 2016, and last year rose to its highest ranking at 44th.
Brae is set on a several acre garden some 90 minutes west of Melbourne, near the small town of Birregurra. The garden and its top-notch produce has been pivotal to Brae’s meteoric success.
As Broadsheet's Nick Connellan wrote about the restaurant last year, while "Attica hangs its hat on native ingredients ... Brae evokes Australia in a subtler way."
Hunter cooked at Mugaritz in Spain – a fixture in the top ten since 2006 – between 2007 and 2009 (including a year as head chef) before returning home to head up the Royal Mail Hotel restaurant in Dunkeld, in Victoria's east. Under his stewardship, it soon came to be recognised as Australia’s best regional restaurant.