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City’s top chefs collide with artists for Taste of Melbourne’s first Creative Co-Labs

October 4, 2017 Whats On No Comments Email Email

For the first time, four contemporary Australian artists – Ash Keating, Josh Muir, Geoff Nees and Evie Cahir – will collaborate with top chefs as part of the innovative Co-Labs program at Taste of Melbourne in partnership with Electrolux.

An iconic dish and limited edition artwork created by the four pairs of collaborators will only be available to buy at the festival, 30 November to 3 December at Melbourne’s Yarra Park.

Taste Festivals Australia director Kristy Austin said the chef–artist pairings were curated to challenge and complement each creative discipline.

Mamasita’s Michael Smith and Yorta Yorta/Gunditjmara artist Josh Muir, whose work was projected across the entire facade of the NGV for 2016’s White Night, share connections with Indigeneity. Muir is currently artist in residence in Oaxaca – the Mexican state known for its rich Zapotecan and Mixtecan Indigenous cultures, crunchy tlayudas and agave cultivation, while the restaurant’s authentic Mexican dishes use native ingredients such as huitlacoche and nopales amongst others,” Ms Austin said.

“A different spin on local ingredients is explored in Shadowboxer head chef Liz Contini’s collaboration with Evie Cahir. Contini’s sophisticated yet approachable dishes are based on local, seasonal ingredients and punctuated with an impressively Australian wine and spirits menu. Cahir’s colourful, intricate illustrations and photographs of farmers’ market finds and Australiana relics made this the perfect pairing.

“George Calombaris is known for his creativity and his contemporary twist on classic Greek cuisine at The Press Club. Paired with Ash Keating, whose 20-metre-high artworks blasted with bright colours from a repurposed fire extinguisher are equal parts precision and organised chaos, this collaboration taps into the physicality of creativity and the balance between passion and precision.

“In contrast, Melbourne chef and restaurateur Scott Pickett and artist Geoff Nees are united in a love for minimalism and incredible attention to detail, yet Pickett’s bold flavours and rustic cuts of game and charcuterie diverge from Nees’ geometric abstractions.

“Creative Co-Labs represents the new vision for Taste festivals to embrace their city’s creative heartbeat, encourage collisions between cuisine and culture, and celebrate good taste in its many manifestations.”

Paper engineer Benja Harney was also commissioned to represent Taste of Melbourne’s new vision to curate collisions between cuisine and art in paper form. His colourful sculptures will be on display at the festival, and printed onto a limited release tote bag.

“The outcomes of these exciting collaborations can only be experienced at the festival, so come along to taste and see what your favourite chefs and artists have created together,” Ms Austin said.


Co-Lab Bundle Limited Release Tickets

Thurs 30 Nov – Sun 3 Dec

Taste of Melbourne in Yarra Park at the MCG

Price: $25* (advance purchase only)

AMEX card holders save 15%

Includes: Entry + souvenir tumbler + drink + limited edition artwork on a Taste Tote bag

*strictly limited availability

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