Region by region
Now, barely a year later, Victoria by Farmer’s Daughters opened in Fed Square at the end of July. Far from being a mere restaurant, however, this is a true showcase of all Victoria offers. It’s a collaboration between Saravia and Fed Square, and part of a transformative project that brings outdoor dining to the riverside while celebrating Fed Square’s unique architecture.
The opening two months is featuring the best produce from the entire state. Following that, the focus will be on a specific region for a set amount of time.
“We’ll celebrate the main actors in the region, so we’ll be inviting chefs, winemakers, distillers, brewers and farmers,” says Saravia. “We’ll even invite restaurant operators to collaborate with us – they might have a special dinner or take over our bar.
We’ll give them a stage to showcase here in Melbourne what they do in the regions.”
Starting from scratch
In the months leading up to the opening, Saravia spent time crossing the state and seeking out producers. He utilised the farmers’ markets in each region as an entry point, getting to know who was doing what.
But it was farming’s new generation that surprised him. “These young farmers don’t just grow carrots,” he explains. “I’ve met a couple of people who were farming seagrass and another who was growing carob. There are also producers who are visiting Europe and coming back with expertise of making cheese, for example. Everything I’ve seen is boutique, is specialised, goes back to the traditional ways, doesn’t cut corners, and I think that is why Victoria is so special.”