Rio Vista Olives Long Lunch
50 of Australia’s best chefs were brought together in the tiny Murray River township of Mypolonga for the Rio Vista Olives Long Lunch.
What did the Rio Vista Olives Long Lunch involve?
Bringing more than 50 of Australia’s best chefs together on a small farm in the tiny Murray River township of Mypolonga may have felt like an impossible dream over the past two years of COVID lockdowns, however on Monday, 20 June it became a joyous reality.
Australia’s culinary heavyweights flew into South Australia from across the country for a rare and shared feast amongst the Rio Vista Olives grove, dining on some of the wild and wonderful produce from around the region, expertly prepared over fire by Sydney Chef Jason Roberts and his team.
During the event, many of these chefs described having barely left their kitchens, let alone their home States for the past two years. So their opportunity to have a paddock-to-plate experience along the magnificent Murray River food bowl in Mypolonga was as Sydney chef Paul Farag described, much like a “lunar eclipse”.
Joining the local culinary royalty were Cheong Liew, AOM (Adelaide’s own culinary icon), Kane Pollard (Topiary Dining, Delicious. Australia Unearthed Next Gen Chef 2020), Scott Huggins (Magill Estate) and Justin James (Botanic Restaurant), along with some of Australia’s most-awarded chefs including Mark Best (a regular star on the World’s Top 50 Restaurant list), Adam D’Sylva (Tonka, Coda, Lollo and Bocca Gelato), Joel Bickford (ex-Aria head Chef and current Shell House Culinary Director, 2 hat), Paul Farag (Executive Chef for the Esca group including Nour, Aalia) along with many more.
The event was the brain-child of the award-winning team from Rio Vista Olives, as brother and sister duo Jared Bettio and Sarah Asciutto dreamed of bringing the chefs to their farm for an immersive ‘soil to oil’ experience where they could see the harvest and extraction of the oil.
However, the event soon became even bigger than the oil, and incorporated some of the other emerging produce coming out of the region, including buffalo meat and cheese, locally-caught carp, Coorong mullet and other exceptional South Australian produce.
The expansion of the event was thanks to support from the Agri Food Tourism Development (AFTD) Program, funded by the Australian Government under the Murray–Darling Basin Economic Development Program and delivered by Regional Development Australia Murraylands and Riverland (RDAMR).