In 2016, Australian Gourmet Traveller is celebrating 50 years of exploring the best in food and travel, and ILVE has been lucky enough to celebrate with them.

Creating and tasting fantastic food is what we’re all about, so we jumped at the opportunity to join Gourmet Traveller and their readers as they wine and dine their way across the country as part of the Reader Dinner experience.

Starting off at Chef Nathan Sasi’s incredible Mercado restaurant in Sydney, we were treated to a spectacular Spanish spread. Sasi told Gourmet Traveller, “I fell in love with the cuisine, history and lifestyle while I was working around Spain… Anywhere that has siesta in the afternoon is a place I want to live.”


Sasi and his team at Mercado in Sydney.

This passion is evident in the food at Mercado – with dishes such as Smoked Wagyu Tongue In Brioche – and there was no shortage of those intense Spanish flavours on the night!

From the streets of Sydney to the rolling vineyards of the Yarra Valley, next up was Matt Stone’s stunning Oakridge Estate. With an abundance of amazing local produce, Stone’s menu is an ode to his beautiful surroundings.

Treated to Kangaroo; native fruits; herbs and spices alongside a roasted broccoli; and ancient barley and almond salad with beetroot (stalks and all), Stone’s commitment to ethical cooking is second-to-none.


Main course at Oakridge Estate in the Yarra Valley.

Our next dining experience with the Gourmet Traveller had a French twist. This time we headed to Philippe, operated by – and the namesake of – renowned French chef Philippe Mouchel.

One of the true heroes of Mouchel’s menu is the Pâté en Croûte, a combination of pork, veal, foie gras, pistachios, and pickled vegetables.


Pâté en Croûte at Philippe Restaurant, Melbourne.

Most recently we took a culinary sojourn to the sea at Cirrus,the new establishment from Brent Savage and Nick Hildebrandt, located at Barangaroo in Sydney.

Even though there is a heavy focus on seafood, Savage, speaking to Gourmet Traveller, explains there’s much more to the menu, “The palate is much broader. We’re using native ingredients, but there’s also umami and Asian undertones.”  


The seafood platter to top all seafood platters at Cirrus, Sydney

Here at ILVE we’re all about spreading love for quality food and cooking, so are extremely proud to support such high-calibre cooking in restaurants across Australia.