Archibald finalists inspire new menu

30th September 2020 | Eativity editors

Sydney’s Chiswick at the Gallery has reopened, coinciding with the return of its renowned Archibald Dining Package. This year, the restaurant has collaborated with Archibald finalists Jonathan Dalton, Tianli Zu and Jane Guthleben to create dishes inspired by their unique experiences during lockdown, for a menu that marks a seminal moment in time.

Restaurateur Matt Moran and Head Chef Tim Brindley have selected the best in-season produce from the Chiswick kitchen garden to create dishes inspired by what the finalists were eating, cooking and looking forward to during lockdown, as well as dishes that reflect some of the artists’ favourite food memories. 

Moran and Dalton make focaccia – with plenty of garlic.

“After a rollercoaster year for both hospitality and the arts, this year’s Archibald Dining Package feels particularly significant for us,” says Moran. “After months of constant setbacks, it’s been heartening to flip things on their head for a moment and try to find some inspiration out of such a difficult time.

“We feel fortunate to be able to offer up an experience that draws on the sense of camaraderie we’ve found over the last few months, and create an experience that allows the community to go out and really make a day of it – lunch and a show all in the one place, celebrating one of Sydney’s most loved moment in the arts calendar.”

Moran and Zu tuck in to Zu’s favourite, barramunmdi.

Reflecting on a time where comfort food has felt more important than ever, Moran and Brindley communicated with each of the finalists via phone and email during lockdown to discuss what was keeping them occupied, such as baking, and some of their more personal food memories. Their responses form the basis of the three-course menu.

Jonathan Dalton became a new father during lockdown, and spent a lot of time at home baking with his family. Inspired by this, Moran and Brindley have created a house-made focaccia with Dalton’s favourite cooking ingredient – garlic.

Moran and Guthleben indulge in some chocolatey goodness.

Tianli Zu reflected on fond memories of her grandmother cooking when she was a child, teaching her that “cooking is like any other art – you need to find balance”. While Zu has not been able to travel much this year, the food she looks forward to enjoying whenever she’s in Australia is seafood and, in particular, her favourite – barramundi. Brindley and Moran have created a balanced and beautiful dish featuring barramundi paired with the best vegetables spring has to offer – zucchini and broad beans. 

Finally, Jane Guthleben grew up on a farm with fond memories of chocolate in her childhood. Now that she calls Sydney home, her fond memories of chocolate remain, and so Moran and Brindley have created a decadent Valrhona chocolate mousse with almond and orange, which is sure to fix any chocolate craving.

Chiswick at the Gallery will be open every Thursday to Sunday, 12-3pm. The Archibald Dining Package will be available in venue until January 10, 2021. Tickets are available here

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