From the garden to the ocean

From the garden to the ocean

Two passionate chefs are joining forces to showcase the best of their region’s local produce in what is best described as a restaurant and kitchen swap, with gastronomically good outcomes in store for East Gippsland diners.
Renowned Melbourne chef Nick Mahlook returned to his childhood home in 2020 and successfully launched Sodafish, a seafood inspired waterfront dining experience in Lakes Entrance, where the fish of the day is so fresh that it comes direct from the trawlers docked beside the restaurant.
One of Nick’s best mates is Bodee Price, head chef at Brown Brothers Winery in Milawa, around 260 kilometres up the Great Alpine Road from Lakes, where his menu is inspired by local country flavours and organic produce, much of it grown in the winery’s kitchen garden.
Bodee is bringing his garden and seasonal menu flair to Nick’s waterfront kitchen on Thursday, June 3, for a five-course dinner at Sodafish, with each dish matched with premium Brown Brothers wines.
Nick will then make the return trip to show off the best of Gippsland produce and wine to the Milawa gourmet region in North East Victoria.
With more than a decade of experience working in some of the world’s finest restaurants across Australia, the United Kingdom and Canada, Bodee is passionate about shaking things up in the kitchen to create an innovative and exciting experience for his diners.
“I can’t wait to spend some time in Lakes Entrance – it’s always inspiring to go to a new place to meet locals and visitors who are passionate about quality produce – it will be a great night celebrating what my region is renowned for, in an awesome waterfront setting,” Bodee said.
Nick and Bodee have created the Ocean to Garden dinner series as a way to showcase their own beloved part of Victoria to people who may not have visited there before – and by connecting them via food and wine, they hope to encourage a mini-break or a longer holiday to explore what both of their regions have to offer.
For East Gippslanders, a trip to Milawa might be on their radar after hearing stories from Bodee about his restaurant, the famous Brown Brothers winery and the other gourmet centric highlights of the area, and likewise for the North East Victorians, connecting with Nick’s love of the ocean, fresh seafood and Gippsland produce is set to stir some interest in a coastal getaway.
“It’s a mutual exchange of everything we love about our own restaurants, sharing with people who might not have ever been in our region or sampled our amazing local produce – we give you an evening, and maybe you’ll come visit us for more – both parts of Victoria offer such diversely different holiday experiences – and quality food and wine is a very good reason to travel to a new place,” Nick said.
Tickets for the Garden to Ocean Dinner are available online, via the Sodafish website.

IMAGE: Brown Brothers winery chef, Bodee Price, and Sodafish chef, Nick Mahlook, will join forces to highlight the produce from their respective regions at the Ocean to Garden


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