The small town of Birregurra, just south of Melbourne, can now lay claim to being home to the best restaurant in Australia, as well as home to the best chef. Brae is owned and operated by Dan Hunter, who was also named Australia’s Top Chef. The Financial Review's Australia's Top Restaurants Awards are the only peer-voted awards in the country.
The menu at Brae is based around its organic kitchen garden, with the menu changing according to seasonal variation. Hunter began his career as a dishwasher and worked his way up through the kitchens in Australia and Britain, eventually being named chef de cuisine at Mugaritz in Spain. After returning to Australia he worked as head chef at the Royal Mail Restaurant in rural Victoria before starting Brae in 2013. Hunter couldn’t define the secret of his success, “but I’m enjoying it. There are just not many places like ours; minute detail goes into creating this experience.”
Other restaurants named in the top 10 included Attica, Ester, Sixpenny, Sepia and Franklin.