At The Bar with Farmer’s Daughters Executive Chef and Owner Alejandro Saravia

Renowned Peruvian chef Alejandro Saravia works hard steering the magnificent culinary cuisine at his two city restaurants Farmer’s Daughters and Victoria by Farmer’s Daughters at Federation Square – the die-hard focus on local and season is more than a mantra, it’s a way of life in his capable hands.

Born in Lima, chef trained in Paris, Saravia moved to Melbourne in 2006 and hasn’t looked back – in fact, come January 2024, and he’ll unveil a new restaurant Morena, in Sydney – inside the iconic GPO Building.

“Open Morena represents the culmination of over 15 years of working to shine a light on the unique flavours and hospitality of Latin America,” says Alejandro Saravia.

“We will be showcasing the diverse culinary heritage beyond just street food, all while preserving the rich cultural roots and authentic flavours that define it,” he says.

Alejandro talks to The Write Drop for our At The Bar series.

MY CITY

My favourite city is Paris because it was the first city I lived in solo for an extended period of time and where I was formally trained as a chef. The food, wine, history and culture are palpable and all flow into each other.

FAVOURITE FOOD MEMORY

Eating in my mother and grandmother’s kitchen as a kid and trying different sauces and flavours has to be one of my favourite food memories as a child. I remember it was always very hands-on, and the smaller details like the old school century table and the red vinyl covered chairs have never left me. It’s something that I’ve also incorporated into the interior designs at Farmers Daughters.

FAVOURITE BAR MEMORY

I recently discovered one of the best bars in a long time, Renard in Ballarat. The combination between seeing a young entrepreneur in a regional area operating unapologetically is inspiring. Not only are the drinks amazing, but I really appreciate local ingredients and great hospitality.

DRINK THAT DESCRIBES YOU

A dirty martini (with Four Pillars Olive Leaf Gin!) because it’s a classic.

BEST HANGOVER CURE

If I can’t get my hands on ceviche with fresh, citrusy, spicy and punchy flavours, deep fried food does the trick. Otherwise freshly made lemonade is always refreshing.

BEST INTERSTATE BAR

Le Foote in Sydney is a great new place I visited recently. Their mini cocktails, especially the martinis, are my drink of choice.

FAVOURITE WINE

Difficult to name one, but I’m very into natural and skin contact wines. For something from overseas I love a good Spanish Malvasia, it’s a difficult variety of grape to make wine with – the end result is really textural and minerally. Jura wines from France are also very funky and textural too.

FAVOURITE WINERY

Too many to list here, but some include Patrick Piuze in France, LATTA vino near Ballarat, Fleet Wines in Leongatha, Alpha Box and Dice in Adelaide and Lucy Margaux in the Adelaide Hills.

BEST NEWCOMER

Not that new anymore now – but Above Board in Collingwood is one of my favourite hidden places to visit, I love what they do.

NEXT DESTINATION

I’m traveling to Peru in January with my boys so it will be a great time to go back and connect with my roots and show them around after the busy Christmas period. I’m also excited to be opening my newest venue, Mornea in the heart of Sydney next year. I really want to elevate the way Sydneysiders engage with the diverse cuisines from across Latin American cultures.

THREE THINGS WE CAN’T MISS AT VICTORIA BY FARMER’S DAUGHTER THIS SUMMER

You can’t miss the live music on the terrace. There will be artists from all around the region, creating a hub for food, beverage and art, right alongside the Yarra.

We also have festive bottomless Sunday Sessions in collaboration with Four Pillars to celebrate Christmas. Think bottomless Four Pillars Christmas Gin cocktails, as well as nostalgic food like roast turkey served with a Bloody Shiraz ‘mock cranberry’ sauce and mince pies.

New Year’s Eve – you can book your function with great views of the fireworks in the centre of Federation Square.

In January, we will host an iconic Melbourne bar as they take over our Terrace Bar each weekend – more details on that to come, stay tuned.

And if you’re looking for Christmas cocktail inspiration, look no further than a spot at the bar at Victoria by Farmer’s Daughter – where some fabulous Four Pillars collaborations make the list.

Alejandro recommends:

  • Conversation Starter – a sublime fusion of cherry syrup, sweet vermouth, soda and orange
  • Jolly Spritz – think hazelnut liqueur, lemongrass, ginger syrup, lemon, cherry bitters and soda
  • Santa’s Nightcap – beaming with orange marmalade liqueur and chocolate bitters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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