At The Bar with Joey Kellock – Founder and Chef at 1800 Lasagne

The 86-tram line is more than a linear commute to the music heart of Melbourne’s live entertainment precinct, it’s now where you’ll find a spring festival that runs from High Street Westgarth to Preston and named in honour of the infamous tram ride.

The Eighty-Six Festival heralds a new chapter in what we’ve come to know as the street party in Melbourne – this time converting the north side into an epic of day of entertainment for its Super Saturday on October 28th.  Bands will perform across 22 hours at various venues dotted along the famous high street.

The festival runs over an epic week; what’s more they’ve scored some great international acts like UK band Los Bitchos, LA based Warpaint and Japan’s Tengger playing venues such as the Northcote Theatre to the Thornbury Theatre. There’s also a record label expo, a dog parade, live music DJs and more on offer.

The Write Drop speaks to the lasagne king himself – Mr Joey Kellock who is best known for his layered cheesy adventures at 1800 Lasagne on High Street Thornbury. His venue is in the heart of 86 Festival territory and you can expect an epic party at his cosy retro pitstop.

He shares his Melbourne loves, favourite wines and where he likes to top up across town.

What’s To Love About Melbourne

I love the multiculturalism of Melbourne, and that we can eat four corners of the globe here from Ethiopia, Vietnam to Italy all on the same street. I love that we have incredible products and truly passionate people in hospitality, people that treat it as art. What I love most is the people of Melbourne. I love riding around on my bike, or driving my car and connecting with people everywhere I go. Waving to people on the street, connecting with my butcher, my baker, my grocer, my pasta supplier, my chefs, my floor staff and going to all the other amazing wonderful restaurants and feeling the energy, the passion they put into their work. And above all else I enjoy being a guest at their restaurants, every meal, every drink. I love its magic, and adventure and the excitement of dining. Melbourne does have an actual sense of community and that’s what makes it special and sets it apart.

Favourite Food Memory

Standing on the bar stool as a two-year-old ordering spaghetti Napoli at Ti Amo Carlton in the evening, and then watching the Nonna’s pass my grilled cheese and tomato through the window pass in the morning or afternoon. My cheeks still hurt from the waiters squeezing them 40+ years ago.

Favourite Meal

Hands down, Agnolotti del Plin at Scopri Italian Food and Wine in Carlton. It’s one of the best dishes in Melbourne, if not Australia, if not the world, absolutely fucking stand out. Also, the braised rabbit with carrots is weep-worthy.

Drink of Choice

Nebbiolo, and if I can’t drink it in Alto Piemonte, Carema or Oira, I’m drinking it at my bar or anywhere else that’s got the good stuff.

Best Hangover Cure

Time heals all wounds, or just go to Stawell and get the best steak sandwich in the world from George & Kids Fish And Chips – eat the lot with no egg.

When In Australia

In Sydney, I love Fratelli Paradiso, Continental Delicatessen, and Golden Century. Also Donna Bionda in Townsville.

Fave European Destination

I would catch a plane to Rome, hire a car and start driving. Carry-on only. North, South, East, West, coast, inland, country, city, fucking everywhere, see ya later.

Three ingredients that best describe you

Olive oil, tomato, basil.

Fave wine you would only share with besties

Anything from Cantina Produttori Nebbiolo di Carema, Antoniolo Gattinara – particularly the Osso San Grato 2008 or Emidio Pepe’s Pecorino, Trebbiano or Montepulciano.



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