Australia’s most iconic music festival is turning 21 and with its coming of age, the Big Day Out has undergone some exciting and radical new changes.
One of Australia’s most esteemed annual music events already underwent some big changes at the start of the year, when festival promoter Ken West – following the dissolution of his business partnership with Vivian Lees – announced a new creative partnership with C3 Presents, the promotional brains responsible for Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits Music Festival.
An industry move that helped establish greater artist buying power and expansion of both the Big Day Out and Lollapalooza brands. The new partnership also helped create many opportunities for Australian and international artists to play across the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, and promised a fresh, bold reinvention of the music festival.
One of those reinventions was Chow Town, borrowed from Lollapalooza which features local chefs from the best restaurants in Chicago. Australia’s own Chow Town was announced about a month ago with culinary outlaws Ben Milgate and Elvis Abrahanowicz of Porteno / Bodego overlooking the project nationally.
Now the Bodega boys have announced they’ve appointed a mayor of Melbourne Chow Town, Salvatore Malatesta from ST ALi, and have secured a line up of some of the hottest, spiciest and tastiest names in Australian food to become a part of the inaugural Chow Town at Big Day Out.
To join the stellar music lineup in Melbourne, Chow Town will be kicking off with a bevy of legendary chefs.
The first featuring act, and culinary genius, is Andrew McConnell from Golden Fields. Andrew’s Cumulus Inc. is a chef’s hat award winner four years and running; Cutler and Co. follows suit and won a number of prestigious awards including Gourmet Traveller Restaurant of the Year in 2011.
Golden Fields then launched and gained immediate recognition, receiving the 2012 Age Good Food Guide Best New Restaurant along with a chefs hat two years running.
Finally, Andrew’s most recent venture, Moon Under Water, name both Andrew and the restaurant one of Victoria’s hottest restaurants in The Australian 2012 Hot 50 awards and has also been awarded a chefs hat in The Age Good Food Guide.
Joining Andrew down at Chow Town is Daniel Wilson from Huxtaburger who is responsible for Melbourne’s most talked about burgers. The American-style burger joint opened in late December 2011 and has quickly gained a reputation for delicious old-school burgers with quirky names from Cosby cast members.
Featuring sweet brioche buns, tender patties made from grass-fed Wagyu Beef, and crispy crinkle cut chips, Wilson keeps the menu relatively simple delivering crave worthy flavours that people can’t stop buzzing about.
An icon of Melbourne, Cookie will be making an appearance at this year’s Chow Town. Known not just for their insanely popular Friday nights but also for their extensive food and drink lists, chef Karen Batson has made Thai food exciting again.
The modern Thai food ranges from solid to sublime, salty to spicy and always delicious. Cookie has won Bar of the Year multiple times and continues to be a destination for fabulous Thai food and an extensive wine list.
Chef and owner, Raph has created the ultimate music and food destination serving his unique and tasty comfort-based menu out of the giant ghetto blaster on wheels, Beatbox Kitchen and the equally as rocking Taco Truck. Previously known for his entrepreneurial credentials in the music, fashion and publishing games, Raph’s latest venture has certainly turned some culinary heads.
If you’re looking for something straight out of Madrid look no further than Anada. Known for their sensational tapas and larger portions, their seafood-heavy menu is sure to delight.
Chefs, Jess and Vanessa Gerner fell in love with the peasent food of Andalucia, Southern Spain and the flavours of the Muslim Mediterranean which are weaved elegantly throughout every dish. Anada has Melbournians continuously flocking for an authentic taste of Spain.
You haven’t had coffee until you’ve tasted the coffee from the cult café laneway coffee shop, ST ALi. Owner Salvatore Malatesta, also known as Melbourne’s “Coffee King” continues to push the envelope with his incredible array of coffees, boasting a larger than imaginable range of beautiful beans sourced from all over the world. Head Chef, Chris Hamburger will also be serving up a unique, ‘festivalised’ all day rock n roll breakfast!
With so many cool sets lined up, we had to find equally as awesome chefs, so we hope you don’t find it too hard to choose between heading over to Chow Town to get ahead of the lines for mouthwatering delights or getting a front row spot in the mosh pit. It’ll be a tough one!
From a national perspective, Sydney, Adelaide, Perth and the Gold Coast will see a mix of gourmet treats from both national and local named chefs. As Big Day Out punters check out bands stage to stage, they will then be able to set up their own degustation diversion of hand held festival food, stall to stall!
Curated by Ben Milgate and Elvis Abrahanowicz of Porteno, Culinary Outlaws, Chow Town is set to become the epicenter of epicurean cool at Big Day Out 2013!
Milgate says, “This is a dream gig for many chefs as restaurants can be very social anyway and this will be like a great big version of that, but you’ll be out in the sunshine, drinking a couple of brewskis and listening to some good tunes. It’ll be awesome.”
Big Day Out 2013 Chow Town Line Up
Andrew McConnell from Golden Fields goldenfields.com.au
Daniel Wilson from Huxtaburger huxtaburger.com.au
Karen Batson from Cookie www.cookie.net.au
Raph Rashid from Beatbox Kitchen & Taco Truck tacotruck.com.au
Jessee & Vanessa Gerner from Anada anada.com.au
Salvatore Malatesta & Chris Hamburger from ST ALi stali.com.au