Christopher Bone

Christopher Bone

Born:

Australia.

History: 

I started out in kitchens along the Adelaide coast during high school doing the crazy Summer trade. In this time, I quickly got a taste for the industry. 

After dipping my toes in a few different kitchens, I realised the importance of working closely with passionate people and growers, more specifically how that can positively shape a professional Chef. 

I moved closer to the produce and the real action in the heart of the Fleurieu Peninsula, McLaren Vale. I’ve worked through premium establishments such as Salopian Inn and Woodstock Winery and many other leading venues in the region. I further gained exposure in a three-hat environment in regional Melbourne and explored many options to move interstate; however, the appeal of South Australia’s produce was too strong. 

The recent opportunity to take the reins of the Victor’s Place restaurant at the doorstep of McLaren Vale allows me to develop a class-leading venue with modern flair matched to an award-winning wine brand; Varney Wines. We have the luxury of housemade beer to include some fun pairings too. Together as a team of professionals, we are building a beautiful experience which speaks of the region. 

 

Have you always wanted to be a Chef? 

From the age of three, I wanted to be a baker. Surprisingly to me, after years of having a different culinary focus, perhaps it’s coming full circle. I’ve been bread-obsessed for years and it’s not letting up… 

How would you define your style?

I’ve disciplined myself to create an honest, flavoursome cuisine that reflects our immediate environment. It needs to be approachable, a little familiar, a little new, clean and well presented. For years I have grown fruit and vegetables, reared chickens and more at home, also having the luxury of some stellar kitchen gardens in venues I have managed. This has shaped my cooking style and given me a good sense of what bounty each season can bring and all the microclimates within a region.

The garden also provides so much variety that we are never short of inspiration. I’ve disciplined myself to create an honest, flavoursome cuisine that reflects our immediate environment. It needs to be approachable, a little familiar, a little new, clean and well presented. Everything on the menu either starts with a core ingredient or is a by-product of another application, with a focus on waste reduction. The Woodstock Estate provides so much variety that we are never short of inspiration. 

What is your feature flavour these days?

We make a lip-smacking lovage vinaigrette. Also, a tarragon brine for poultry hits the mark. I love flavours that build and the combination of slow caramelised local parsnips, cream and miso create a standout parsnip miso caramel, which has great length. 

Obsessive-compulsive about? 

Refinement I guess, something can always be honed a little more. The overall customer experience is always a priority.

Your greatest culinary inspirations/influences: 

Passionate growers and producers. It’s very inspirational when you meet the individuals paving the way and changing the standard of the food system as we know it. It is clear they are the real heroes. The Chefs who honour this and make it their business to showcase the importance of going back to traditional methods and nurturing the land, are also inspiring.

What do you love about this business? 

The constant challenges, endless inspiration and passionate people. 

An ingredient you can’t live without? 

Probably good quality bread flour, confit garlic and fresh herbs. 

Most ‘eyebrow-raising’ menu item? 

I’m not a Chef who uses green ants and liquid nitrogen for dramatic effect, however I do enjoy educating our guests on the potential of often under-utilised ingredients; such as the luxurious combination of slow-braised pork cheeks and Abrolhos Island scallops.

Signature dish:

My mind races to the wood-smoked tarragon-brined free-range chicken, which matches really well with Varney Wines Chardonnay. It’s the case of a simple dish done with intent and execution. We have a special brine, smoke and technique, which sets it apart from others. 


 


Victor's Place

Victor's Place

Set among the rolling hills of Onkaparinga Gorge at the gateway to McLaren Vale, Victor’s Place restaurant shares its space with Varney Wines cellar door and winery on Victor Harbour Road in Port Noarlunga. The heritage listed 1970s limestone barn has been lovingly restored and offers sweeping valley and vineyard views from the alfresco deck, or indoors through glass bifold doors, while relaxing in rustic surrounds of sandstone walls and softly glowing pendents. An ever-changing menu honours regionally focused dishes of wood-smoked, tarragon brined free-range chicken, fermented shallot, onion soubise and endive. For the main, delve into lamb shoulder presse, roasted parsnip, buckwheat and miso caramel; before a dessert of native peach, almond and caramelised white chocolate bavarois.

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