Stoned In the Yarra Valley

Stoned in the Yarra Valley

After a brief summer hiatus, Melbourne-based seasonal pop-up project Chapter 53 popped up at a stonefruit orchard in the Yarra Valley last month, for an adventurous 5-course lunch degustation   with matching Victorian wines. The theme for the ‘mindful dining’ event, hosted at Rayner’s

Stonefruit Orchard in Woori Yallock, was “Stoned In The Yarra Valley”, with all menu items using stonefruit from the orchard and reflecting other local produce.

This was the third event for Chapter 53, whose mission from the beginning was to reconnect high-end diners with their meals by sourcing interesting and ethical local producers for their menus and presenting discussions from the producers and farmers sprinkled between the courses, with each one sharing their unique story.

Chapter 53 events have been marketed for ‘elegant rebels’ who appreciate fine dining, but also care about knowing where their food comes from – this element of the events add a depth that truly enhances every bite. There is always a creative story throughout chef Nicola Romano’s dishes, whose Italian heritage has taught him to respect the ingredient while his Michelin Star training has given him the skills to push it to the limit to enhance the drama on the plate, without losing any merit. Diners are treated to a real palette journey with his dishes.


We heard later that the lunch event was Chapter 53’s best ever. Though the weather meant diners had to relocate into a packing shed recreated as an orchard, complete with rain smashing down on the tin roof, the ‘elegant rebels’ got into it and had the most festive time ever. Mindful dining indeed!

Information: Mandy DelVecchio/Photo Credit: Chapter 53