First, the bad news: there are no regular restaurant bookings on offer for Du Fermier this month. But now the good news: it’s because the Trentham landmark has just entered its 10th year, and chef and owner Annie Smithers is devoting her time in May to marking the milestone.
The celebrations kicked off on Mayday with the launch of a special edition of Galah, the print magazine all about celebrating the culture of regional Australia. Over the course of the month there’ll be four Meet the Farmers events, featuring masterclasses in Brooklands Free Range beef and pork, Great Ocean Ducks, Oberon Stud lamb and birds from Chooks at the Rooke, as well as a series of Friday night dinners on the 5th, the 12th and the 19th.
Saturday 6 and 14 May, meanwhile, see the return of Petite Marche, a morning market hosted right out of the restaurant and featuring, among other things, Annie’s charcuterie and baking. Saturday 6 May also sees Du Fermier return to the site’s roots as a tavern as it becomes the setting for an afterparty for SpudFest, with highlights including potato vodka, the possibility of potato cakes and the intriguing promise of “potato-friendly tunes”.
Mother’s Day is always a riot at Du Fermier, and May 14, 2023 will be one for the ages, as Annie invites her friend and mentor Stephanie Alexander into the kitchen to collaborate on a four-course lunch. The festivities are rounded out with Monday “Cooking with the Girls” lunches paying homage to some of Annie’s other favourite women in hospitality, a lunch and a dinner inspired by her love of Gascony, and, seeing the month out in style, on the 28th an “extra special” winemakers dinner with Michael Dhillon of Bindi.
It’s a wild, adventurous and yet entirely thoughtful program, as befits this singular and essential Victorian dining experience. Don’t miss it.
Du Fermier, 42 High St, Trentham, (03) 5424 1634, anniesmithers.com.au/celebrating-ten-years