You know Heide as one of Melbourne’s most loved public art museum and sculpture gardens.

But in the year 2023, may you encounter it anew as a destination for excellent breakfasts, bistro-inspired lunches and as the packer of top-notch picnics.

It’s all based around what’s happening in Heide’s two kitchen gardens and The Mulberry Group’s Common Ground Project regenerative agriculture farm – translation: fresh, seasonal, and perfect before, during or after a dreamy waltz through the museum.

Flanked by striking garden sculptures and drenched in early morning summer sun, here are Heide Kitchen chefs Bob Piechniczek and Jillian McInnes with what’s cooking at Heide Kitchen.

How about a drink?
We’ve got a cocktail list that covers the essentials: Spritzes, Espresso Martinis, Negronis. Our Heide Spritz is a blend of Lillet Rosé, Aperol and prosecco – ideal summer refreshment.

I’m here for a good time not a long time.
We’d have to go with our garden crudités with whipped blue cheese dusted in dried nasturtium – it’s a winning combo. If you’re not into dairy we also do a version with almond cream which is equally delicious. Paired with a glass of 2022 Bass River Riesling from Gippsland, it’s a perfect quick snack.

We’re both from Scotland, so it would be rude not to include our Scotch egg and romesco sauce, which has so far been a crowd favourite on the menu. Pair this one with a glass of 2021 Minimum Rosé Sangiovese from Goulburn Valley to balance out the richness.

Jillian is the baker of the two of us and her sweets are to die for. If you only have time for a quick afternoon tea, our classic Basque cheesecake with seasonal fruit is what we’d recommend, and it’s excellent with a Square One Coffee Roasters coffee.

Got anything light and fresh?
If you’re just after a light snack to share with some friends, our focaccia, olives and charcuterie with house-made pickles is a great option. For the summer months, we’ve introduced a burrata, grilled nectarine and prosciutto dish, a panzanella and our salade Niçoise. Sounds simple, but the produce is so perfect at the moment that it doesn’t need much finessing.

What if I like tasty food but don’t eat animals?
For breakfast we’ve got our avocado on toast with heirloom tomatoes, and if you’re a sweet tooth, the mulberry hotcake with ricotta, seasonal fruit, maple syrup and cream is a no-brainer.

Name the dish that captures the Heide Kitchen vibe.
We’re really proud of the Heide garden risotto – it’s as beautiful as it is tasty. Beautifully dark green, it’s filled with garden-grown herbs like nettle, cavolo nero, spinach and warrigal greens, and topped with parmesan and edible flowers. We love changing up the flower and herb combinations depending on what’s looking the best in the garden (next season we’re thinking a white risotto with zucchini).

Let’s go big. Let’s go crazy. What have you got for me?
We’d say trust us and order the chef’s menu! Take the hard work out of choosing and let us decide the menu for you.

And to close?
It’d be unfair not to mention our Basque cheesecake with seasonal fruit again, because we think it deserves the spotlight. It’s Jillian’s secret recipe and it’s perfect as an afternoon tea treat.

Heide Kitchen, 7 Templestowe Rd, Bulleen, (03) 9852 2346, open Tuesday-Sunday, 9am-4pm,