From the markets of Peru

  • Restaurant
  • Cafe
  • Takeaway

“Going to the markets with her was extraordinary, the smell, the colours, the noise and the people. She knew everyone and everyone knew her. You get to taste, see and feel what you buy: the best seasonal produce available directly from the farmers. My favourite was the ‘Pan con Chicharrón’: a traditional dish consisting of slow cooked pork, deep fried and served in a bread roll with slices of sweet potato and onion salsa. Delicious!” says Alejandro.  

Alejandro has since been credited with introducing Peruvian cuisine to Australia’s food culture, through his widely acclaimed Peruvian restaurants that currently include Pastuso in Melbourne, and more recently, Uma, in Perth.   

“The experience of food has to be memorable, meaningful and enjoyable. My core philosophy is centred around consuming local and seasonal produce. I want to consume what is available, consume responsibly and support the local farming Industry,” says Alejandro. 

His latest project does exactly that. The much-anticipated Farmer’s Daughters is set to open on the Exhibition Street frontage at 80 Collins. The three-level diner celebrates Alejandro’s love of Gippsland, shining a spotlight on one of the most rich and diverse farming regions in Australia.   

The restaurant is designed to take diners on a seasonal journey to the rolling hills, mountains, rivers and beaches of the Gippsland region, while the ground floor Deli will give Melburnians an intimate experience of Gippsland’s celebrated producers via a gourmet deli, wine cellar, and open kitchen.  

“Farmer’s Daughters will be a place that allows diners to escape; to take a journey into the countryside and connect with the real food culture of Victoria,” Alejandro says of his new venue, which also houses a rooftop sanctuary complete with a greenhouse and herb garden, perched above the busy streets of Melbourne.

“Leaving busy Melbourne and entering the region is always nostalgic, taking me back to memories exploring the Andean Sierra in Peru,” recalls Alejandro. “The quality of produce from the Gippsland region is unparalleled, not only because of the biodiversity and microclimate but because of the integrity and sense of community amongst its producers.”  

Alejandro’s connection to Gippsland solidified in 2017 when he was appointed Food and Beverage Ambassador for the region. Continually finding new ways to share his passion with Melbourne, Alejandro’s Renascence Gippsland became the first regional event at the 2017 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, and was a roaring success, programmed again the following year. He commissioned a Gippsland-homage mural next to Pastuso in ACDC lane, while his involvement in the Australian Open Chef Series also celebrates the region. 

For those looking to explore produce from Gippsland farms, dairies and vineyards, Alejandro suggests Phillip Jones’s Bass Phillip Wines, Kirsten & David Jones’ Mirboo Garlic Farm, Paul and Samantha Crock’s Gippsland Natural Beef, Amelia and Dan Bright’s succulent port from Amber Creek Farm and unhomogenised milk and yoghurt from Rachel Needoba’s Butterfly Factory.   

Alejandro’s passionate vision for the region, combined with his wealth of experience, means Farmer’s Daughters is highly anticipated by diners and the dining industry alike.

Farmer's Daughters will open at 80 Collins early next year.