Australia with Gavin Kaysen
One Departure Only | November 11 - 19, 2019
Art, Cuisine & Community
Complete immersion and exclusive access to Australia's maker and culinary scenes
November 11 - 19, 2019
One departure only—and this will sell out!
9 Days, 8 Nights
Melbourne, Adelaide, Barossa Valley wine country, and "Seafood Capital" Port Lincoln
You’re on a farm so picturesque it hurts, emerald hills and vineyards undulating gently away from you in every direction. As you sip a wine made from grapes harvested less than a mile away, the late afternoon summer breeze sends the aroma of sizzling meat wafting past. You’re in the hands of experts, learning how to barbecue as you’ve never barbecued before. Over the past two days, you’ve already had masterclasses in everything from pottery-making and street art to gin distilling, cocktail-mixing, and coffee roasting. You’ve tasted the flakiest croissants, the most perfect gelato. This is Australia, a land of boundless energy and creativity, a place where ancient cultures and traditions—indigenous, European, Asian—have cross-pollinated to produce something endlessly new and exciting. You can’t wait for more. You already know you never want to leave.
Your companion on this journey is James Beard award-winning chef Gavin Kaysen, the force behind Minneapolis’s Spoon & Stable, Bellecour, and Demi. His fine-but-still-fun approach to cooking is evident in high-low combinations like foie gras-flecked pot roast and tablecloth-free tasting menus. Gavin shares this playful, unpretentious approach to food, art, and life with his friend Sam Gordon, a third-generation ceramicist who runs Robert Gordon Pottery Studio in Melbourne, which supplies all of the tableware for Gavin’s restaurants. Sam and a number of Australia’s other finest artisans, chefs, farmers, vintners, and fishermen will welcome us and Gavin into their homes and lives, sharing their craft and showing us firsthand what makes their country so special.
If your idea of paradise is a morning spent roasting your own coffee, catching your own seafood, and sampling local fruits at the farmers market, this trip is for you. If your idea of the perfect evening involves mixing your own cocktails, grilling your own fish, and sampling some of the world’s best wines, this trip is definitely for you. No matter how much you already know about Australia, you’ll leave inspired and hungry for more.
the finest local delicacies, from wine and seafood to bush tucker and barbecued meats
in the local arts scene, from gargantuan outdoor murals to jewel-like glasswork, gorgeous ceramics, and inspiring indigenous traditions
the artisanal by catching your own seafood, churning your own gelato, roasting your own pig, crafting your own cocktails
with nature, from the most pristine beaches and wildlife sanctuaries in the world to a protected koala farm
Why Travel with Gavin Kaysen
A two-time James Beard Award winner, Gavin is owner and head chef at Minneapolis' Spoon and Stable, recognized by Food & Wine as one of the '40 Most Important Restaurants in the Past 40 Years'. Gavin is a dynamic force of nature that lives to combine the elegance of French cuisine with seasonal Midwest comfort food. Gavin’s fiery spirit makes him a fierce competitor: he's appeared on 'Chopped' and 'The Next Iron Chef' and at France's prestigious Bocuse d'Or biennial world-chef championship.
He Takes Risks
Not many folks would leave a three-star Michelin restaurant to open their own. Gavin made the move in 2014 from NYC's acclaimed Café Boulud to Spoon and Stable. His reward? A 2018 James Beard Award for Best Chef.
He's Always Looking Ahead
No matter how many awards Gavin earns, he’s always looking for the next ingredient, the next food trend, the next big city. “I’m interested in what comes next? How do we stay inspired and interested and keep caring?”
Day by Day
From Melbourne to Adelaide to Port Lincoln, our trip will take us through sweeping valleys and emerald hills, past majestic waterfalls and vibrant city murals, and face-to-face with Australia’s most exciting and drool-worthy culinary destinations. Along the way, we’ll emphasize maker culture and hands-on creativity in every form.
Day 1 | November 11
Welcome to Melbourne! We’ll meet at our hotel this morning, then head to Robert Gordon Pottery Studio & Kitchen for a guided, behind-the-scenes tour of the facility. Our guide is the legendary Sam Gordon, grandson of the founder. He’ll show us their iconic ceramic designs—which Gavin uses in all his restaurants—in various stages of creation. We’ll have the chance to create our own ceramics, which will be shipped home to greet us upon our return. Food at home will never look better. We’ll lunch at The Independent, set in the stunning Yarra Valley, for a private experience hosted by head chef and owner Mauro Callegari, whose menu is inspired by his Argentinean childhood. We’ll continue on to the Melbourne Gin Company—one of the country’s finest distilleries and normally closed to the public—for a private tour and master class. Our day wraps at Sam Gordon’s beautiful private home for a welcome dinner to set the tone for the whole trip. This will be Australian hospitality at its late-spring finest: sumptuous canapés and small dishes, local wines, and a lovely indoor-outdoor setting.
Day 2 | November 12
We’ll leave our hotel mid-morning for a walking tour of Melbourne’s vibrant urban heart. Narrow lanes, grand boulevards, and 19th-century arcades—all gilded with the colorful street art—have made this city a destination for art lovers the world over. We’ll head to the Fitzroy neighborhood and visit cult-favorite Lune Croissant before continuing on to Aunty Peg’s Coffee Roasters. The roasters will greet us for private conversation and tour as we sip. We’ll have lunch at Grub, where dishes are ordered from a vintage Airstream and enjoyed in a Persian carpet-filled Matisse-meets-the-Casbah atrium. Afterward, we’ll meet with Tyrone Wright, one of Melbourne’s most celebrated and prolific street artists, whose enormous, haunting portraits of women’s faces grace buildings all over the city. Tyone will guide us through his private street-art studio and gallery to teach us about this dynamic art form. Tonight the moveable feast continues with a hands-on cocktail-making class at The Everleigh, followed by stopovers at several local restaurants, a creative gelateria, and a few bars where we’ll meet some of the passionate tastemakers behind Melbourne’s exciting nightlife scene.
Day 3 | November 13
Today we’ll travel to the emerald foothills of the Macedon Ranges. But first, we have an obligatory morning tea stopover at Mr. Macedon, a gorgeous regional cafe and bakery famed for its all-day breakfasts (green eggs and ham, anyone?). Then we continue on to a sustainable sheep and cattle station with a chance to meet the farmers and learn all about the local industry. For lunch, we’ll meet with an Aussie barbecue specialist whose preparation and cooking techniques are a thing of genuine beauty. He and Gavin will roll up their sleeves and treat us to an only-in-Australia barbecue, a true bacchanalia featuring fresh local produce paired with fabulous local beer and wine. On our way back to Melbourne we’ll stop for a quick visit to the glorious, 100-foot-tall Trentham Falls as they cascade downward over a craggy orange and red basalt rock face. Tonight is our final night in Melbourne, a chance to revisit our favorite haunts and discover new ones.
Day 4 | November 14
Today we fly from Melbourne to Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia, located at the doorstep of the world-famous Barossa Valley wine region. Upon our arrival in Adelaide we’ll head to our hotel in the heart of downtown. After settling in we venture out to the Jam Factory, a non-profit organization specializing in innovative art and design. We’ll meet with local artists and watch a glass-blowing demonstration before giving it a try ourselves—let’s see if we can rival our Robert Gordon ceramics. Tonight we’ll dine at one of the restaurants that’s rapidly turning Adelaide into one of Australia’s most exciting new culinary destinations.
Day 5 | November 15
After breakfast we’ll drive out into the jaw-droppingly gorgeous Barossa Valley, its shimmering emerald hills and valleys the source of some of the world’s greatest wines. Our first destination is Torbreck Vintners, a multi-generational wine producer, where we’ll enjoy an exclusive barrel tasting—yes, that’s direct from the barrels—before turning our attention to a masterclass tasting of Torbreck’s award-winning Shiraz. Lunchtime will find us meeting with sixth-generation Barrossan farmers John and Jan Angus, who will personally greet us and guide us on a tour of the farm and the history of farming in the area before serving us an incredible paddock-to-plate lunch. We’ll continue on to Seppeltsfield Winery, which dates back to 1850, to enjoy its rolling estate before sampling our birth year vintage of their famous Tawny Port. Tonight we’ll check out Adelaide’s exciting restaurant scene on our own, visiting one of the cutting-edge establishments located just a stone’s throw from our hotel: North African, Korean barbecue, rustic Italian—or maybe, if we pace ourselves, all of the above.
Day 6 | November 16
This morning we’ll wake up bright and early for a private breakfast tour of Adelaide’s farmers market, where we’ll sample tart-sweet loquats and ruby-red strawberries, local bumbleberry jam, fresh scones and other baked goods. Thus fortified, we’ll head to the airport for our short hop over to Port Lincoln. We’ll enjoy a relaxed lunch after our morning of travel, then head out to Mikkira Koala Station. This is one of the few habitats where koalas can be found in the wild! We get to spend some quality time communing with this most adorable of marsupials. As we settle in under the manna gum trees, we may also spot kangaroos, emus, native birds and reptiles. We’ll stay in this tranquil bush environment through the evening, enjoying nibbles and white wine and savoring the aroma of dinner: a free-range Berkshire pig slowly turning on the spit.
Day 7 | November 17
We’ll spend today “hunting and gathering” some of Australia’s best seafood in Coffin Bay and along the Eyre Peninsula, a designated maritime wilderness area and one of the most stunningly beautiful places in the world. Local oyster farmer Chris Hank will be our guide as we glide over crystal-clear, iridescent-turquoise waters, past white-sand beaches fringed with crooked paperbark trees, to the Coffin Bay oyster farm. We’ll enjoy lunch directly on the beach in Black Springs, where we’ll also collect cockles, harvesting them by rake. After lunch, we’ll explore the beach by 4WD, speeding over sand dunes and the rugged terrain of Coffin Bay National Park. We’ll try our hand at some surf fishing before transferring back to Port Lincoln to enjoy our catches at over dinner at The Beach House.
Day 8 | November 18
Today we’ll continue exploring Australia’s seafood mecca, setting off across Boston Bay for an intimate look at two local fisheries—yellowtail kingfish and blue mussels—before selecting our own fish from the morning’s catch and having it cooked to à la minute perfection. After lunch, we’ll visit the ancestral home of Susie Betts, one of Australia’s most famous artists (her work can be found emblazoned on everything from Qantas jets to Coca Cola bottles), and her mother Veda, an elder of the Wirangu and Kokatha tribes. Together they’ll show us the secret sights, waterholes and bush tucker—indigenous flora and fauna used in the cooking and healing arts—that make this coastline sacred to indigenous Australians. Our farewell dinner tonight will be hosted by renowned local chef and comedian Tony Ford, who will treat us to a master class on the hyper-local seafood of the Eyre Peninsula—otherwise known as Australia’s Seafood Frontier—including delicacies that few tourists ever get to experience. We’ll raise our glasses to Gavin and our new friends, and above all, to Straya itself.
Day 9 | November 19
It’s hard to believe it’s time to say goodbye! After one final brekky, we’ll head to the airport for our flight back to Adelaide. From there, we’ll head home, our hearts and minds swirling with inspiration. Catch you later, mates!
Tucked away on the outskirts of the city among sweeping plane trees and charming 19th-century mansions, the city’s lush botanical gardens serving as its back yard, The Lyall is understated elegance at its finest. City buzz is ready and waiting just down the Toorak Road, with its dizzying array of coffee shops, wine bars, and fine dining establishments, but half the fun of staying here is spending a quiet hour curled up with a book in front of the fireplace in the cozy guest lounge, or enjoying an aperitif and cheese platter at the champagne bar. Fittingly in a city famous for its artwork, each floor of the hotel boasts its own mini art gallery.
Located in the heart of downtown in a historically landmarked Romanesque building (think towers, mansard roofs, even gargoyles!), this is city living at its finest. The edgy laneways of the West End, a warren of hip cafes, bars, and restaurants, are a short walk in one direction; turn the other way, and you’ll find the river and the bustling central market. Fittingly for a heritage building, no two of the Art Deco-themed bedrooms are alike; but all of them boast bespoke beds, designed and made right in Adelaide. The local theme continues at breakfast, which features honey from the hotel’s own rooftop hives.
Port Lincoln HotelPort Lincoln
Located on the foreshore of Boston Bay, this is everything an oceanfront hotel should be. Early risers will slip out the door for a sunrise stroll or jog along the promenade before enjoying an al fresco breakfast on the terrace; night owls will want to check out the casino before retiring with a stubby or a glass of a fantastic local white to be enjoyed on their private balcony, the reassuring sound of the surf below.
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