Celebrated chef Danielle Alvarez of Fred’s leads a gourmet weekend ·

Celebrated chef Danielle Alvarez of Fred’s leads a gourmet weekend

Halcyon House—a former surf shack turned luxury hotel in Northern NSW’s Cabarita Beach—will host a gourmet weekend with Danielle Alvarez this winter, head chef of acclaimed Paddington restaurant Fred’s. Running from Friday 17th August until Sunday 19th, the epicurean getaway will allow guests to experience an intimate masterclass with Alvarez herself, daily a la carte breakfast at Paper Daisy (helmed by ex-Noma chef Ben Devlin), cocktails and canapés poolside, and a four-course dinner and paired wines presented by Alvarez, Devlin and the Paper Daisy team.

Much like Alvarez, Paper Daisy’s Ben Devlin has been creating a stir among industry critics and dinners a like and has well and truly smashed outdated prejudices relating to regional hotel dining. Paper Daisy has received two hats and Regional Restaurant of the Year in the coveted Sydney Morning Herald 2017 Good Food Guide Awards, so the coming together of two of Australia’s hottest chefs will no doubt result in a truly memorable gourmet experience.

With its dinners and masterclasses, Alvarez’s weekend agenda may sound a little frantic for a languid coastal weekender. But fear not. The atmosphere, as with Fred’s—her wonderfully simple and seasonal farm-to-table kitchen—is designed to put you at ease: it’s cosy and causal with a focus on celebrating quality food in the company of good people.

Alvarez herself is a master, both to eat with and learn from. Before taking the helm at her Paddington restaurant’s all-female kitchen, she worked at the world’s best: Napa Valley’s three Michelin-starred French Laundry, Berkley’s illustrious Chez Panisse. Gourmet Traveller, impressed by her wholesome approach to sourcing and treating each ingredient, sung her praises in a perfect refrain: “Chef Danielle Alvarez is a precise poet, and the sweet science of her cooking at Fred’s will capture your imagination.”

Alvarez is eager to bring her city kitchen to the seaside. “I can’t think of anywhere more wonderful to cook, a short walk from pristine sands and blue waters, in the company of people who enjoy locally and ethically sourced food.”

Mauro De Riso, the General Manager of Halcyon House agrees. “There are few chefs in Australia like Danielle—and Fred’s is widely hailed as one of the country’s best place to eat in Australia.” he says. “This is a rare and special opportunity for people to experience cooking brilliance up-close, to not only taste Danielle’s dishes in a completely new context, but to learn skills they can take home and use in their own kitchens.”

The hotel may be new to some foodies, but travel buffs already know Halcyon House well. The hotel is steeped in hyper-saturated visuals: cool, mismatched rooms brimming with textiles, art and antiques, every suite wall upholstered in a different printed textile.

Gourmet weekends are increasingly popular at the Cabarita Beach hideaway: communal, joyous revelling in food and wine is an effortless match with the surrounding coastal environs. “We’re bringing together the country’s best and brightest to a tiny, long-overlooked beach,” smiles De Riso. “There’s something so easy, open and quintessentially Australian about that.”

Weekend packages start at $890pp twin share in a Classic Room stay.
For locals, limited Saturday August 18 masterclass and showpiece dinner tickets are available from $195 pp

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