There are many beautiful wineries on the Mornington Peninsula, but when you are talking the best, Ten Minutes by Tractor is the name on everyone’s lips.
Aside from their impeccable wine list, (try their Estate Pinot Noir, we dare you not to love it!), Ten Minutes by Tractor are renowned for their unpretentious, yet refined degustation. With a restaurant that has earned itself two chefs’ hats, it is fine dining that is innovative but still tastes delicious!
Trading Plates recently spoke to Stuart Bell, the head chef at Ten Minutes by Tractor about how they create their degustation and their tips for pairing food and wine.
Bell says that when devising a new dish, they start by selecting the right protein to be the hero of the dish.
“We select a protein that suits the season and match it with appropriate seasonal garnish to get the flavour conversation right, so we have contrasting textures and flavours,” explains Bell.
“A bit of a ying and yang so all the elements on the plate work together.
“The ingredients we choose have to be of the highest quality so the flavour and texture is at its peak to use in our kitchen. We source our ingredients from all over Australia, for example prawns from Skull Island in the Northern Territory, lamb and Cape Grim beef both from Tasmania and sustainable and seasonal fish from South Australia.
“We use local produce as much as possible, like Red Hill and Main Ridge goats’ cheese, strawberries from Sunny Ridge farm and a lot of small local artisans who produce fruits, vegetables and herbs from the region, plus local mussels from Flinders. We also grow as many heritage vegetables as we can like beetroot and tomatoes, plus our own herbs,” says Bell.
As well as the A` la carte menu, there are two degustations on offer to diners – a 5 course, or for the extra hungry, an 8 course. Both versions have a wine matching option and the staff will graciously account for any dietary requirements or preferences. Bell says the degustations are designed to give guests a tasting experience of their region, style and flavour combinations.
So what are Bell’s tips for pairing food and alcohol? He says that it is quite simple – the food and wine need to have a harmonious marriage.
“This can be, for example, because the flavours of each are complementary or contrasting or highlight different aspects of each,” he says.
Bell asserts that Ten Minutes by Tractor work very hard to create a total experience for their guests with a menu that is creative and delicious and wine choices that highlight their own production.
“We also take guests on a journey with our staff who are knowledgeable, yet unassuming and whose sole aim is to deliver a memorable encounter.”
The menu changes four times a year to match the seasons, so there is a perfect excuse to go back again and again, to taste the latest creations.
1333 Mornington Flinders Road
Main Ridge, Victoria 3928 Australia