Adelaide Festival

Lola’s Pergola: Ten First Fruit Degustation Dinners Revealed

Adelaide Festival’s Lola’s Pergola will be home to a series of 10 unique degustation-style dinners led by the award-winning executive chef of Adelaide’s Bistro Dom – Duncan Welgemoed

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Tonight you sit at Chef’s kitchen table.

Adelaide Festival’s Lola’s Pergola will be home to a series of 10 unique degustation-style dinners led by the award-winning executive chef of Adelaide’s Bistro Dom – Duncan Welgemoed (SA’s best chef – The Advertiser Food Awards 2013, Bistro Dom Adelaide’s Hottest Restaurant 2013 – The Australian) and The Happy Motel (the team behind Barrio’s Neon Lobster Taquería).

As First Fruit Degustation Dinners are ticketed events, an exclusive space will be cordoned off within Lola’s Pergola for the dinners. With specially selected hosts and the activity of the kitchen in plain sight, diners will be immersed in a degustation that explores all the senses.

Duncan Welgemoed said, “The Lola’s Pergola’s First Fruit dinners have given me the opportunity to take off the reins and invite some of Australia’s most exciting chefs to cook in a fantastic festival setting with the best produce from our own backyard. First Fruit diners will get to experience the passion, excitement, entertainment and refinement of a dinner party thrown my way.”

Welgemoed has invited a stellar group of Australian chefs including James Viles (Biota Dining), Cheong Liew (formerly The Grange), Raymond Capaldi (Hare & Grace), representatives from the Nordic Food Lab (Noma), David Swain (Fino) and Dave Verhaul (The Town Mouse) to take part in the First Fruit dinners. Using world-class South Australian produce, the guest chefs will prepare an imaginative selection of unique courses. Each degustation dinner will feature a selection of matched local wines and beverages.

For those seeking a more casual pre/post show meal, restaurant quality food at street food prices, with an emphasis on the local and seasonal, will also be available from Lola’s kitchen headed by Welgemoed and his new partners in culinary projects The Happy Motel. Each night, the regular house menu will include special items from the guest degustation chefs.

First Fruit Degustation Dinners Line Up

Fri 28 Feb • The Gypsy China Tea Party
Melbourne based siblings Victor (Lee Ho Fook) and his sister Ev Liong (Whiskey & Alement) will be running a dinner of contemporary Chinese food, matched with regional teas and fine whiskey. An unusual proposition, but a sure highlight with this duo’s experience and taste.

Sat 1 Mar • Terroir on the Table
James Viles, the two-hatted chef from Biota Dining in regional NSW, combines his knowledge of the microbial terroir of Australia with representatives from the Nordic Food Lab – the food research kitchen of two Michelin starred restaurant Noma in Copenhagen. This is a rare opportunity for diners to experience cutting edge cooking that explores a unique sense of place.

Sun 2 Mar • Yakitori Sugar Pie
Modern food magician Adam Liston returns home after making waves in Melbourne with Borrowed Space, to team up with local dessert hero Quang Nguyen. The experience, talent and local knowledge shared between these two will impress and delight with their take on classic barbeque cookery with a Japanese twist. No burnt sausages here.

Thu 6 Mar • The Misty Maker
The mission of The Mist Project reaches farther than bringing delicious, regionally inspired food to new cities. Ex-Fat Duck chef Gavin Baker immerses himself in new cultures and communities by interacting with knowledgeable locals, working alongside artisans, farmers, chefs and local experts while learning about indigenous foods. For this dinner, he’ll spend time with the troupe of South Australian winemakers represented at Lola’s Pergola, treating them as their own culture, learning their curious ways, and designing a sensory dinner that communicates what he has found.

Fri 6 Mar • Mamma Shpagett
Chefs Jared Ingersoll and Alex Herbert (formerly Danks Street Depot & Bird Cow Fish respectively) will share their passion for community engagement by joining forces with the Nationhood of Nonna – a hand-picked selection of the fiercest cooks this side of Palermo. This dinner is all about the sharing of knowledge, ancient recipes handed down and reinvented by contemporary chefs.

Sat 8 Mar • Battle Royale
This dinner pits chefs from five top South Australian winery restaurants against each other, in a no holds barred tussle for superiority. Zac Ronayne (Petaluma’s Bridgewater Mill), Lachlan Colwill (Hentley Farm (Best SA Restaurant – The Advertiser Food Awards 2013)), Emma Shearer (Magill Estate), Ben Sommariva (Penny’s Hill) and James Brinklow (The Lane) will throw away the niceties, bring out the big knives and bare all for ultimate bragging rights. We’re bringing the community together and watching while they tear each other apart.

Sun 9 Mar • Appetite for Excellence
A hand-picked selection of the best finalists and winners of the Electrolux Appetite for Excellence prize, combined with fresh, seasonal produce from the Adelaide Farmers Market. This dinner will see some of the best chefs, waiters and restaurateurs from around the country come together for a meal that celebrates locally grown South Australian produce. Talent includes Chloe Proud (Ethos), James Viles (Biota Dining) and Sonia Bandera (Rockpool).

Thu 13 Mar • The Old Boys
Celebrating three chefs that have been at the top end of the culinary game in South Australia for what seems like more than four million years! For the first time Cheong Liew (The Grange), David Swain (Fino) and Mark McNamara (Appellation) will cook a meal together. These are our foody forefathers, so expect wines matched on the evening to have similar significance.

Fri 14 Mar • Victorian Bitters
This dinner brings together two of Melbourne’s brightest shining stars to see how they compare to our local talent. Seasoned legend Raymond Capaldi (Hare & Grace, Fenix) will team up with young-gun Dave Verhaul (The Town Mouse) to sweat it out as they try to impress the sceptical locals.

Sat 15 Mar • Duncan’s Dungeon
This dinner is an exploration of wickedness; it showcases Duncan Welgemoed’s penchant for the dark and devious along with his rule-breaking mindset. Joining Duncan in the kitchen will be Imogen Czulowski from Fino.


For booking information please visit

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