mount zero hero | joshua smyth, chandon estate

mount zero hero | joshua smyth, chandon estate

Chef Joshua Smyth has been cooking in the beautiful Yarra Valley for the last nine-and-a-half years. 

After years of working in the south of France, at a Michelin-starred level and came back to Victoria, and worked in international hotels but found his footing at Chandon, the Australian outpost of the global sparkling wine brand. 

Joshua’s background – five years in Marseille at a Michelin-star restaurant – has set a perfect foundation for his work at Chandon. His brief is to approach his menu with a broad, international lens. He then brings in his own perspective and talent, and it’s our pleasure to have Joshua as our Mount Zero Hero this month. 

“I use a lot of classic flavours with a slight twist,” says the chef, “I’ll take bread and Dukkah and serve it with pepper berry and macadamia, give it a sense of place.” 

Joshua discovered Mount Zero when he started at the restaurant-winery and loves the relationship he has forged with us and our products. “I love Mount Zero’s attention to detail and quality assurance. It’s consistently good and what you’re getting is fresh and of quality. I also like how they look after their customers; good customer relationships are clearly very important to them.” 

On our products, Joshua says, “I love Mount Zero olive oils. I’m using the Frantoio at the moment, it’s robust but not too strong and I use it in our focaccia dough. We serve Mount Zero mixed olives for guests to snack on while they’re settling in with a glass of sparkling wine and looking at the menu”

“Then there are the chickpeas, that I use in our hummus and salads. On the last menu, we made hummus with chickpeas and fava beans (both from Mount Zero) which made it a little different.” 

Joshua is a big fan of our new season's olive oil and is sent a sample of each of the new season’s olive oils each year. 

“I love them! The different characteristics, flavours and weight,” he says and he has used one in the recipe he’s chosen to share. 

Forget everything you know about the traditional chocolate cake and jump into Joshua’s Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

chocolate olive oil cake

“The freshness of a new season olive oil has a little weight in flavour, and the oil adds to the cake’s rich and moist character.  It gives a lovely light pepper spice to your cake that you can’t get when using butter. The addition of a small pinch of Mount Zero Pink Lake Salt highlights the chocolate with a little savoury edge. It works really well.” 

the fast five 

  1. If you working as a chef what would you be doing?  

    Probably in the sports world, maybe a physio.

  2. Last place you dined out?

    Chancery Lane in Melbourne’s CBD.

  3. What's your favourite Victorian restaurant? 

    Tipo 00 in Melbourne’s CBD. 

  4. Favourite season/s of the year for produce? 

    Spring & Summer 

  5. you have any special projects scheduled for this year or beyond? 

    We’re developing the homestead at the moment for people to dine in and for group tastings. It’s about six to ten months away. 
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