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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Laucala Island Welcomes Leading Australian Chef, Shannon Bennett, Vue De Monde

Exclusive Fiji resort Laucala Island is delighted to be welcoming renowned Australian chef Shannon Bennett as a special guest chef in October. Known for his exciting, refined cuisine inspired by his love of French classical cooking, Bennett worked with the luminary likes of Marco Pierre White, the Roux brothers and Alain Ducasse before opening his cutting-edge Melbourne restaurant Vue de Monde. At the forefront of the Australian fine-dining scene, the restaurant has been awarded three hats in The Age Good Food Guide.
With his culinary credentials, Bennett's visit to Laucala Island promises to delight and inspire the guests over a gourmet weekend from Friday 23 October to Sunday 25 October 2015.
This will be the second occasion on which Laucala Island has welcomed a leading chef from Australia, following the successful visit by Peter Gilmore of Sydney's Quay Restaurant in November 2013.
During the long weekend, Bennett will host tours, give cooking demonstrations and create special one-off lunches and dinners. “I'm looking forward to collaborating with the kitchen team at the world-renowned property and to using their sustainable practices, while learning about the local produce to create a story on the plate,” says Bennett.
A private island resort set upon its own exclusive 12-square-kilometre island, Laucala stands out for its sustainable approach to cuisine. Most of the produce featured on its menus is grown on the island or harvested from the surrounding seas. The island is almost completely self-sufficient, with a 97-hectare farm devoted to full-blood Wagyu and Limousin cattle, wild goats, quail, chickens (three breeds for meat and eggs), pigs (two breeds), sheep, and beehives. A hydroponic garden produces a vast array of exotic vegetables, while the herb garden provides a range of wild herbs.
For the duration of his visit, Bennett will work alongside Laucala Island's executive chef, Anthony Healy.
• An exploration of Laucala Island's organic farms with Anthony Healy, Executive Chef and Shannon Bennett, Director, Vue De Monde group. Guests will enjoy a fishing trip aboard the island's sleek Riviera vessel with ethical fisherman Mark Eather, Vue de Monde's sole supplier of sustainable fish.
• Lunch Seagrass Restaurant.
• Dinner Plantation House Restaurant by Anthony Healy, together with Paul Wilson, Sous Chef; Piak Sussadeewong, Thai Chef; and Jon Gladson, Pastry Chef.
• Morning Cooking Demonstration with Shannon Bennett.
• Evening cocktails and canapés, Plantation House Restaurant.
• Dinner Plantation House Restaurant by Shannon Bennett and Cory Campbell, Vue De Monde.
• A traditional Fijian evening at Laucala Island's Cultural Village. Cocktails followed by dinner prepared in a lovo, and a spectacular dance performance as a finale to the gourmet weekend.

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