Getaway Fact sheets
You are here: ninemsn > Travel > Getaway > Fact sheets

Melbourne with MasterChef

Thursday, September 10, 2009
It seems the days of Mum reigning over the kitchen have gone. Now Dad and the kids are enjoying trying out their culinary expertise. A certain TV series called MasterChef could have something to do with a widespread case of, "I can do that."

Dermott Brereton is a dab hand in the kitchen but decided to add to his skills by visiting two very special Melbourne restaurants, where secrets are revealed from the MasterChef kitchens.

Hellenic Republic

MasterChef judge George Calombaris owns three restaurants in Melbourne. Dermott visited his classic Greek taverna — Hellenic Republic — to take a class with head chef Travis McAuley.

George loves students to create Greek dishes that will bring back memories of happy holidays in the islands. So there are lessons in preparing dolmades, moussaka, seafood youvetsi and mezze on the list.

Cooking classes are over four consecutive Tuesdays, between noon and 2pm. You'll end up with secrets of Hellenic cuisine and recipes to prepare over and over, along with a tasty goodie bag to take away.

The Boathouse

Owned by another MasterChef judge, Gary Mehigan, The Boathouse has a deliberate Australian feel. A stone fireplace, tin sidings, polished-concrete floor and exposed straw ceiling all go together to sit on the Maribyrnong River, surrounded by gums. It looks as though it could have been there for years.

The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and there's a playground to keep children occupied between slices of the most delicious wood-fired pizza going. It's so good that it's received awards for the best in Melbourne!

While The Boathouse doesn't have formal lessons, you're sure to pick up a few good ideas, after enjoying the pizza toppings, char-grilled beef with raisin butter, fish with wild rocket and extra-virgin olive oil, poached peaches, crème bruleé and freshly churned ice-cream.

Dermott did manage to get himself a "Trainee" badge and do a stint in the kitchen but, like everyone else, he would have much preferred to sit back and enjoy the fruits of someone else's labour in the delightful surroundings.


Brunswick East and Moonee Ponds in Melbourne, Victoria.


Hellenic Republic has four, two-hour classes with a masterclass-style cooking demonstration costing $400. The restaurant is open for breakfast on weekends, lunch Friday to Sunday from noon and dinner on Tuesday to Sunday from 5.30pm.

The Boathouse summer opening hours are Monday 10am to 5pm, Tuesday to Friday 10am until late and weekends 8.30am until late.

Virgin Blue has flights to Melbourne.

One-way fares from:

  • Hobart $64
  • Adelaide $75
  • Canberra $85
  • Sydney $89
  • Brisbane $139
  • Darwin $169
  • Perth $215

There are limited seats which may not be available at peak times or on all flights. Fares quoted are one-way booked on the Internet. An extra $15 will be charged for phone bookings. A credit card surcharge of an additional $2 per person per one-way flight is applicable. Fares are correct at September 10, 2009, and are subject to change.

For further information

Virgin Blue
Ph: 136 789

Hellenic Republic
434 Lygon Street
Brunswick East 3057
Ph: (03) 9381 1222

The Boathouse
7 The Boulevard
Moonee Ponds 3038
Ph: (03) 9375 2456

User comments
The restaurant where Dermot made the pizzas is actually the Boat-House featured above
Hi - the online site does not list the restaurant where Dermot made a cooked a pizza - what and where is it?

Related links


Brochure Search

Free electronic brochures with information, resources and holiday ideas for unique getaways.

Select a destination:
Sign up nowTo Receive the free Getaway newsletter