On Board with Raki Andriana, Head Chef at Rochford Wines!
While the Yarra Valley is a world-renowned wine growing region, wine is only half the story of this gourmet wonderland! Departing daily, we provide a Gourmet Food & Wine tour to the Yarra Valley, stopping by Rochford Wines to sample the local produce with a delicious restaurant lunch. Today we catch up with Raki Andriana, Head Chef at Rochford Wines to chat about his love of local produce and the food/wine pairing process!
How long have you been at the winery?
I’m now in my third year as Head Chef at Rochford.
Can you tell us something interesting about the wine/food experience at Rochford?
When a wine and food match is perfect there is a resonance or harmony which elevates the pairing and makes it very memorable. I like to design dishes which will complement our elegant cool climate wines. We have a variety of options on the menu with share dishes being popular for a casual occasion or the a la carte experience.
What is your favourite part about Rochford and its menus/wine?
There is always something new around the corner! So much seasonal local produce gives us a great opportunity to create something new and exciting. The wines are really good too and match well with my food.
Why do you like baking your own bread?
I find baking very relaxing and the smell of newly baked bread is heavenly. Producing really good bread shows mastery too of the action of yeast etc. and that is satisfying as well.
How did you come to be a chef?
I have always enjoyed cooking and it was always a big part of my childhood. As a result, becoming a chef just came naturally.
Most interesting parts of your menu?
At the moment I am really enjoying the broad variety of sharing options. I really like the idea of families sitting together and sharing a meal.
Your favourite place to holiday?
I love the beach! So, I like to holiday anywhere that’s close to the water.
Have you always lived in/near the Yarra Valley?
I grew up in Chirnside Park so have always lived close to the Yarra Valley. I love this region, it has natural beauty and diversity and is framed by ruggedness with the surrounding ranges. Always living so close by, I feel closely connected to it.
How long have you been in the industry?
I have worked in kitchens for 15 years now and am passionate. I expect it will continue.
Do you have a favourite anecdote about cooking?
I always tell people not to take it too seriously, just enjoy it and have fun. We are only creating meals, not saving lives!