Red flowering eucalyptus ice cream, quandongs stewed with rhubarb and mead

Hosting the World’s 50 Best Restaurant awards in Melbourne last year appears to have done little by way of Australia’s immediate standing on the controversial list, with only one Australian restaurant, Brae, appearing in the extended list of restaurants ranked 51 to 100, announced today.

Brae, the Birregurra restaurant and guesthouse of chef and owner Dan Hunter, reentered the list at 58 after last year making its first entry into the Top 50 at 44. The year before it made a jump up the list of 21 places from being ranked at 65 previously. Since it opened in December 2013, Brae has taken pride of place on Hunter’s 30 acre farm in the Otway hinterland, from which he harvests produce in a fashion that privileges, above all, a respect for seasonality, regenerative farming techniques and sustainability.

The awards, which are both highly coveted and divisive, have been compiled every year since 2002 using the votes of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy, a reputable group of 1,040 industry experts from 27 global regions. Each region is represented by 36 members who are allocated 10 votes (four of which must go to restaurants outside of their region). The judging panel is made up of critics, chefs, restauranteurs and ‘gastronomes’, with their combined opinions forming the industry standard for the world’s finest dining establishments and most exciting up-and-comers, cuisines and culinary movements.

It’s believed that another Victorian restaurant, Attica, the fine diner belonging to chef Ben Shewry in the Melbourne suburb of Ripponlea, will retain its standing in the Top 50. The pointy end of the list will be announced next week at a ceremony in Bilbao, Spain.

Fancy a taste of Brae? Head here for Chef Hunter’s recipe for a life-changing truffle chicken sandwich, exclusive to GRAZIA.

Tile and cover image: Brae/Instagram

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