Peasant cuisine turned haute cuisine

WHEN Dan Tesoriero returned to his hometown of Ballarat, he decided it would be a good place to renew an old restaurant business.

Along with head chef Doug Kerr, the couple are recreating a style of restaurant they previously offered at the Melbourne location, Billy Boy Blue.

Their new restaurant, called Peasant, will serve rustic European-inspired cuisine, and Mr. Tesoriero, who is general manager, said the definition was far from derogatory.

“It’s just about loving and sharing food and connecting to the land using whatever is there,” he said.

“Growing up, we both came from minimal means, so it’s all about that family experience at the dinner table.

“We want to achieve this while building on this original peasant notion of eating sustainably and using everything that comes from the land, like the way people ate centuries ago.”

Kerr and Mr. Tesoriero first worked together in 2012 before creating Before Billy Boy Blue, which closed in 2018.

The Peasant will serve dinner every Friday and Saturday with a five-course menu changing weekly.

Kerr said this approach serves an additional purpose that reinforces the peasant philosophy of minimal food waste.

“It’s always great fun to be challenged to create things from what’s available, but it’s also the whole point of making things that are sustainable,” he said.

“You use what is there and available, you minimize waste, the amount of expenses and travel time to get supplies here.

“The idea for us is to give peasant cuisine back what it should be, with a touch of modernity. There will always be some artistic flair, but it’s about using what’s available and in season.

The evolving menu will be projected on a wall and the restaurant team will consist of seven people.

Peasant will launch on Friday July 22 and is located at 15 Lydiard Street North.

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