Three credentialled Melbourne chefs have started making pies for a crust. Is it too early to call it a trend?
Yorkshire-born Matt Wilkinson (Circa, Vue de Monde) kicked things off early last year, turning the provisions store next to his Brunswick East cafe Pope Joan into the Pie Shop.
In late 2017 Raymond Capaldi – who picked up multiple hats at restaurants such as Le Restaurant and Hare and Grace and gave many Melburnians their first taste of molecular gastronomy at Fenix – started putting some of his tastiest dishes inside water-based crusts at Wonder Pies.
His Bulleen commercial kitchen is now supplying cafes and venues with pies filled with the likes of braised lamb shoulder with rosemary and garlic; Thai-style green chicken curry; and mushroom, cheddar and thyme. He even makes a sweet pie with toffee custard, puff pastry, honeycomb and biscuit, riffing on the Golden Gaytime.
Wonder Pies are also available straight from the kitchen at 4B Kim Close, Bulleen.
The latest chef to climb aboard the pie cart is Matti Fallon. He quit kitchens when Scandinavian bar DuNord, at which he worked, closed unexpectedly in late 2016.
Fallon worked in the construction industry and pursued an interest in music for the film industry. But a road trip around New Zealand reignited his cooking fire. "Every single town there seemed to have a couple of bakeries making decent pies."
It made him wonder why it had become so hard to get a decent pie in Melbourne.
On his return, Fallon set up Prince Pies. Already supplying cafes with his tasty pastries with fillings such as lamb, goat's cheese and truffle; mac and cheese, and bolognese, he hopes to swing open the doors on a CBD shop, Prince Pies, at 10 Howie Place, Melbourne, by late April.
He's also enlisted a roster of guest chefs, such as Nick Stanton (Ramblr), Daniel Dobra (St Ali) and Mike Patrick (Fancy Hank's), to take a turn making fillings.