Viles will be looking after The Lounge, an on-site restaurant with full table service and a la carte dining. The Lounge needs to be booked in advance (by purchasing an upgrade that also gives guests reserved premium grandstand seating). The menu includes Biota favourites such as chicken liver pate served with cumquats and oat cookies, as well as new dishes highlighting summer produce: appellation oysters with finger-lime dressing; heirloom tomato salad, and river trout served with smoked roe and lemon aspen butter.
Referencing the bushfires in the Southern Highlands where two-hatted Biota is situated, VIles said, "It's important that we continue to support the local producers who are the backbone of our restaurants at this time of great need. I'm using Pecora dairy cheese on The Lounge menu; they're located in Robertson, NSW which usually has the highest rainfall, but is so dry right now they are having to buy feed in and move sheep off their land. Redleaf Farm, who have been supplying pigs to Biota for the past nine years, had fires right at their back doorstep and the whole family had to stop work and fight the fire. We haven't yet seen the aftermath of how the fires will affect these producers and regional tourism so supporting these communities is something we all need to be really conscious of."
Wells meanwhile is in charge of the public "grab and go" restaurant. "Going to the cinema doesn't mean you have to eat popcorn and a whole menu of fried foods. There's a lot of classics in there, but done the A1 Canteen way, so crinkle-cut fries with Old Bay salt, a chicken Caesar sandwich and slow-roasted lamb shoulder with za'atar and tahini yoghurt," he says.
Westpac OpenAir runs until February 21. On 5 February, the menu will change with both chefs introducing new options for the second half of the season.
For the full program and tickets go to westpacopenair.com.au