Gaztronomy was established 25 years ago by Gary and Susan Fraser. Gary did his apprenticeship at Florentino in Melbourne in the early 1970s. He was head Chef at "John Smiths" which featured the new fixed price trend of the early 80s with a very limited and detailed menu. After starting a family they decided to return to the Valley to be close to family. It was not long after, that Gaztronomy was born.
They have lived through the ever changing styles and trends of restaurant cuisine. From the traditional French and Italian influences of the early 70s, cuisine minceur and nouvelle cuisine of the 80s and the Asian styles of the 90s and the slow food movements harking back to the real country, no gimmicks pure foods and of course molecular gastronomy using chemicals and artificial means of cooking and presenting food to visually impress rather than nourish the diner.
The Valley has changed considerably in this time, but the needs of the diner remain the same, although there are many more dietary needs these days. Fresh quality ingredients, local if possible and a good variety of dishes to appeal to all tastes. The Restaurant menu changes seasonally to present the freshest produce to reflect the needs of the diners eg hearty, slow cooked tagines and stews for winter, lighter salads and grills for the warmer months.
Every month "International Gourmet Nights" are held to present different cuisines from different countries. These are very popular as it gives our diners the opportunity to experience different styles of food in a very informal and social way.
Gary and Susan have traveled extensively and have experienced firsthand the culture and cuisine of many of the countries that they have featured.
The opportunity to expand on this popularity bought about the extension of the Restaurant with the introduction of the "Gazbah", a Mediterranean/ middle-eastern style tapas restaurant. Plush, casual decor with traditional lanterns and unique fittings provide a perfect venue to escape from the rigors of our busy lives. " It is the oasis on the north side". It is their favorite style of cuisine. Gary had experienced this style of cooking first hand, under the guidance of a Lebanese woman known only as "Madam", in the early 70s. When he spent some time at the Omar Khayam and also through his friendship with Australia's "Sultan of Spice' Greg Malouf (Gary’s very first apprentice). They would all visit the few Middle eastern restaurants in Melbourne together, because at this period in time Greg had not embraced his heritage so uniquely and gone onto the huge success that he is today. Their love of this casual, very social style of eating still existed and was one that was missed very much when they first moved to Morwell in the early 80s. They are excited about the Gazbahs future in the Valley.
Gaztronomy is casual during the day featuring more simple dishes featuring many old favourites and also current specials from the night time menu designed to be served quickly when most diners have limited time.
It becomes more formal at night with white linen cloths and serviettes. The menu has a good mix of more simple faire and also some more unusual dishes for the more adventurous. Over the years they have found that many of their loyal customers keep coming back for their old favourites. They may no longer be on the menu, but can often be accommodated after a phone call with a few days notice to request their favourite dish.