CELEBRITY GUEST: BaconFest brings Melbourne's best
THIS year's celebrity guest at BaconFest is a chef who has monopolised the Melbourne restaurant scene.
Adrian Richardson, head chef at La Luna Bistro, was hand-picked to be this year's talent thanks to his great craftsmanship and love for bacon.
However, Mr Richardson said his plan wasn't always to be one of Melbourne's top chefs.
Mr Richardson actually wanted to become a pilot, instead.
"I wanted to save up to get my pilot's license, so I got a job working in a kitchen,” he said.
Mr Richardson said he had always enjoyed cooking, coming from a food-filled background.
"My mother is Italian, and my dad is English, but his dad was a chef, so I always knew my way around the kitchen and had a lot of interest in cooking,” he said.
At his kitchen job, Mr Richardson said he worked hard to save up, but his ambitions changed once he started doing lessons to become a pilot.
"I realised I enjoyed working in the kitchen more,” he said.
After Mr Richardson improved his expertise, creating his own bistro along the way, he also travelled around the country to many food events and fundraisers.
According to Mr Richardson, this was one of the draw-cards to BaconFest.
"BaconFest is an event that raises money for drought-affected farmers,” he said.
"These are my favourite fundraising events, because without the farmers I can't do what I do. It's good to support them back.”
As well as the good cause, Mr Richardson also loves making new connections.
"These events are a great way of meeting suppliers that you don't always get to meet. I've made many good partnerships along the way,” he said.
"If they get me back next year I might be able to do some more events with the connections I can make from this year, integrating more local producers and local venues and chefs.”
With all of these benefits, Mr Richardson said he was excited for the theme of BaconFest.
"I love meat, and anything bacon-orientated is delicious,” he said.
"I'm very excited to get into this event at Kingaroy, as this is where some of the best bacon in the country comes from.”
Mr Richardson will be staying around for the whole BaconFest weekend event, from August 23 to 25.
During his stay, he'll be keeping busy doing cooking demonstrations, commentating the BaconFest bacon eating competition, helping to cater the Long Table Breakfast, and more.
Mr Richardson said with a lot planned, he has some preparing to do, but is mainly focusing on making sure everyone had a good time.
"My goal is to make sure everyone who attends has a lot of fun throughout the whole event,” he said.