A funding announcement has brought Daylesford one step closure to hosting a world-first culinary institution. Funding of over $120,000 to assess the proposal for an Institute of Gastronomy in Daylesford was announced on Thursday.
The Lake House’s Alla Wolf-Tasker AM has been developing the idea for the institute over the past three years. She saw a need to address skills shortages in the hospitality industry while harnessing interest in produce provenance, sustainable regenerative agricultural practices and food production retaining artisin skills.
Ms Wolf-Tasker said the one-of-a-kind education facility would build knowledge about global best practice in food.
“I work with small producers and the issue I see with them is not having the capacity to source the knowledge to get their businesses to the next step and evolve their craft,” Ms Wolf-Tasker said.
“It occurred to me that if we created an institute here it could serve both purposes of up-skilling culinary professionals and offering them really interesting electives on their courses, and at the same time creating a hub as a centre of learning for sustainable and regenerative agriculture. We don’t have anything like that at the moment in Australia.”
Discussions about potential educational programs at the Institute of Gastronomy have included cheese-making, butchery, sourdough baking and fermentation, as well as educational electives for aspiring business owners in the areas of food production and agriculture.
Food Source Victoria contributed $100,000 to establish a business case for the institute, alongside a Regional Development Australia grant of $20,000 and a $30,000 contribution from project partners William Angliss Institute of TAFE.
Ms Alla-Wolf Tasker and William Angliss Institute will use the funds to assess budget requirements, an operating model, site analysis and economic and social impact.
It is envisaged the institute will be a community facility.
Macedon MP Mary-Anne Thomas said the Daylesford region offered a unique opportunity in food production and was becoming known for alternative and unique food production.
“The institute will draw on the region’s strengths to create new opportunities for students that will ultimately benefit the region’s food and tourism industry,” she said.