Australian celebrity chef Curtis Stone, 43, brings his Los Angeles eatery Gwen to the Presidents Cup in Melbourne this month and thanks Beyonce for scoring the top gig.
Stone, who grew up in Melbourne and moved to LA in 2006, says it was while doing a pop-up restaurant at Coachella in 2018, that executives from the PGA got a taste of what he managed to pull off in the middle of the desert.
Now, PGA attendees won't need to fly to LA to sample the award-winning menu. They can book a two-course lunch and three-course dinner option courtesy of Stone and his brother Luke who bring a hint of Euro-chic to the golf course at Black Rock.
Crazy in Coachella
"I really have my wife to thank for getting me to Coachella to begin with," says Curtis Stone.
"When she saw Beyonce was playing in '18, it was an incentive to really have a go with the pop-up," he says.
"We have done it two years in a row now, and proved that taking a restaurant out of a restaurant was possible – even though it seems totally impossible," he adds.
"Being in the desert with limited resources in a dusty environment was testing, to come back to Melbourne and replicate it for the golf feels a lot easier in comparison. I jumped at the opportunity because it's in my hometown," he says.
Gwen is known for its fire cooking techniques and a menu that embraces quality Australian meat and seafood with a touch of modern European obsession. At the PGA it'll be matched with Yarra Valley wine and beer.
Guests will enjoy wagyu beef, slow cooked lamb ribs, barramundi served with caviar and cucumber yoghurt and a duck terrine – a specialty adapted from the butcher shop, which accompanies the LA restaurant.
"It's all about cooking on fire so the people at the golf can get a taste of what we do in LA and offer multiple courses along the way," says Stone.
"We're proud of what we do and mindful people don't want to sit around too long either –they're there to see the golf, so we'll do a nod to that as well," he says.
Gwen in Melbourne
The menu will see hearty sides join the menu – think corned hash, beef fried fat potatoes and a beetroot tartare that is pressure-cooked and then dehydrated to acquire a rubbery and moist texture. For those looking for carb staples – watch out for the handmade cavatelli served with grilled artichokes.
The LA restaurant, named after his late grandmother Gwen, keeps the chef honest.
"You couldn't pull the wool over Gwen's eyes if you tried," he smiles. "Having her name hanging over a door is what keeps me focused in the restaurant game. Life can get hectic writing cook books and doing TV shows and being a Coles ambassador, but having Nan's name up there reminds me why I do what I do and where I've come from."
Stone, who would love to open a restaurant in Melbourne but needs to convince his wife – actress Lindsay Price and their two kids [Emerson, aged 5 and Hudson, 7] to make the move, says for now he's launching CSE [Curtis Stone Events] a catering business after the PGA tour is over.
"The truth behind doing a restaurant in Australia, is to do it well you need to live here," he says.
"Curtis Stone Events started three years ago in the USA and it came about when lots of fancy guests wanted us to do their weddings and luxury backyard BBQs. So yeah, I'll be back to do Aussie weddings and catering here as those occasions arise and see what comes next."
The 2019 Presidents Cup runs from December 10–15.