'It was an extraordinary moment in Melbourne's food history, training the next generation of cooks, waiters, sommeliers – even dishwashers'
– Stephanie Alexander
About this video
Enjoy this lively panel discussion about legendary Victorian restaurateur, Mietta O'Donnell, whose influence helped shape Australia's foodie and fine-dining culture.
Greg Gerrand discusses the richness of the material in the Library's Mietta O'Donnell papers.
Patricia O'Donnell talks about her Italian grandparents' post-war restaurants in Melbourne, and how their synthesis of art, culture and gastronomy greatly influenced Mietta.
Stephanie Alexander recalls the unprecedented way in which Mietta and her husband Tony Knox cultivated a fine-dining scene in Melbourne in the '70s.
Jaccques Reymond recounts his time at Mietta's in Brunswick Street and then at Alfred Place. He commends Mietta for her bold vision in bringing Michelin three-starred chef Alain Chapel, at the time the most famous chef in France, to Melbourne in 1984.
Note: the thumbnail image for this page (visible on the View and discuss landing page) is a photograph of Mietta O’Donnell with Alain Chapel and Jacques Reymond, 1984, © Rennie Ellis Photographic Archive.
More to explore
- Mietta O'Donnell papers
- Gusto! A culinary history of Victoria (image gallery)
- Watch Jacques Reymond speak about his career as a chef (video)
- Food in Victoria: research guide
- Natalie O'Brien (chair), CEO, Melbourne Food and Wine Festival
- Greg Gerrand, Librarian, Australian Manuscripts Collection, State Library Victoria
- Patricia O'Donnell, teacher, restaurateur and sister of Mietta
- Stephanie Alexander AO: restaurateur, food educator and food writer
- Jacques Reymond: award-winning chef and restaurateur