Foodies' Favourite Autumn Produce

We spoke to some of our favourite Melbourne chefs and foodies about their favourite autumn produce that you can find at the Market.

Necia Wilden, Food Journalist, Contributor Australian Financial Review


I’m always on the lookout for my favourite variety of plum, the blood plum, and Pino’s has lovely fat and juicy ones. The flavour is so bright and intense you don’t need to do anything fancy with them – I just cut up half a dozen or so and poach them gently with the juice of a freshly squeezed orange, a cinnamon stick, a few drops of pure vanilla extract and a bit of honey (to taste). Serve warm with quality ice cream (my current go-to is Elato vanilla), cream or even sheep’s milk yoghurt if you’re feeling virtuous. Yum. 

Darren Purchese, Owner Burch & Purchese

@darrenpurchese @burchpurchese

One of my favourite fruits are pears – a classic autumnal ingredient they are fantastic in sweet and savoury dishes. Try poaching in a light spiced syrup and serving warm with ice cream or baking the flesh in a fudgy chocolate cake. You could puree the cooked fruit to make a salad dressing or serve ripe pear slices with some Victorian cheese. So versatile and so delicious. 

Adam D’Sylva, Executive Chef/Co-owner Coda/Tonka, Culinary Director, Lollo @ W Melbourne, Boca Gelato

@adamdsylvachef @boca_gelato @lollo_melbourne @tonkarestaurant @codamelbourne

The very versatile tomato is my favourite autumn veg, well technically a fruit. I especially love heirloom tomatoes, ox hearts and black Russians. Served simply with extra virgin olive oil, sherry vinegar, clove of garlic grated finely, mint leaves and buffalo mozzarella, for when I want to jazz it up. Or a simple spaghettini with a fresh tomatoes, garlic, chilli and basil. Growing up, the Italian side, we would always make passata with fresh tomatoes.

Kay-Lene Tan, Head Chef / Executive Pastry Chef, Tonka & Coda


My favourite autumn produce are mushrooms! I love making them into a simple mushroom quiche; perfect for lunch or a light dinner. 

Simon Toohey, Co-Founder Sustainable Earth Network, TV Personality Masterchef AU and Freshly Picked TV

@simon.toohey @freshlypickedtv

Autumn!  My absolute favourite season of the year! For me, my favourite autumn produce starts with chestnuts. One of those great nuts that you know the season is in abundance as the fruit and veg shops are packed with them and they are cheap.  They do come a little later in the season but so worth it.  Oven bake them and peel them while they are still warm and just scoff them up with a beautiful glass of red.  

Karen Martini, TV Chef & Owner HERO restaurant

@karen_martini @heroacmi

In early autumn apples and pears are at their fresh best. The harvest starts in mid to late summer so look for many different types: the early-season soft Williams to the firmer elegant Beurre Bosc, and of course the bumpy green flavourful Packhams.  Look out for my favourite pear – the Josephine pear which is green and smooth skinned with a big fat bottom. I love to poach and roast these beautifully delicate full flavour and are short season pears.

Charlie Carrington, Chef and Founder of Atlas Dining & Atlas Weekly

@charlieatlas @atlasdining

I love pumpkin in the Autumn. It is really versatile, tasty and adds colour to the plate. This season I will be using pumpkin in salads such as the Atlas Weekly Warm Pumpkin, Baby Kale, Macadamia & Mixed Mushroom Salad served with oregano and sage roasted chicken.

Ben Shewry, Chef & Owner of Attica

@atticamelbourne @benshewry

Wild mushrooms from Damian Pike. My favourite mushroom dish is wild mushrooms on toast – on the farm I grew up on, we harvested wild field mushrooms every autumn and fried them in butter and ate them on toast.

Nowadays, I like to buy some of Damian’s mushrooms and sauté them in butter, garlic and thyme from Paddlewheel, along with some of Gary McBean’s amazing smokey free range bacon, cut into lardons. A good amount of salt and a decent squeeze of lemon in the pan at the end, and pile this glorious mess on your favourite toast.

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