Matthew Haigh, Group Executive Chef of Peter Rowland Group at Flemington, at Yarra Valley Caviar taking part in the fish roe milking.

Fish roe farming at Yarra Valley Caviar

When designing menus for Flemington, Group Executive Chef Matthew Haigh, begins by sourcing high-quality seasonal produce grown locally in Melbourne and around Victoria. “I love visiting local producers to source produce” says Haigh “We can’t be good unless our suppliers are good and that’s why I like to talk to them.”

Located at the base of the Rubicon River in rural Victoria, Yarra Valley Caviar is a boutique fresh water aquaculture farm that follows organic guidelines and firmly believes in the humane treatment of its fish.

Run by Nick Gorman and his business partner, Mark Fox, the farm produces Atlantic Salmon, Brook Trout and Rainbow Trout, and takes a completely natural approach to its rearing and roe extraction.  The fish are milked for roe entirely by hand, once a year, under a completely natural anesthetic of clove oil, and are then gently placed back in their ponds to spawn again the following year.

Once extracted the fish roe is salted with premium sea salt flakes to produce bright, plump and flawless caviar - bursting with flavour.

“It takes us three years to grow a salmon from the egg to its first spawning which is when fish produce roe. The egg of the first spawning is the softest - it’s our top-notch roe and that first harvest salmon roe is what we’re producing for the Spring Racing Carnival,” says Gorman.

Chef Matt took a visit the farm to take part in the milking and to show us why Yarra Valley Caviar is such a great partner for the Victoria Racing Club.

During the Melbourne Cup Carnival this caviar will be on the menu in various venues around the track, including Terrace Restaurant and The Byerley in the new Club Stand. 

Keen to taste these flavours for yourself? Get your tickets now.