WYNDHAM has changed a lot since Bart Beek moved to the area 12 years ago.
Bart Beek. Picture: Michael Copp
The celebrity chef and his wife Alaine moved from Sydney to open their business, Essence Food Studio, a place where people can enjoy a meal and learn to cook the dishes they’re served.
When Beek (pictured) arrived in Werribee it had a two-lane highway and few dining options.
Since then, the suburb has become home to a range of new restaurants and cafes.
“There has been a massive change in the food scene. There is a good range here nowadays,” Beek said.
“The Park Hotel has been turned around and it has set a new standard in Werribee.”
While Beek hopes people continue to visit Wyndham in search of great food, he realises many visitors are looking to experience the Werribee Park precinct.
He says Werribee Park is what makes Wyndham a unique tourist destination — combining history, wildlife and flowers with great accommodation and gardens.
“Werribee Park Mansion and the state rose garden are great attractions. You would think we are in south England,” Beek said.
“I am surprised by how many locals haven’t been there. A tradition in our family is to gather up the leftover food at Christmas and spend the day together at the mansion.
“The zoo is another magnificent attraction. Another great thing is the night theatre shows at the mansion.
“We have been doing them for 10 years . . . the tower tour is a hidden gem. People don’t realise you can take a tour to the top of the tower at the mansion where the views are spectacular.”
Beek also recommends the red cliffs along the Werribee River and Shadowfax Winery.
He says only a “lucky few” people know about the cliffs, which are often chosen as a wedding location because they are so beautiful.
“There is so much to do here. We are always going on day trips and looking for things for visitors to do.”
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