International chef creates pop-up restaurant series in Newcastle

Following his successful trial of fine dining pop-up restaurants back in July, French Chef Nic Poelaert will be bringing a few of his esteemed peers to town for two events in Poelaert’s new ‘The Dinner Collectif’ Series this October.

‘The Dinner Collectif’ is a limited edition of food and wine events, curated by Chef Nicolas Poelaert. Each sitting in this fine dining series will feature signature dishes from a collection of renowned international culinary creators as they join Poelaert in residence at various iconic venues in Newcastle.

The first events in the series include ‘6 Volcanic Wines of The World’ with Sommelier Mark Protheroe, and a 12 Course Degustation with Chefs Cory Campbell & Nicolas Poelaert.

As the previous chef, co-owner and creative mind behind celebrated restaurants Embrasse and Brooks of Melbourne, Poelaert has also worked with international 3 Michelin star chefs such as Alain Gelle (Teteghem, France) Michel and Sebastian Bras (Laguiole, France), Gordon Ramsay (Chelsea, England), and Shannon Bennet and Andrew McConnell (Melbourne, Australia).

Poelaert’s vision to bring more fine dining options to his new home base of Newcastle saw him experiment with a successful set of pop-up restaurants in July. The Frenchman has now decided to up the ante and extend an invitation to a “collectif” of his international peers, including the 20th most influential Sommelier in world and representative from Australia’s National Executive Board for Sommeliers, Mark Protheroe.

On loan from Melbourne’s Grossi group of restaurants, this will be Mark’s first visit to the Hunter and see him present six wines from around the globe that are in part shaped by the effect of volcanic activity. The wines will be preceded by a wild herb cocktail and canapés on arrival and complemented by classic dishes from Poelaert’s repertoire, including the méli-mélo of vegetables and cheesecake with rose dessert.

“I wanted to introduce Newcastle to some of the peers I am humbled to be in company with,” Nic said. “Having such a passionate wine culture here in the Hunter Valley I thought Mark would be very much welcomed and offer an intimate group of local connoisseurs a different perspective with these uniquely themed wines.”

The second event in the series will welcome home Cory Campbell, who has been busy making his mark in the international culinary scene at famed Nordic restaurant Noma and until recently was also head chef of the 3-hatted Vue de Monde, Melbourne. Together with Poelaert, the chefs will be co-creating an hours-long menu sensation of 12 dishes for just 60 guests at the historic The Lock Up.

Nic says, “Back in Melbourne, Cory and I always had a very similar philosophy in our restaurants and an immense respect for each other’s work. We are both very creative with food – this event is going to be unlike anything Newcastle has ever seen or tasted before. I just wish we could fit more people into the old prison courtyard!”


Saturday 3rd October – Sommelier Mark Protheroe will be bringing his six volcanic wines to 227 Hunter St, Newcastle

Friday 23rd October – 12 Course Degustation with Cory Campbell and Nic Poelaert at The Lock Up, 90 Hunter St, Newcastle


Tickets are $275pp per event and once sold out, no further sittings will be released.

For more information and reservations, please visit


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