Finding a little slice of France right where you are…

Finding a little slice of France right where you are…

Matthew Carnell has brought a slice of France to his home town of Daylesford in Victoria, Australia with his Bistro Terroir.

Loulabelle's FrancoFiles episode 84

Guest: Matthew Carnell

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I wonder if chef and restaurant owner Matthew Carnell was always destined to be connected to France. After attending a French school trip as a 14 year old, Matt’s next Francophile adventure was after he had started his chef’s apprenticeship in Australia and he won an award that gave him a month working in a Michelin Star restaurant in Bordeaux.

Clearly he is a talented chef, as on that Bordeaux trip he was offered to stay on after the month when the award prize was finished, but Matthew returned to Australia to complete his apprenticeship. As soon as he was qualified, he made contact with that original Michelin Star chef from Bordeaux and was snapped up for a new restaurant in Paris. A huge learning curve in a formal/top Parisian kitchen ensued with no French language skills, except for how to order a beer!

Matt also has had extensive experience working in regional France and even had a period working with sustainable food processes and farming. He even explored alternative preserving practices, making “bocaux”. This is obviously very different from the bright lights of Paris, with the flavours of beautiful raw produce. Matt has now found a balance with food that is unpretentious with an element of his Michelin Star past, but without overworking the experience.

Back now in Australia, I have had the pleasure of dining in Matthew’s restaurant Bistro Terroir in Daylesford. For me, each dish looked like a delight on the plate. The bistro felt fresh but still a little bit fancy, the staff are down to earth but knowledgeable, the environment exudes a genuine warmth whilst still providing an elevated experience. This region of Victoria is well known for exceptional food and Matt is definitely adding to that reputation. Speaking with Matthew, it is clear he has a passion for combining several elements such as local and fresh produce, dedicated service staff, wrapped up in a relaxed but special dining experience.

Over the past decade Matthew has collected many awards, as well as an impressive list of experiences with food on various levels right around the world. Having a family base that is local to Daylesford, I am thankful Matthew has chosen our wonderful region to connect with the local community and share his love of fine French bistro style food.

Matthew Carnell’s links

Bistro Terroir

Matthew mentioned a practice of preserving food he engaged in whilst living in the Savoie region, bocaux. Find out more here.


Eddy de Pretto



After Matt’s suggestion I explored Eddy’s music and found 2 songs that I especially connected with. I love the way his music makes me think about the status quo, about the tourists and well-connected in Paris, about the real people who are sometimes hidden from our view. As my son loves the rap/singing combo genre, it is often played in our house. Eddy de Pretto is now a wonderful addition to that playlist!


I have never heard of diots until Matt started reminiscing about his fave dish from back when he lived in France. Diots are a traditional sausage from the Savoie region in the French Alps.

There are small and large diots, fresh and smoked, and they can be boiled, grilled, or braised.

Matt has generously provided his fave recipe here:


750gm diced pork leg

1 kg diced pork shoulder

200gm diced pork belly

20gm salt

5 gm pepper

1 whole nutmeg ground

20gm sugar

90 ml red wine

10 ml eau de vie

Dice all pork.

Add all other ingredients.

Leave for 24 hours, then mince.

Make sausage using pork sausage skin.

Leave to hang for 5 days.

Cover and cook for 8 hours in red wine with raw onion and thyme.

Serve in a baguette with mustard and cooked onions.

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