There are few savvy travellers and diners in Australia who will not have heard of the iconic Lake House in Daylesford. Now in its 35th year its accolades continue with awards such as Australia’s Best Wine List from Gourmet Traveller; a listing in Tatler’s Top 101 Hotels in the World; over 70 accumulated chef’s hats from the highly regarded Good Food Guide and inclusions in most of the hospitality awards list that matter. Alla’s personal accolades include two ‘Legend’ awards as well as ‘Professional Excellence’ and ‘Outstanding Contribution’ awards from the Good Food Guide; The Restaurant and Catering Association; Melbourne Food & Wine, Gourmet Traveller and Tourism Victoria amongst others. She was also recently awarded Legend of the Industry by Foodservice and Outstanding Contribution to Australian Food by delicious. In 2007 Alla was also admitted as a Member of the Order of Australia for services to Tourism and Hospitality. Indeed, now operating as Culinary Director and MD over a staff of 120, Alla and her team have enough national and international awards to fill virtually every wall of their fabled house on the lake.
What is probably less known are the humble beginnings of Lake House; of how Alla along with her husband Allan were determined to create something like the destination regional restaurants she had trained in and seen in France.
In the process of following her dream, Alla Wolf-Tasker not only succeeded in creating a restaurant and hotel “worthy of a journey”, but also managed to help resurrect the area around Daylesford into the thriving community and tourist hub it is now. She is also widely credited with having kick started regional destination dining in Australia. The denuded paddocks that she and Allan purchased in 1979 and on which they commenced to build the restaurant of their dreams, now boasts verdant gardens cascading to the lake foreshore as well as the boutique hotel and restaurant which are on the bucket list for many savvy culinary travellers worldwide. And Australia is now endowed with many highly regarded regional Food and Wine destinations and restaurants which have emulated her pioneering operations and standards.
Alla currently serves as a director on the Board of Luxury Lodges of Australia. She is founding chair of Daylesford Macedon Produce a group dedicated to developing a local food culture and connecting small scale artisan producers and growers with chefs and restaurateurs. She has been instrumental in the development of a prolific Kitchen and Garden program at Daylesford Primary School. She’s a senior judge for the Good Food Guide Young Chef of the Year Awards and is on the National judging panel for the delicious. Magazine Produce Awards.
Her current projects include the proposed Institute of Gastronomy and Good Food which has passed through feasibility testing and is now at the funding stage. Once complete it will be a gamechanger for food, wine and agricultural tourism, training and education in Australia.
Alla is an author, a public speaker and an inveterate traveller. Her 2nd book Lake House: Three Decades On was released in 2018.