Former AFL footballer Nick Riewoldt on his favorite places to eat, drink and stay

By on September 19, 2022 0

When former AFL star player and Fox Sport commentator Nick Riewoldt walked in Famous celebrity chef last year he made a bet with his American wife Catherine that if he won the competition he would relieve her of the family chores in the kitchen.

Being crowned the winner saw the former St Kilda captain enthusiastically fulfill his promise. “I find cooking therapeutic. In fact, I love cooking for my family. For me, it’s not a chore,” he says.

The Cobram Estate Ambassador also enjoys baking – cheesecakes and carrot cake are in high rotation at home.

Nick Riewoldt’s Carrot Cake. Photo: Simon Schluter

Riewoldt divides his time between the family home in Brighton, on Melbourne Bay, and another in Orford, on the east coast of Tasmania, where the family has had a relationship since the early 1900s. The three sons of the couple, James, 7, Will, 5, and Teddy, 3, are also enjoying the foodie and footy spotlight on their dad’s social media.

eat in

Signature dish at home

Crawfish pasta. I love this dish because it is so simple and tasty. It feeds the whole family and is a winner with us. I braise the crayfish first. You don’t need long in the pan at all. In another pan, I add garlic, chilli, tomato paste and mustard seeds and reduce this to give it a deep flavor. I then put the crayfish back and add thin pasta like spaghetti or linguine. It’s subtly rich and so beautiful. I would never have had the courage to try something like this before I did Chef, but that’s the big thing to come out of the competition. I used to cook with these kinds of products before, but now I have the confidence and the ability to experiment.

I find cooking therapeutic. In fact, I like to cook for my family. To me, that doesn’t sound like a chore.

Nick Riewoldt

my guilty pleasure

I do a lot of baking at home these days. I’m in the cake phase and I love making carrot cakes, Basque cheesecakes and olive oil cakes. I’m experimenting with the latter right now. Cakes have certainly become a guilty pleasure – and it’s great that kids can get involved. They love using the KitchenAid and learn to measure ingredients and it’s hard to fill it. Something I’ve come to love about baking is that it’s almost a bit silly. We constantly have fresh cake rotating in the kitchen. My love of cooking comes from my parents, who were always brilliant cooks and inspired our childhood palates. Now my kids enjoy everything from cakes to oysters to curries and sashimi. They are not afraid to try anything.

The Best Kitchen Wisdom I Cling To

Always season and taste. My grandmother, Fay, is 94 years old and she always told me to do this. She also taught me how to make a perfect curry scallop pie, her favorite recipe, which I made on Chef. The key is to find the biggest scallops around.

Red prawn nigiri in Minamishima, Richmond.

Red prawn nigiri in Minamishima, Richmond. Photo: Supplied

Eat outside

My favorite Melbourne haunts (and must-try dishes)

Melbourne’s food scene moves so fast, but I love it Type 00 in the city. In terms of favorite dish, I don’t think I’ve ever eaten the same meal twice when I’ve been there, everything is amazing! I also like to eat gingerboy in CBD for son-in-law’s eggs – I dream about it. We are going to Donovans many in St Kilda and Stokehouse too. These are local and local favorites for us. The fish and chips are always of very good quality. Minamishima in Richmond is another favorite restaurant. The quality of the sashimi is phenomenal. I love Japanese food as my first choice, and here a lot of the thinking is taken out of it because it’s omakase. The plaice fin nigiri is a favorite.

My favorite coffee (and my favorite drink)

I’m also a big coffee drinker – usually three or four cups a day. We have the best cafes around – super random. It doesn’t matter if there are five or 15 people queuing, you get your coffee in three to four minutes and it is still of very high quality. Someone is always grinding; another is on the milk frothing machine – it’s efficient and I love it. Oat Magic for me.

Where is your favorite place to eat in Australia and do you have any special food memories here?

I like World view. We had great family celebrations there, which I look back on with great emotion. One of the last times we ate there as a family of five was with my little sister Maddie in 2014. She died in 2015. There were only five of us and I had to go back doing Famous celebrity chef in 2021 and I had to keep my distance from everyone because I was determined to cook well but I still thought I was there with her. I didn’t want my meal on the show to become a mess because I would start to get emotional. It is one of the best restaurants in the world, with the best cuisine.

On the road

What is your favorite gastronomic city and why?

Cabos San Lucas is my favorite culinary town in Mexico. I spent a lot of time there. My wife’s family lives in Texas so the proximity is why we visit so much. It’s like going to the Gold Coast in terms of distance from Texas. The food is so tactile and the flavors so memorable. I’m a big fan of spiciness, incorporating lots of seafood into what they eat, and the fact that you can eat it on the beach too. Eating Mexican food by hand also appeals to me and it goes well with tequila.

What are your favorite places to eat and why?

There’s a place called El Farallon located on the edge of a cliff in Pedregal – it’s all fresh fish here and you’re sitting above sea level overlooking the ocean. There are plenty of ceviche-style dishes and fresh fish tacos, as well as the crispiest corn chips. by Edith is more of a tourist thing to do – mariachi bands come and play requests. It’s Mexican-style food that we’d recognize, but more upscale – think lobster enchilada – and the dessert is tres leches (milk cake), which is phenomenal. I love this place. flora farms is a very rustic place. It’s all about seasonal food here and the menu changes – a great experience and a place to visit. I also like to drink a Tommy’s margarita – my recipe to replicate at home is to mix Reposado Tequila in place of Triple Sec, agave syrup and fresh lime juice. This is delicious.

Where do you stay when you are there and why?

We always stay Waldorf Astoria – the luxury hotel is cut into the cliff and to enter the resort, you have to go through a hollow section. It’s an incredible piece of architecture and engineering and completely secluded on this beach around the heads of Cabos San Lucas.


A favorite restaurant that no longer exists was the two-star Hobart Restaurant mechanic, which closed in 2015 – this is where you went to find amazing abalones. Now when in Hobart (we have a house an hour northeast of town) we always go to Peppina by Massimo Mele – it’s bright, fresh and seasonal.

Parlar - GOOD WEEKEND - Pan tomato, Gilda toast & Anchovy churro at Parlar in Sydney Potts Point on 04/15/22

Tomato pan (left) and anchovy churro in Parlar. Photo: Christopher Pearce


I always go to talk at Potts Point when in Sydney – that’s where I enjoy octopus (with tomato salsa and smoked almonds), golden toast and bacalao croquettes. Shaded Pine Lounge is also a cool place. Stock & Barrel Loxa NYC style deli, is where I go for bagels and sardines on toast.