The Age newspaper this morning mentioned in it's local gossip column that Sydney patissier and MasterChef regular Adriano Zumbo is on his way to having a presence in Melbourne. I wonder if that explains his increasingly frequent visits!
In some ways I often hope that good pâtissiers will stay on their home turf, giving a reason for visiting their city for a special treat, rather than succumbing to the business temptation of expansion. I imagine many will disagree vehemently, given that Asian outposts of Pierre Hermé and Lenôtre have made it possible to sample good macarons without travelling all the way to Paris.
Of course, until recently Melbourne hadn't produced any entrepreneurial pâtissiers with the skills to produce good macarons (there are some I haven't tasted in a while that might have improved… but I don't spend money on macarons in Melbourne anymore. Too many utterly mediocre experiences.) So I guess Zumbo is giving Melbourne what it deserves.
I visited Zumbo's shop in Sydney two years ago and wasn't as thrilled by his macarons as the large number of devotees in Sydney (half of Sydney's foodbloggers think he's cute too, so perhaps there's extra enthusiasm!). I don't know what his average quality is, but clearly it's held in high esteem. He's a creative fellow well beyond just the macarons, and if nothing else he will bring a breath of fun to the patchy but improving (albeit not as much as PR-sponsored reviews might indicate) retail pastry scene in Melbourne.