We (Matthieu + Erica Miller) grew up in Rutherglen and opened grace. bar + eatery during the 'Great Victorian Covid-19 Lockdown' of 2021.
But that's not where this story begins! This story goes back to the year 2000, when a 13 year old, blond hair, chubby kid with braces tried to talk to 17 year old, short school dress wearing, PE Teachers daughter...who was far too cool to notice. Yep, that was us. Year 7 Matthieu & Year 12 Erica.
We did not cross paths again until 2012. From there it was a proposal on a gondola in Venice in 2013, married at Olive Hills Estate in 2014, a son, Darcy in 2015, a daughter, Isabel in 2017, the start of Milkin Kitchen (our catering business) in 2018, another son, Archie in 2020, and finally grace. bar + eatery in 2021 – a whirlwind ride by any standard.
Matthieu has been Sous Chef of award-winning restaurants in Victoria including The Provenance (Beechworth), Patricia's Table at Brown Brother's (Milawa) and Terrace Restaurant at All Saints Estate (Wahgunyah). He has worked alongside some of Victoria's most celebrated chefs and done so with a true passion for food and its sense of place.
His food philosophy? F**K with it as little as possible.
Erica studied Business Management at La Trobe University where an exchange program to spend six months in Thailand led to serious case of the ‘travel bug’. She then spent the best part of six years living and working in England, Ireland & France with time spent at both InterContinental & Accor Hotel Groups. Returning to Rutherglen, broke from backpacking Europe, she took a job at Campbells Wines where she spent the next seven years running their Cellar Door & Events, and developing a true love for wine and the region.
Her drink philosophy? funky & wild, interesting & slurpable.
Opening grace. together in 2021 was the realisation of a long-time dream to bring all our greats loves to our home town. If anything, grace. is an unashamed emphasis on what we love to eat and drink ourselves.
Who is Grace? Grace was Matthiue’s dearly loved grandmother. A tenacious, strong willed & highly opinionated Nan. If she were alive today, she would not shut up about how we named a restaurant after her or how magnificent her grandson is at cooking!
We are a small family business, and look forward to keep sharing with you, the very best of our local region!
And, as you can see, we don't take ourselves too seriously ;) (and Erica loves a statement earing).
A restaurant is nothing without a great team, and our small team are amazing!
We pride ourselves on an inclusive, creative & relaxed atmosphere, to make your dining experience a happy & memorable one.
Charlie, Charlie, Henry, Jacob