Celebrity chef Shannon Bennett has spent up to $5 million to buy one of South Yarra's most famous Victorian mansions.
The Vue de Monde restaurateur and wife, actor Madeleine West, have splashed out on the luxurious Cromwell Road property "Barwon", following a well-worn trail of rich and famous who have crossed the Yarra to flasher digs.
In a bid to keep the deal quiet, the property was bought in Ms West's legal name, Melanie Ann Weston.
The previous owner bought the double-storey 1881 Victorian for $2.8 million in 2005, undertaking a renovation and modern extension that has given the house four bedrooms, two studies, cellar, pool and self-contained apartment in the pool house.
Listed in July last year with price expectations of $5 million-plus, the property passed in on a vendor bid of $5 million and has languished on the market ever since.
Agents Kay & Burton did not respond to a request for comment.
The couple's current home in Kensington sold over the weekend for a price believed to be $1.6 million to $1.7 million.
A meal at Bennett's legendary restaurant, which sits on the 55th floor of the Rialto Tower, runs from $150 per person for a 4-course ala carte menu to $250 per person for the gastronomes menu.
Bennett is the latest in a series of celebrity chefs – and Masterchef alumni – to upgrade in the last year.
George Calombaris moved from a $740,000 two-bedroom Victorian terrace in Fitzroy North to a $2.735 million 1930s-era house on Toorak's Grange Road.
Returning home after two years in Sydney, Gary Mehigan spent $3 million to buy a four-bedroom mansion in the prestigious Gascoigne Estate in Malvern East.
French chef Jacques Reymond is also believed to be the buyer of a $2 million modern home on Ormond in Elwood that recently changed hands.
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