Lexus Australia is set to make its mark once again as the naming rights sponsor of the prestigious Lexus Melbourne Cup. Let’s take a look at what’s set to be inside the Marquee with Architect Koichi & Chef Luke Mangan.

LANDMARK by Lexus, 2023

Lexus Australia is set to make its mark once again as the naming rights sponsor of the prestigious Lexus Melbourne Cup for the sixth consecutive year. This highly anticipated event brings together the thrill of horse racing, the elegance of fashion, and now, the fusion of Japanese and Australian landscapes and concepts.

One of the highlights of the Melbourne Cup Carnival is the Landmark by Lexus Marquee, which takes prime position at Flemington Racecourse. This marquee is not just a luxurious space for guests to enjoy the races; it is an immersive experience that reflects the unique combination of Japanese craftsmanship and Australian creativity.

This year, Melbourne My Style had the opportunity to chat with renowned chef Luke Mangan, who will be curating the culinary offerings at the Landmark by Lexus. Mangan is known for his innovative and contemporary approach to cooking, and his collaboration with Lexus promises to bring a new level of gastronomic delight to the event.

Up Close and Personal with Australian Chef & Restaurateur Luke Mangan OAM

As a leading Chef and Entrepreneur, how to you embark on creating a menu for the Lexus clientele that is palatable to all? I believe that seafood is on the menu this year. Can you tell us about the dishes you will create. Will the dishes be of Japanese influence when taking into consideration the Lexus brand?

Luke says, “With a longstanding relationship of over 15 years with Lexus, I’m excited to lead this year’s culinary offering at LANDMARK by Lexus this year. I remember when I was a chef for Lexus at Flemington, so it feels like coming back home in a way.  

This year, I’m thrilled to bring a dining experience that embodies my principles of using premium, sustainably sourced, and seasonal produce with Japanese influence. This matches with the recurring theme Close to the Source, demonstrated across the three interior levels of LANDMARK by Lexus – Source, Cultivate and Harvest.  

What sets our work apart for luxury guests and clientele is the advantage of having restaurants in Japan and Asia, as well as the ability to travel the world and explore both traditional and contemporary culinary ideas. At LANDMARK by Lexus, my approach focuses on balance and celebrating the incredible produce and craftsmanship that goes into each dish.  

At the Lexus x Luke Mangan dining experience, clientele will savour a Japanese influenced menu that’s all about fresh, clean flavours, presented in a natural and uncomplicated way. We’ll be setting up two Source bars that exude luxury and theatrics. At one bar, guests will witness a sashimi chef expertly carving a whole tuna, served raw with minimal intervention. At the other, a chef curates a 100% organic noodle experience. We’re using ethically sourced seafood, including individually caught tuna from the Southern Oceans, all while employing sustainable practices to minimise our impact on tuna stocks.  

It’s a dining experience that not only delights the palate but also champions responsible sourcing and culinary mastery.” 

Lexus has unveiled the Landmark by Lexus Marquee, a stunning architectural masterpiece designed by the visionary Koichi architects. This collaboration between luxury cars and architectural design has resulted in a truly unique and captivating space that showcases the true essence of Lexus.

Melbourne My Style chats to LANDMARK by Lexus Architect KOICHI

We know that you create inspiration from the environment in your design work. How do you go about this when creating a marquee with Lexus that also incorporates prestige, craftsmanship and of course luxury which is what defines the Lexus Brand. 

Koichi says, “My architecture combines a Japanese sense of restraint from my upbringing, with an unpredictability inspired by nature. I think that tension is an important part of my creative process – and something I enjoy exploring in my collaborations with Lexus.  

I believe Nature holds the answers. And architecture can start the conversation. My approach to LANDMARK by Lexus this year was driven by an opportunity to celebrate the powerful relationship that can be experienced between humans and nature, one that has existed for tens of thousands of years. This year’s façade is covered with native Australian trees and plants – grown locally – to celebrate the theme ‘Close to the Source’. 

Greening our urban landscapes can combat many of the problems we face today. Introducing trees and plants to the skyline can reduce inner-city temperatures, increase biodiversity, and reduce our stress levels at the same time.  And the LANDMARK by Lexus façade is a visual reminder of how important nature is in solving many of the issues we face today. 

We also want guests to experience the benefits of being immersed in nature – even though it’s a very man-made and artificial environment. Our design encourages guests to engage with the architecture and façade – to pluck from the native pepper, saltbush or lemon myrtle and activate the senses – which will evoke an emotional response. 

Sustainable design and appreciation of craftsmanship are some of the many aspects that align between Koichi Takada Architects and Lexus. This year’s pavilion continues to express these values and explore a new era of sustainable luxury.”

With Lexus Australia’s continued support as the naming rights sponsor, the Melbourne Cup Carnival promises to be a one-of-a-kind experience that seamlessly blends the excitement of horse racing with the sophistication of Japanese and Australian cultures. The Landmark by Lexus Marquee, with its exceptional architectural design by Koichi Takada Architects and culinary offerings curated by Chef Luke Mangan, it is set to be the highlight of the event, offering guests an unforgettable journey of flavours and aesthetics.

By Melinda Sullivan.