Episode 03: Melbourne Food and Wine Festival
In this week's episode of Postcards, the team chat to chefs, restaurant owners and event organisers about the 2014 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, which is due to begin on Friday 28 February. Shane finds out what to expect at this year's 'World's Longest Lunch', is given the low down on the 'Flemington Grazing Trail and Cellar Door' and then chats to Daniel Wilson from Huxtable about 'The Immersery: Festival Kitchen, Bar and Raingarden' which will be located in Queensbridge Square. Lauren investigates the regional events on offer by first venturing to Werribee where she learns about 'The Mansion River Lunch' event, before continuing on to Geelong to find out what the 'Oils Ain’t Oils' class at Le Parisien will entail. Lastly, she finds out what's in store for those attending the Queenscliff Harbour World's Longest Lunch, which is one of 22 regional lunches that will occur simultaneously. Brodie catches up with Mary Valle, Donovan Cooke and Shane Delia who are due to host sessions and impart their culinary wisdom at the Langham Masterclass event. She then gets the inside scoop on another event called 'Perfect Match', which will teach keen foodies all there is to know about matching food with wine. Glen visits Matt Perger at the Sensory Lab Roastery to find out what can be expected from the session he is running during the festival – 'Water – Coffee’s Hidden Taste', before moving on to Movida where he sits down with Frank Camorra for an update on what the Spanish culinary king and his team have planned for the next few weeks. Finally, he stops in at the Duke of Wellington to hear all about the 'Cracking Victorian Crayfish' lunches being held there during the festival, before rounding out the day with Adrian Li from Saigon Sally who chats about the Nha Trang Yacht Club inspired pop-up event he plans to host in St. Kilda.
Bank of Melbourne 'World's Longest Lunch', The Immersery: Festival Kitchen, Bar and Raingarden and Flemington Grazing Trail and Cellar Door
The 2014 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival is set to kick off on Friday 28 February, and what better way to start than with the Bank of Melbourne 'World's Longest Lunch'. A 530-metre-long table will be set along the banks of the Yarra in the Alexandra Gardens, and a three course menu created by Stefano de Pieri, Adam D'Sylva and Jacques Reymond will be served to guests by Peter Rowland catering. With the festival's theme of water in mind, the chefs have drawn on personal connections to the Murray-Darling, Mekong and Amazon rivers respectively to create each course, which will be matched with wines from Seppelt.
A new event for the festival this year is the 'Flemington Grazing Trail and Cellar Door' which will see the famous Flemington Racecourse front lawns and rose gardens transformed on Saturday 8 March. Boutique wineries, breweries and Victorian producers will set up shop and create a unique cellar door atmosphere, and there will also be cooking demonstrations by leading Victorian chefs, food tastings, activities for the kids, and a relaxing Lawn Bar where you can kick up your heels and take it all in.
The hub of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival – 'The Immersery: Festival Kitchen, Bar & Raingarden' – in Queensbridge Square, will see an array of top local chefs serve water inspired culinary delights in the open kitchen over 17 days. The hub is multiple levels, and also features rain gardens and a riverside bar where delicious cocktails and a selection of wines will be served by the talented bartenders.
Melbourne Food and Wine Festival – Presented by The Bank of Melbourne
Various locations in Victoria
28 February – 16 March, 2014
Regional events: The Mansion River Lunch, Oils Ain't Oils and The Regional World's Longest Lunches
Located in Werribee South, the Mansion Hotel and Spa at Werribee Park offers the perfect escape for those wanting a rural retreat. As part of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, this fantastic destination will host 'The Mansion River Lunch' on Saturday 15 March. It will begin with cocktails and canapés outside the 1870's Italianate mansion, followed by an elaborate four course menu created by 'Josephs Restaurant' head chef, Nick Creswick. After lunch you can take a stroll through Werribee Park's 10 hectares of beautiful formal gardens and explore the Victorian era architecture and interiors of Werribee Mansion.
Ideally located along Geelong's Eastern beach 'La Parisien' is hosting a Melbourne Food and Wine Festival regional event called 'Oils Ain't Oils' in conjunction with local producer, Camilo Olives. On Sunday 16 March, restaurateur Jean-Paul Temple will prepare a selection of small tasting dishes for participants as part of the session, in order to teach them how oils are used to enhance flavours and lift ordinary dishes. Joan McGovern from Camilo Olives will discuss the different styles of oils and when each should be used when cooking.
On Friday 14 March, 22 regional 'World's Longest Lunches' will take place simultaneously at spectacular locations across the state, including Queenscliff Harbour. Highlighting the best regional food and wine on offer, local canapés and the main meal will be prepared by Seafood Provedore. You can look forward to scallop ceviche and salmon rillettes to begin, followed by prawn and salmon wellington later on. Also on the menu are succulent twice-cooked pork belly and a dessert of kaffir lime Panna cotta. With world class views this food extravaganza promises to be a lavish long lunch indeed!
The Langham Melbourne Masterclass is another event on the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival calendar, and will take place at the Langham Hotel over the course of one action packed weekend – 8 and 9 March. The event attracts chefs from both around the corner and across the globe and it has been running since 2007. Some of the chefs imparting their culinary wisdom this year include Mary Valle, a Melbourne based Mediterranean maven whose Greek heritage influences her cooking, executive chef at 'The Atlantic' Donovan Cooke and executive chef and owner of 'Maha' Shane Delia.
City events: Movida, Cracking Victorian Crayfish and Nha Trang Yacht Club
Frank Camorra and his team at Movida single-handedly changed the way Melbournians eat when they opened the first Movida nearly 10 years ago. Now with 8 restaurants around Australia, the great man keeps coming up with something special. Frank and his team are heavily involved in the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival this year, hosting several events including a master class, a seafood inspired dinner, and two quintessentially Spanish lunches involving everything from mussels and beer to jamon iberico and sherry.
During the first weekend of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, The Duke of Wellington will be hosting two special luncheons called 'Cracking Victorian Crayfish', where legendary Warnambool fisherman Gary Ryan will bring in his freshest catch of crays, blue swimmer crabs and king prawns to feast on, while telling tales of the shipwrecked coast. With quality seafood and matched wines on offer, this is one event you don't want to miss.
The team at Saigon Sally and Hanoi Hannah are also coming to the party at this year's festival by setting up shop at the Harbour Room of the Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron on Sunday 16 March. The pop-up seafood event on the St Kilda rooftop will take inspiration from Vietnam's infamous Nha Trang Yacht Club. Attendees can expect much-loved fresh Vietnamese cuisine with dishes such as chargrilled lemongrass beef cigars, soft shell crab rice paper rolls and kingfish ceviche on betel leaf. Refreshing the palates will be spiced coconut rum and crisp Asian lager.
This year's Melbourne Food and Wine Festival is bringing gifted chefs and wine experts together to discuss their perspectives on tackling the world of food and wine matching, in sessions called 'Perfect Match'. One of the Perfect Match sessions is called 'The Kings of Crown' involving John Lawson and Chris Crawford. John Lawson is executive chef of 'Number 8. by John Lawson' at Crown and Chris Crawford is Crown's Director of Wine. The sessions will be held at the Langham Melbourne on 8 and 9 March.
Melbournians have had a long running love affair with coffee and the Sensory Lab in Little Collins Street has a reputation in this city as serving up the very best. If you're keen to learn more about the magic bean and the influence water has on it, then be sure to check out 'Water – Coffee’s Hidden Taste' on Saturday 8 March, a session run by Matt Perger (the current Australian Barista Champion and World Brewers Cup Champion) at the Senory Lab's Port Melbourne Roastery.
Rosebud Kite Festival
This Labour Day weekend why not venture to the Mornington Peninsula where you can check out all of the fun and colour at this year's Rosebud Kite Festival!
Where: Rosebud Foreshore
When: 8–9 March
The Knox Festival is back for another year, so make your way out east next weekend and enjoy all of the market stalls, food, rides and activities on offer!
Where: Wally Tew Reserve, Ferntree Gully
When: 1–2 March
The Wednesday Night Market
Don't forget to check out all of the live music, late night shopping and delicious food stalls at the Queen Victoria Night Market, which is on every Wednesday night until the end of March!
Where: Queen Victoria Market
When: Until March 26, 2014