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MFWF 2015: Opening weekend wrap and things to look out for

It’s back! Once again Melbourne has the pleasure of hosting all things food at the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival. Whether you are the Crawl ‘N Bite type or Masterclass type, there is truly something for every budding food connoisseur. This years festivities celebrate with the theme of ‘bread’, most notably at the Queensbridge Square site – Festival Artisan Bakery & Bar.

With the first weekend of the festival already passed, we bring you a wrap up of events we attended.

Southgate Fiesta – Tutto Bene

Southgate Fiesta hosted a celebration to mark the official start to the food festivities.  Being a part of the MFWF Open Kitchen theme, Southgate offered wine tastings along the promenade, where diners could sample exquisite signature dishes at Southgates various restaurants and live entertainment venues.

Dessert is always hard to pass up, and the surprising element to Tutto Bene’s dessert dish was enough to influence this modern con. Rightly called the Tutto Bene Sweet Tooth, the dish consisted of three desserts created by Head Chef Nathan Scarfo – including peanut butter semifreddo with caramel popcorn, eton mess with blackcurrant marshmallows and chantilly cream and the surprise dessert was called ‘white night’.

The plating was magnificent and showed a strong craftsmanship by Nathan and his team as to the effort and talent Tutto Bene delivers.

Starting with the peanut butter semifreddo with caramel popcorn – being in the middle – the combination of the delicate peanut butter was matched well with the crunchy and sticky caramel popcorn. It certainly brought back the childhood memories. With a side of chocolate parfait, it’s a dessert that all could easily love.

Next was the eton mess with blackcurrant marshmallows and chantilly cream, looking very similar to a deconstructed pavlova. My personal favourite was the house made blackcurrent marshmallows that were to die for! Married beautifully with the meringue, it allowed for a lovely sensation on the palate. The chantilly cream made for a strong background flavour, but it was the tiny fruity puree dollops which gave the eton mess a robust finish.

The finale was the surprise element called ‘white night’. Inspired by the projections and the arts under the clouds of night, the mint flavoured sponge and marshmallow filling that was complemented with a piece of chocolate and a rich raspberry puree was novel and decadent. The strong mint flavour is immediately noticeable and mixed with the raspberry and chocolate piece, worked well to break up the strong taste. While looking stunning, my only personal criticism would be its missing a ‘crunch’ element.

A Coastal Culinary Trail at Arbory Bar & Eatery

Melbourne’s latest hotspot Arbory Bar & Eatery, located on the disused Sandridge line next to platform 12 at Flinders Street Station, opened its arms to this years MFWF. With its doors barely openned a month, the team managed to open two pop-up stations within their long and large venue in tribute to seafood from the coast of Australia. For $15 guests enjoyed a small tasting dish served with a glass of of beautiful D.O.C. wine. If you missed out on the event, Arbory Bar & Eatery look like they serve up a killer burger and hot dog. Vino on the Yarra, anyone?

Upcoming Events

Fromage a Trois – Cheese & Cider Festival

Cheese is notably the perfect accompaniment to wine and has been so for centuries. But with innovation and curiosity, comes the need to try a different angle. The Great Lawns of Werribee Mansion, just thirty minutes drive from the CBD, is offering a day of cheese and cider matching. What better for a balmy summers day?

Fromage a Trois is held on the 15 March 2015 (11am – 5pm) and includes relaxing music, various marquees to taste local and regional produce, meet the producers, learn the craft of making cider and cheese and be entertained with the informative demonstrations.

Date: 15 March 2015
Time: 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Cost: $35 each & includes official tasting glass & event guide

For further information and to purchase tickets, click here.

Western Vic Producers’ Lunch – The Plough Hotel

There is always a soft spot for the west and The Modern Connoisseur gives the thumbs up to the likes of Station Street Hotel and The Plough Hotel, making their mark in Footscray. To celebrate the emergence of the west and its continued transformation, it’s time to learn a thing or to about the western produce. On show is charcutier and Ballarat native Michael Nunn, who has recently launched his own range of fresh and cured meats (Salt Kitchen Charcuterie) of Western Plains and Sher Wagyu. Michael will host a demonstrative tasting over a three course lunch with matching wines.

Date: 7 March 2015
Time: 12:30 PM to 4:00 PM
Cost: $75  (three course lunch and includes matching wines)

For further information and to purchase tickets, click here.

Crawl ‘n’ Bite Bars

Anyone with knowledge of Melbourne’s food scene can arrange a Crawl ‘n’ Bite around Melbourne, but what about Bars. The dogged days of a uni pub crawl might be a distant memory for most, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t experience a night of visiting bars and consuming quality cocktails. This year, MFWF rolls out an expansion to the Crawl ‘n’ Bite franchise  by swapping food dishes with cocktail. Don’t miss out as tickets will sell fast.

Date: multiple dates
Time: multiple times

Cost: $66

For further information and to purchase tickets, click here.

Food in pictures

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