Food Events

French Classics at The House of Wine and Food

Location:        69 Cruikshank St, Port Melbourne VIC 3207
Telephone:     (03) 9676 2004

After a brief stint at retirement, Alan and Debbie Giles returned to hospitality as the proud new operators of The House of Wine and Food. This power couple dabbled in retirement, moving to France for a year before they ‘got bored’ and decided to return to what they love.

Tucked away in a quiet street in Port Melbourne, this beautiful building was once home to The Cricketer’s Arms Hotel. Carefully refurbished over a six-month period, The House of Wine and Food emerged as a force majeure. Having kept all of its old-world charm and character, I was in love with the feel of the place. Walking in, there was no way to tell that it once used to be a typical Aussie sports bar and pub.

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Melbourne Picnics presents: Low FODMAP and Gluten-free Picnic

I spent a lazy Saturday morning enjoying a fantastic FODMAP-friendly feast in Fitzroy, courtesy of the amazing humans at Melbourne Picnics. This little start-up was born from the passion that founder Meg has for the finer things in life — I’m talking about breads, cheese, and other gourmet yummies.
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Wheeler's Oyster Farm Tour

Location:        162 Arthur Kaine Dr, Pambula NSW 2549
Telephone:     (02) 6495 6330

Wheeler’s Oyster Farm has been operating in the coastal town of Merimbula since the early 1900s. I happened upon their Oyster Farm Tour when I stopped for dinner at the Wheeler's Seafood Restaurant and saw a sign advertising it.

It turns out that the farm is vertically integrated with the restaurant. The oyster-sorting site is literally across the road from the dining hall – talk about fresh oysters! So of course, I came back the next morning to check out the tour.

Tours run daily at 10am and require a minimum of four participants to run. The tour starts at the small seafood and memorabilia shop located at the back of the restaurant. Yes, seafood and coastal town memorabilia – what a combo.

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Vue de Monde, Melbourne CBD

Location:        525 Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Telephone:     (03) 9691 3888

Vue de Monde has been on my ‘must try’ list for a couple of years now and I finally got to dine here, courtesy of a very generous Xmas gift. My partner surprised his parents, sisters and me with a night out for pre-drinks at Eau de Vie, followed by the Chef’s Table at Vue de Monde – and what a surprise it was!

With the current renovations at Rialto Towers, finding the entrance to VDM was a bit of a maze. Once we found the reception desk, a lovely lady called up to inform the restaurant of our arrival and put us on an elevator to journey to the top of the tower. Service was quite good throughout my experience here, with a bit of a dip at the start of the meal, and then again upon departure.

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The Inaugral Dal Zotto Prosecco Picnic

This summer Burnham Beeches played host to the inaugural Dal Zotto winery’s Prosecco Picnic. Situated on the lawns in front of Shannon Bennet’s latest venture, Piggery Café, the Dal Zotto family treated all picnic-goers to a fantastic feast, and some delectable drinks. There was sun, there was fun, and sweet tunes for everyone.

The Dal Zotto famiglia have three key ingredients to their range of wines: family, tradition, and innovation. All of their wine making is driven by the overarching philosophy of staying true to your roots. The vinos on offer range from chardonnay, Riesling, and cabernet merlot to the star of the picnic: the prosecco.

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Raw Chocolates and Superfood Treats with RawLove

Here are some words that you don’t usually see together: healthy, delicious, and nutritious desserts. RawLove Superfoods create decadent, guilt-free sweet treats that are packed full of nourishment. Owned by certified raw chef Sandra Bottrell, RawLove is all about having your cake and eating it too.

Sandra has opened the doors at RawLove to share some of her passion and experience in creating indulgent raw desserts. My plus one and I attended a raw chocolate cooking demonstration where we learned how to create our own organic, raw, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free desserts. With the limited group sizes, the class had a very personal feel to it and everyone had plenty of opportunity to ask questions.

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Rolld’s 50th Store Opens at Melbourne Central

It’s hard to believe that Roll'd Vietnamese street food opened its first store only four years ago. Fast forward to 2016 and Roll’d is now a highly successful business that’s celebrating its 50th Australian store opening at Melbourne Central shopping precinct. Don’t you agree that cuon-gratulations are in order?

Family is very much at the heart of the Roll’d story. The founders were inspired to bring fresh, delicious Vietnamese cuisine to Australia by the love they had for their mothers’ cooking. Mama Hoang is the secret weapon behind the delicious recipes that have helped make Roll’d Vietnamese the success it is today.

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Wine and Cheese Fest 2016

Wine and cheese go together like Captain and Tennille, Beyonce and Jay-Z, or Tarzan and Jane. I can't think of a match made more perfectly than a fantastic, odourrific cheese matched with an awe-inspiring glass of Shiraz. That said, I think you can now understand my excitement about the return of Wine and Cheese Fest on 23 October 2016.

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Guide to Good Food Month

The Age Good Food Month 2016 (1-30 November) is nearly upon us in Melbourne. It’s time to dig out those stretchy pants and prepare your body for a month of ultimate indulgence. You can channel your spirit vegetable and go vegan, throwback to your younger years and play some beer pong, or put on your top hat and monocle and get fancy with legendary chefs.
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Croctails and Thai with a twist at Chalawan

There’s a new crocodile king on Smith Street and his name is Chalawan. Opening its doors a few months ago, Chalawan is a cosy, contemporary ‘croctail’ bar and eatery that’s adding some pizazz to the ever expanding Collingwood dining scene. Cocktails with a Thai flavour twist are the main attraction here.

Hailing from Bangkok, the team behind Chalawan are all about the new, the fresh, and the tasty. You won’t find any boring old pad see ew, massaman or green curry on the menu. Their food is all about modern techniques and flavour combos, devised to highlight Australian produce. My plus one and I got to try out the ‘Dear Jasmine’ croctail and sample some of the modern marvels from the Chalawan menu.  

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Life-Changing Food: The New Cookbook from Quirky Cooking

Quirky Cooking’s Jo Whitton and The Food Blog’s Fouad Kassab have combined forces to co-write a new cookbook. ‘Life Changing Food’ features gluten free, paleo friendly recipes with nourishing wholefoods at the centre.

Both Jo and Fouad have their own life-changing journeys that started with exploring gut-friendly diets and healthy eating as a way of life. My plus one and I went along to the ‘Life-Changing Food Talk and Cooking Demo’ where Jo and Fouad shared stories from their lives to demonstrate the impact that healthy eating can have.

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Project Botanicals 2016

Project Botanicals is back in Melbourne for another hugely successful year, running for two weeks only at Taxi Riverside. This event is a celebration of the 10 botanicals found in Bombay Sapphire gin through the pairing of food with gin cocktails. I checked out this cool event for the first time this year.

Tickets for Project Botanicals sell out super quickly, but I was totally prepared and bought tickets as soon as they went on sale. For $49 a pop the ticket includes two gin cocktails and two plates of your choosing – great value right? My partner and I wondered down to check out the 6 t0 8pm session on a Saturday night.

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High Tea at Melbourne Zoo

The iconic Melbourne Zoo is oneof Victoria’s best and most popular tourist attractions. This may come as a surprise to some, but the zoo is not just home to our fur and feather friends. I didn’t know this until recently but the Melbourne zoo’s Rainforest Room plays host to a fantastic high tea session once a month.

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Off the Wagon launches at South Melbourne Market

Off the Wagon has arrived at South Melbourne Market. The SO:ME space is playing host to the new range of decadent, delicious and downright delightful chocolate rollers created by Masterchef 2016 contestant Zoe Konikkos.
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Vin Diemen: Showcasing Tasmania’s Fine Wines

The best food and wine from Van Diemen’s land is front and centre at Vin Diemen 2016. The event previously known as ‘Tasmania Unbottled’ is back in Melbourne, bringing some of Tasmania’s finest wines to the mainland for a one-day only event at the Meat Market in North Melbourne.
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Winter Warmer: The Annual Hot Chocolate Festival

Every day for the month of August, the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery is paying homage to the classic winter drink: the hot chocolate. The annual YVCI Hot Chocolate Festival is showcasing 31 limited edition flavours of hot chocolates — one for every day of the month.
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Campari are on a mission to introduce us to the wonderful pastime that is the Italian drinking culture. The king of aperitifs is hosting a range of sessions to showcase the bittersweet, herbaceous and divinely smooth range of amaro liqueurs in a quest to help us #EMBRACETHEBITTERNESS.
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Raclette and Red at Dominque Portet Winery

Ninth generation winemaker Dominique Portet started his winemaking journey in Bordeaux, France and moved to Australia, where he has been making beautiful wines for 40 years. To celebrate this momentous occasion, the Portet family are hosting weekly ‘Raclette and Red’ sessions throughout winter at their cellar door in the Yarra Valley.
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Bagelicious Night Dining Launch

Sometimes lovingly referred to as ‘The Cement Doughnut’, the bagel has long since left its modest beginnings and transformed into a delicious vehicle used to transport oodles of delightful fillings into the eagerly waiting bellies of the people. My plus one and I were lucky enough to head down to Bagelicious Hawthorn for the unveiling and tasting of their brand spanking new night dining menu where we partook in a bagel degustation.
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A night in at Melbourne Central this winter

Calling all sweet tooths and sugarholics: Melbourne Central is playing host to the Flour Market every Thursday afternoon for the month of June. Oh, and you can thank the calendar gods that the month of June 2016 has five Thursdays. That’s five opportunities for you to spend a winter’s night indulging in the rotating selection of artisanal baked goods and sweet treats brought to you by the Flour Market.
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