Summer’s around the corner and that means it’s time to start heading to South Australia’s beautiful wine regions.
McLaren Vale kicks off summer with the Gorgeous Festival, held at the McLaren Vale Visitor Centre on Saturday 24 November.
Gorgeous is a celebration of gorgeous food, wine and music. Food from the Currant Shed, the Victory, Blessed Cheese, Fino and D’Arry’s will be available. Bradd Johns, chef at the Crowne Plaza will be running a masterclass before a mystery box cook off against McLaren Vale local chef, Nigel Rich, from The Elbow Room.
A selection of wines from a variety of McLaren Vale producers will be served. Producers include d’Arenberg, Shottesbroke, Paxton, Hugh Hamilton, Alpha Box & Dice and Battle of Bosworth.
The music acts are headlined by Missy Higgins.
Tickets are $88*, or $198* for the VIP Bar.
* Booking fee applies.
Disclaimer: I received a basket of scones and jam from the Intercontinental, along with the information about this event.
Hopefully everyone knows that Tasting Australia is coming up at the end of April. I’ve already written about the pasta events that will be happening.
Of course, masterclasses are not the be all and end all of Tasting Australia – there are plenty of dinners, lunches and breakfasts to be had along the way. One such dinner is the Best of British dinner which takes place on Monday 30 April at the Intercontinental. This dinner is not only an excuse to eat a lot of good food but part proceeds will support the Australian athletes heading to London for the Olympic games in August.
The star of the chefs is Mark Hix (formerly chef director of Caprice Holdings which includes London icons such as The Ivy and J Sheekeys, and now running his own venture, which includes the Hix Oyster and Chop House). Hix is also very much a champion of British food – his British Regional Food being one of the modern bibles on the subject (and, I note, a book missing from my own collection …).
Hix will be joined by British expats now based in Australia: Simon Bryant, Jeremy Strode and Matthew Kemp. The menu features Brit dishes such as steak and kidney pudding, smoked eel, lamb and a selection of UK cheeses put together by Will Studd. You can see the full menu on the Intercontinental’s website.
Tickets, limited to 300, are $195 per person and are available through ticketek.
Friday week ago I was out in the sun enjoying some nibbles and chatting to Amanda from Lambs’ Ears and Honey, as a guest at the launch of the Adelaide incarnation of the Good Food and Wine Show.
The afternoon began in Rundle Mall, under the canopy at Gawler Place, where we sampled tasty tidbits from South Australian producers such as Beerenberg, Cocolat, Barossa Fine Foods and Carême. I was particularly taken with the Carême chicken pithivier because it’s never occurred to me to make a savoury one. Actually, it’s never occurred to me to make one because my mum makes an awesome traditional one, with a frangipane filling … anyway, that’s an idea to keep stashed away for future reference.
After a bit of banter in the open air, we headed to the Hotel Richmond for drinks and dessert and the launch proper (that’s the speeches!). Alastair McLeod (of Brett’s Wharf in Brisbane, and of Ready, Steady, Cook fame) did the honours and there was a run through of the major sponsors as well as the celebrity chefs who will be present – the star billing this year going to Ainsley Harriott*.
The Good Food & Wine Show also features wine and cheese classes if you fancy something away from the celebrity chefs.
This year’s show runs from 7-9 October at the Showground. Tickets are $20 (that doesn’t include entry ot the Reidel Decanter Bar, which is $55 but does include show entry). I do have 5 vouchers for $5 off entry which I’m happy to post out to the first 5 commenters who have managed to read this far!
* Even if you’re not a fan of his on-screen persona, Harriott’s recipes tend to be very reliable. They’re usually quick, easy and tasty. I’m a fan!