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Taste of Melbourne concocts festival of cuisine and culture

September 22, 2017 Whats On No Comments Email Email

A colourful collision of art, entertainment and food will transform the MCG’s Yarra Park from 30 November to 3 December 2017 as Taste of Melbourne in partnership with Electrolux prepares a feast for all senses with world-first, top secret collaborations from the city’s favourite chefs, artists and musicians.

By day, families, foodies and curious shoppers will meander through laneways of more than 100 artisan producers and gather for gourmet picnics. By night, the park’s canopy of trees will glow with glittering and neon lights as delicious dishes and drinks traverse the festival.

Taste Festival Australia director Kristy Austin said this year’s festival embraced Melbourne’s creative heartbeat to celebrate good taste in its many manifestations.

“Melbourne is famous the world over for its star chefs, diverse culture and culinary entertainment. This year, we bring them all together with local creatives to curate a collision of cuisine and culture that can only be experienced at the festival,” Ms Austin said.

In the festival’s spirit of creative fusions, top chefs will collaborate with graffiti artists, designers and sculptors in secret kitchens and studios around the city to concoct unique creations revealed throughout the festival.

To complete the visual feast, paper engineer Benja Harney was commissioned to encapsulate Taste Festivals in paper form, from zucchini flowers in a forest of mushrooms and gold-flaked meringue to glazed figs, gooseberries and chili-peppered prawns – the ultimate collision of cuisine and art.

“Paper food is one of my favourite things to make. I wanted to create an interesting take on the festival with an artistic and cultural angle that represents the many things Taste of Melbourne has to offer,” Mr Harney said.

With the full lineup kept tightly under wraps, Austin hinted at some of the chefs on board for this year’s festival.

“The best of the Mediterranean will come to Melbourne with imported charcuterie, wine and cheese from MoVida’s Spanish den. Channeling flavours from across the Atlantic, Mamasita’s mezcaleria will vibrate with music, smoky spirits and cocktail tricks,” Ms Austin said.

This year’s Estrella Damm Bar will also see genuine Spanish imports flow on tap, offering festival goers an ice-cold break in a gastro garden bar setting.

Five glamping tipis will welcome friends to sit back and relax together while a dedicated butler ferries refreshments from a private bar. For a first-class Taste experience, the new VIP Luxe Lounge and stylish corporate suites are also available for group entertaining.

Those with an appetite for more than tasting can discover edible education and insider tips from top culinary talent at the Electrolux Taste Theatre, while some of Melbourne’s top chefs will share insider tips in intimate masterclasses at Electrolux Chefs’ Secrets, cooking a signature dish alongside guests before sitting down to enjoy their creations together. A popular festival favourite, sessions are limited to 16 people on a first come, first served basis.

In a protein-rich session with Meat & Livestock Australia in the Cooks’ Corner, MLA’s resident butcher Doug Piper and corporate chef Sam Bourke will demonstrate nose-to-tail eating, from butchery to cooking, as families and home chefs gather on the hay bales and balance a plate of lamb or beef on their lap.

A hands-on baking class with premium butter Lurpak will invite festival goers and fledgling patissiers to create danishes and shortcrust pastries in the new Lurpak Bakery.

Meanwhile, for those who prefer to learn without getting their hands dirty, the stories and history behind ingredients, recipes and products handed down through generations will be shared over Table Talks presented by Smith Journal, an unexpected series of thought-provoking discussions providing rare insight into the food industry, its people and their success stories.

Taste of Melbourne tickets will be on sale from 2 October starting with weekly specials. Stay up-to-date by signing up for the newsletter.

What: Taste of Melbourne

When: Thursday 30 November to Sunday 3 December 2017

Where: Yarra Park (MCG), Wellington Parade, East Melbourne VIC 3002

Tickets: On sale from 2 October 2017

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