It’s the plan before the planning

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If the responsibility is on you to pull off a sensational corporate event, work function, significant birthday celebration, wedding or anniversary, you want to make sure everything comes together perfectly. Our steps will help make sure your event goes off without a hitch.

Budget

The first place to start is your budget. Don’t just estimate; actually sit down and break down your proposed budget into categories and determine exactly how much your company or group can spend on all the aspects of the event. Don’t overlook the small items like nametags or wedding favours. And allow a little extra spending money for unforeseen or forgotten factors.

Audience

As you begin planning your event, make sure to focus on what your audience should get out of the event, whether they walk away from a training seminar with new tools or leave your wedding saying to others that it was “the most relaxed wedding I’ve been to”.  Creating a list of attendees to invite is vital as well so you know the numbers you’ll be working with.

Presenter/MC

Choose your presenter, guest speaker or MC wisely. If there isn’t someone in your circle you can call on to step in, you might need to look to a third party to hire your dream presenter. You’ll want to look for someone who is engaging, experienced, confident and entertaining.

Venue

Choose a venue that reflects the style and feel of the event. You’ll find that many venues are booked months in advance, so secure your venue as soon as possible. Choosing a venue or caterer with a variety of menu items to suit all tastebuds is a must. Don’t forget to consider vital factors such as parking, location and offered amenities before making your final decision. 

Suppliers

Now it’s time to seek out your desired suppliers, from caterers to photographers to audio/visual equipment companies, decorations, staff and florists. And then consider when is the best time for the drinks to start flowing, food to be served, and if guests receive any complimentary items such as pens, goodie bags or wedding favours. Some venues have a list of their own preferred suppliers or you can research on your own.

Schedule

Yep, it’s time to outline how the day will run. It’s the key part of function planning. Begin by drafting the overall arc of the day, including arrival time, session/ceremony start, break times, when meals will be served and when the event will wrap up.

Confirm

Finally, you need to confirm all of your details before the event. This means no miscommunications get in the way of the day running smoothly. Also, make sure to reconfirm numbers as well as details with the venue and suppliers a few days before the event occurs. This way you can make sure that there aren’t any surprises. 

KATE SEARS

PENINSULA UNCORKED By Tom Portet

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The flavour imparted by oak barrels has been dwindling for decades now, as drinkers seek fresher, fruit-forward styles that showcase grape over everything else. Fine French oak barrels aren’t cheap either. Enter the amphora — its shape helps fermentation, it is made of natural material and it’s a little porous. It’s like an oak barrel in every way except that it imparts no flavour and seems to have worked well for centuries, from the Ancient Georgians, Greeks, Romans and now a growing number of winemakers. 

Quealy Lina Lool Mornington Peninsula 2019 $30

Linalool is a terpene found in the three aromatic varieties that make up this wine: malvasia istriana, moscato giallo, and riesling. It’s the maceration time on skins that releases the musky, intensely floral aromatics or ‘terpene’.  Skin contact time is six months, then six months’ maturation in amphora, of course.  Food-friendly and especially well-suited to spiced dishes like fish curry or fresh cheese made by a grandmother. 

Trofeo Estate Chosen Few Shiraz Mornington Peninsula 2016 $48

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With more than 100 amphorae on site, Trofeo might well be the biggest producer of terracotta wines in the southern hemisphere right here on the Peninsula — Harrisons Rd in Dromana. The Chosen Few shiraz is a beauty, with classic syrah violet purples and a real juiciness and lush, long finish. By using amphora, there is a real elegance that lets the fruit shine.

Yangarra Ovitelli Grenache 2017 $50

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Not local but made by superstar producer Yangarra, which means you have to know about it. ‘Ovi’ means ‘egg’ and ‘vitelli’ means ‘life’.  From the sands of McLaren Vale, the 2017 growing season was one of the coldest on record.  Grapes from dry-grown bush vines planted in 1946 were given a long, luxurious ferment for a whole autumn on skins in big ceramic eggs. This is Yangarra’s most elegant grenache, with great emphasis on perfume, tension and precision.

FORK TALK - A CHAT WITH OUR FOOD, WINE & DINING EXPERTS
Michael Demagistris — Many Little Bar & Bistro, 2-5/159 Shoreham Rd, Red Hill South

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Tell us about Many Little’s bistro, bar, and cellar door.

Many Little is a community hub; it’s a meeting place, somewhere to relax and celebrate local producers. The owners, Sam and Emma, have built a really stylish place to enjoy food and drink the best Victorian wines and the most interesting boutique spirits in a relaxed venue.

How has it been since you opened last December?

We’ve been adapting and changing since opening and I think we’ve got a great offering. If you head along for breakfast, lunch, dinner or just drinks, you’ll find yourself planning your next visit. Many Little has a real charm about it.  

What can customers expect from your menu?

The menu features bistro classics and some interesting combinations thrown in to keep it interesting. My favourite part of the menu is the specials board, where we feature estate-grown produce and try out new dishes — not to mention the rotating beers on tap and the weekly cocktail specials.

What’s your go-to trend to serve up that customers are loving?

I wouldn’t say it’s a trend, but we are really about family-style eating, ordering a heap of different plates — snacks, entrees and mains — and sharing them among the table.

 What is your style in the kitchen?

Pickling and fermenting will always hold a place on the menu. With my food I’m always creating things packed with flavour and bringing balance to the wonderful salty, sweet and sour flavours, which in my opinion lift dishes and bring them to life.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Spending time with my family — my beautiful wife and kids — and of course eating out!

What do you love most about what you do?

Sharing my knowledge with my team and seeing their passion; the creativity and storytelling that you can share through food, whether it is presentation, taste, nostalgia, a recipe passed down or a local producer to showcase.

Do you have any advice for aspiring chefs?

Be true to your vision and work hard to share it on the table with others. Learn as much as you can and never underestimate the value of international experience. It will open your eyes to a whole new way of thinking about food. My No.1 piece of advice is think about how you can lead the future, understand seasonality and make the most of your surroundings. Look locally first.

KATE SEARS

Sustainable home-roasted coffee comes to town

There’s nothing quite like walking into a café where beans are being roasted in-house. The machine-gleaming magnificence of the roaster itself, the aroma and the understanding that fresh is always best. The Mornington Peninsula offers up some of the best coffee you will find, but what makes it truly special is that many of the roasters are using ethically-sourced coffee beans from farmers who have been involved from the ground up. Sam Keck from Commonfolk Company in Mornington explains: “We support growers whose coffee crops grow naturally beneath a canopy of forest and without damaging any other flora or fauna. We’ve contributed to multiple projects improving the lives of vulnerable people and have purchased harvesting equipment, built processing facilities and trained farmers in Uganda and have even brewed coffee to combat youth homelessness here in Australia. Our customers are a key part of making sure ethically grown and delicious coffee is available on the Mornington Peninsula and farther afield.”

Inhaling the rich fragrance of freshly roasted ethically-sourced beans that have landed in our slice of paradise is the icing on the cake to an environmentally forward-thinking community. After all, we pride ourselves on being a leader in following proper practice in all our primary producing endeavours and love to source the best produce, whether home-grown or from farther afield. In this case, it’s coffee beans.

Blue Mini owner/operator Tracey Ross, who also roasts her own beans, continues: “I’ve been interested in roasting beans for ages because I love the science of it — how you can control the flavours, experiment with the different profiles and the style of brew. It’s been more complicated than I thought but I’m loving it. We have a real paddock-to-production ethos here at Blue Mini. We only roast small batches and are novices at this roasting game but are keen to learn. We buy our beans through International Coffee Traders, who develop mutually beneficial relationships with the primary producers and are also members of the International Coffee Alliance for Women, which recognises women’s input into the coffee industry.” 

So, adventurous coffee-seekers: whether it’s a quick mid-week pick-me-up or a relaxed weekend brew, you can choose. Sustainably-farmed? Ethically sourced? You choose, but always remember to enjoy.    

LIZ ROGERS

Here’s a challenge you can get your teeth into

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The home of Sorrento’s famous vanilla slice, Just Fine Food, is reopening its doors on Saturday, September 14, as the Vanilla Slice Café. To celebrate the new name and renovations and 30-plus years of awesome vanilla slices, the Vanilla Slice Café is holding an eating competition like no other. Some of Melbourne’s best competitive eaters will line up with greedy amateurs hoping to be crowned the Vanilla Slice Champion.

Café owner Sean G said: “With the help of Billy Boyd, founder of Competitive Eating Australia, we have got some competitive eaters that are willing to take up the challenge of eating as many of these very rich slices as they can in 10 minutes. It’s not easy to eat these quickly — the pastry is crispy and the filling soft. It’s going to get very messy.”

Cheering on the ‘eaters’ is Mornington Peninsula Shire Mayor David Gill, who said: “The Sorrento vanilla slice is one of the best in Australia and I am more than willing to add my support to any brave eater willing to attempt to eat even more than just one slice.”

Whether you call them ‘gâteau de mille-feuilles’ or ‘snot blocks’, stuffing them down your throat as fast as you can for 10 minutes is no easy feat. If you think you can stomach this gutsy competition, get ready to indulge in scrumptious slices of creamy heaven and register your interest by emailing [email protected] There is a prize of $100 for the winner and, more importantly, bragging rights as the Vanilla Slice Champion. 

If you prefer to eat your vanilla slice in a more sophisticated manner, these iconic Aussie treats will be freshly baked and ready to purchase with a percentage of sales going to RU OK? Day. Competitors and spectators alike can also enjoy free face-painting and live music throughout the morning. 

So come on down to Sorrento for the first vanilla slice eating competition — it’s the creamiest of its kind in Australia.  The Vanilla Slice Café is at 23 Ocean Beach Rd, Sorrento. Celebrations begin at 10am with the vanilla slice competition beginning at 11am.


PENINSULA UNCORKED

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A case for springtime chardonnay: once reviled by a brigade shouting “Anything but chardonnay”, this former superstar of the ‘80s is back and proving the Peninsula’s most reliable of varieties. This comes down to the diversity of micro-climates across the Peninsula, matched with chardonnay’s ability to apply itself with Grand Cru success in differing climates. Consider Europe alone — Champagne, Chablis, Burgundy and even recently in Italy. You’ve got to wonder why it ever went out of fashion. Here are some of my local favourites (2018 vintage labels unavailable).

Moorooduc Estate Devil Bend Creek Chardonnay 2018 $27

The perfect wine for oysters, grilled prawns and scallops in lemon butter sauce while entertaining friends or just yourself. In fact, you could easily enjoy this mostly by yourself. It’s full and round with a peach and honey edge that has intensity and length. Offering much more than the price suggests, it’s one of the steals of the 2018 vintage from one of the pioneer producers. 

Kerri Greens Pig Face Chardonnay 2018 $28

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From the Kerri Greens vineyard on Paringa Rd, established in 1998. It packs a punchier style but balances this with a beautiful line of acidity that drives a refreshing and lengthy finish. Fermented wild in the barrel, which adds some complexity, and more or less handled exclusively by the two legends behind the brand — young gun winemakers Tom McCarthy, of Quealy, and Lucas Blanck, whose family have been making wine in Alsace for about 200 years.

Dexter Chardonnay 2017 $40

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Few know the rolling landscapes of the Peninsula better than Tod Dexter. With stints at Yabby Lake and Stonier and now making wine under this personal label, Dexter is a master of chardonnay. Pound for pound it’s hard to find a better chardonnay in the country in this premium price point. All handpicked and whole bunch pressed then fermented into French oak puncheons. 2017 was a long and relatively cool one on the Mornington Peninsula, and that is reflective in the wine — long, cool and consistent. 




A CHAT WITH OUR FOOD, WINE & DINING EXPERTS
Sandra Tempone — Apple Espresso Café, Tully’s, 630 Moorooduc Highway, Mornington

Please tell us what’s on offer at Apple Espresso @ Tully’s. 

We focus on homemade dishes that excite our customers’ tastes. The team and I pride ourselves on making as much as we can in our kitchen from scratch using seasonal produce sourced directly from Tully’s; only using the highest quality and healthy foods available.

What can customers expect from your menu?

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Freshly cooked meals made to order. Quality and generous portions. Just like a beautiful homemade meal like Nonna used to make. 

Will there be any exciting additions to your menu for spring?

New menu items are available every week on the daily specials board. I cook and prepare according to the season. Sometimes some foods are not available and you have to think what else can I create with what’s in front of me. This is what makes my cooking different every day.

What’s your go-to trend to serve up that customers are loving?

The homemade feeling with a beautiful fireplace, great coffee and happy customers from the food and service. My famous homemade apple pie and lasagne are always a top hit, along with all the other homemade cakes and pastries.

Could you tell us more about Apple Espresso Café being Italian-inspired?

We focus on the Italian traditional foods. We try to stick away from the streamline ingredients, sourcing our sliced meats and cheeses from different regions of Italy. From our traditional antipasto platter to our Italian hot chocolate, these are always a crowd favourite. 

What’s the most popular items on your menu?

My homemade apple pie, lasagne and antipasto that’s made with all our fresh imported ingredients. All our menu items are made fresh from scratch, from our chicken schnitzel using free-range chicken made in the traditional Italian way.

What is your style in the kitchen?

Everything is made from the heart, making sure everyone follows the same passion to satisfy our lovely customers. Meals are prepared fresh and served hot for our customers to enjoy. When I’m organising the specials board, I like to see what’s in season, what is available and a lot of the time it depends on what’s in front of me, and I create something on the spot from just looking at the ingredients.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Dancing, dancing and more dancing! I love to entertain at home and being surrounded by friends and family, especially Christmas and Easter occasions.

What do you love most about what you do?

The creativity. The satisfaction you get when everything is plated up. That pays off all the hard work from behind the scenes, especially because I pride myself that everything is prepared from scratch.

Do you have any advice for aspiring chefs?

Patience, to be quick, lots of love and enjoy every moment.

KATE SEARS


PENINSULA UNCORKED

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For those of you in the depth of despair because it’s dark outside, today is a good day to remember that some places have much harsher, darker winters; stew is comfort food that deserves red wine; and Kalsarikännit (Kawl-SAW-ree-KAHN-eet) . . . huh? The last one? Well, it’s Finnish for ‘underwear drunk’ — or more precisely, drinking wine at home by yourself in your underpants. And because Finland is regarded as having the best education in the world as well as being ranked the happiest country in the world, who are we to argue with super-smart, super-happy people? Here are some winter-warming wines for home this winter:

100 Hunts Mornington Shiraz Mornington Peninsula 2016 $25

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Joe Vaughan has been growing top-quality grapes for most of the big names for as long as we can remember. That’s 1996, apparently, the year Dolly the sheep was cloned as his vineyard went in. Shiraz? Mornington? Well, those of us who live here know that north-facing (Tuerong) sites are pretty warm. This oozes silky black fruit and spice, but with that classic refreshing MP acidity backbone that adds crunch and keeps you coming back for more. 

Crittenden Estate Pinot Noir The Zumma Mornington Peninsula 2016 $57

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Wines made by the formidable Rollo Crittenden are all about the Burgundian ideal of restraint and elegance but with dashing power and concentration. Think cherries and berries all rolled up with silky cigar box tannins and taut focused length. It drinks really well right now but will reward those with enough patience to wait — which is probably not many of you. 

Brothers McLean Bràithrean' Cordon Cut Viognier Mornington Peninsula 2016 $42

Surprise and delight with this sweet local sensation. It’s a gold medal winner at the MP show and made by all-round good guys Peter and Alex McLean, who of course are brothers. It’s a perfect match for your late-night cheese platter or just to give you a shot of sugar and life so you can keep going after a great winter meal.  


By Tom Portet 

T: 0490 145 144

E: [email protected] 

W: www.rhwinecollective.com.au

Fancy a cold one?

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Hands up who loves a beer. Well, if you’re an amber ale aficionado then the good news is August 2 is International Beer Day, so you’ve got every excuse to raise your glass. As if you need one, right?

International Beer Day was founded in 2007 in the US by Jesse Avshalomov and falls on the first Friday of every August. Since its inception in Santa Cruz, California, it has become a world-wide ‘brew-tastic’ phenomenon that now includes 80 countries willing to down a delicious yeast-infused bevvy with friends and family in celebration of all its fermented fabulousness.

Whether you’re ready to sample a beer from overseas or a Mornington Peninsula independent brew, International Beer Day is a great excuse to buy each other a drink and try something new — after an old favourite, of course! 

The Brewers Association of Australia released a statement in May, saying: “From grain to glass, Aussie beer is a huge supplier of local jobs, a major economic driver and a serious revenue-raiser for government. The economic analysis by ACIL Allen Consulting for the Brewers Association of Australia shows that 84 per cent of all beer sold in Australia is made by Australians, that domestic production supports almost 103,000 full-time Australian jobs and generates $16.5 billion a year in economic activity.” Now that’s a lot of starch-broken-down-to-sugar money-making action. 

Australia is home to about 600 independent or craft beer breweries, and more 9.1 million Aussies celebrate the end of the week with a cold one. They crack a can, twist off a cap, suck on a schooner or pick up a pint to commemorate a special event or person, or to just relax away the working week. 

Where will you be on Friday, August 2, to unite with beer-lovers across the globe? Wherever you are, have one for me.

Bottoms up!

LIZ ROGERS

Jetty Rd Brewery - Review

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“Beer-brewing. Local produce. Wide open space and plenty of it. If it isn’t the industrial kick-your-heels-up concrete floors, copper lighting or ceilings that reach for the sky that pull you in, it will be the sense of immediate connection with Dromana’s ‘old-skool’ sensibilities and the down-to-earth friendliness that Jetty Road Brewery delivers.” 

This is how Liz Rogers introduced you to Jetty Road Brewery in our first issue of Eat.Drink.

Jetty Road has gone from strength to strength since opening.  They started with one beer — their Pale Ale — on tap; they now have 15 beers on tap!

Today the place is kicking.  Here it is all about the beer, but it is certainly also about the food.

A recent update of their entire menu sees a grazing menu and mains that are designed for sharing.

We popped in on a recent rainy, windy Wednesday to see the place filled with locals, all enjoying great food and drinks in a toasty environment.

We started with house-made dips served with crusty local bread and a paddle of beers.

The paddle included Choc Vanilla Stout, which tasted like Easter — all rich and chocolatey — then Dark Vader, with a play on words from its release date of May 4. This was an excellent dark lager.  The Berry Gose Sour was fruity and refreshing. According to our host: “Women love this one.”  I generally don’t drink beer, but I did have a favourite on this paddle. It was called G & T and yes, it does contain gin.  This was a refreshing beer, perfect for summer or a start to your meal.

The dips went so well with the beers.

Our crispy calamari fritti came out next. It was served with smoked heirloom tomato, pickled fennel and rocket salad.  Delicious!

Next we shared the Middle Eastern spiced lamb shoulder for four. OMG, this was awesome!  Delicious spiced lamb literally fell apart when we carved it, and it was served with sides of char-grilled corn with a chipotte mayo and grated pecorina cheese; herb-roasted carrots with sesame salt; beer-battered chips; and an oven-baked pumpkin and spinach salad with feta, pine nuts and a balsamic reduction.

My lips are watering remembering this main course. It will set you back $98 — but remember, that’s between four of you.

So amber fluid aficionados, come to Jetty Road Brewery to relax, reinvigorate and have a corker of a time while doing it. It’s all about the beer and making sure everyone revels in the atmosphere that is fuelled by the love of local community and harvest, having a top-notch get-together and then coming back for more. 

This is the place where Australian public barbecue-maker Christies used to pump out Aussie grills to the rest of the nation, and you can still feel the grind of innovation and production within these four very tall walls where celebration is the main game. 

The team at Jetty Road Brewery dedicate themselves to producing beer and food that never lets you down in the flavour or satisfaction departments. 

Whether you’re hunkering down by the Jetty Road Brewery fireside with the fresh sea breeze blowing across the bay or spilling into the beer garden surrounded by apple crates, festoon lighting and gorgeous sunsets throughout the summer months, a Jetty Road Brewery experience comes packed with vitality and spontaneity.  Generations of humans meet and merge to discover new friendships they never knew existed because everyone is welcome at Jetty Road Brewery. Butcher block devotees can sample tender lamb, beef and chicken perfection complemented by a range of fresh-is-best seasonal vegetables and sauces.  If you’re more of a pescatarian at heart, calamari and fresh fish choices deliver, while vegan and vegetarian options rotate regularly. 

Jetty Road Brewery beer is available at outlets throughout Victoria, but the sense of belonging to a community forged by a respect for native produce and its people can only be found down south where the good life grows.

JETTY ROAD BREWERY

A: 12-14 Brasser Ave, Dromana

T: 5987 2802

W: jettyroad.com.au

FB: jettyroadbrewery

INSTA: jettyroadbrewery

Ritchies bakery takes the cake

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Ritchies’ Dromana supermarket is the toast of the town after taking out the Bakery Department of the Year award at the IGA Awards of Excellence on the Gold Coast last month.  Judges said of the bakery: “The bakery department at Dromana offers a wide variety of fresh, high-quality baked goods, including an exceptional range of artisan breads. The store also boasts an outstanding range of mini specialty cream cakes, specialty slices and macaroons and one of the nation's most impressive ranges of gluten-free products.”

Ritchies’ win was one of two for Victorian IGA supermarkets — Boccaccio in Balwyn won the Delicatessen Department of the Year. The awards were judged on a range of criteria, including customer service, community pride, department excellence, brand values, sales, profits, merchandising and the store’s overall performance.  

Scott Marshall, the Metcash chief executive of supermarkets, said: “We’ve been blown away by the quality of entries this year and the Victorian winners are no exception. These stores have not only delivered phenomenal experiences to the shoppers who come through their doors, but also go over and above for the benefit of their local community and the independent retail grocery industry.” 

The awards recognise and celebrate the achievements of independent retailers across the country — not only the IGA stores that are an integral part of their communities, but also the teams who work in the stores to put the heart and soul back into shopping and set the benchmark for other IGA supermarkets across the retail network. 

FORK TALK - A CHAT WITH OUR FOOD, WINE & DINING EXPERTS
Shane Mahon and Tammy Gunn — The Good Food Bakery, Shop 4, 209 Mornington-Tyabb Rd, Mornington

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What inspired you to launch a gluten-free bakery café?

Tammy: Shane had decided to semi-retire and maybe get a hobby farm in regional Victoria. But the universe just wouldn’t let it happen. Over the Christmas period in 2018 we stopped to reflect on the year and what would be next for us. Just eight weeks later we had signed a lease for the shop. It wasn’t a difficult decision. We figured Shane could do the cooking side and I could do the marketing and front-of-house side. We were inspired by my niece, Ebony, who is a coeliac. Shane was up for a challenge so we thought, ‘Let’s make the bakery gluten-free’. We understand the cross-contamination issues and we were passionate that the baked goods had to taste as good or better than their gluten counterparts. Our baked donuts for example are really different — they’re like a cross between a donut and a cake. They’re one of a kind, something you wouldn’t get in a normal bakery, but something you’d enjoy in a speciality bakery.

What’s your go-to trend to serve up that customers are loving?

Tammy: Our vanilla slice, oven-baked donuts, chocolate eclairs and in-house pies, pastries, and sausage rolls are sell-outs. The chicken avocado wraps and sausage rolls regularly sell out too. After only two weeks we needed new staff and another pastry chef. We had one customer take a whole tray of curry steak pies back on the Spirit of Tasmania to his home after he tasted one. He said that it was the best pie that he’d ever tasted. We started with three pies; we now have 13. The pastry is dairy-free too for those with other intolerances. 

What can customers expect from your menu?

Shane: We don’t have a set menu; it changes daily. I create new little inventions all of the time. I focus on fresh baked goods so that there’s so much choice and it’s all gluten-free, from pies and pastries to sandwiches and sweet treats. Normally, people with coeliac disease or a gluten intolerance have a tiny selection to choose from, and here we have the whole store. We’ve had people in tears hugging Tammy when they hear that the whole place is gluten-free. We’re just normal people. It’s more than just making money; we’re here to make people feel good. 

Is it challenging cooking with gluten-free flours and making sure there’s no cross-contamination? 

Shane: We just make sure that we scrutinise every ingredient. We check it all, from cinnamon to dried fruit. Working with gluten-free flours was difficult at the start, but not now. I’ve worked it out. Like everything in life, you work it out. It’s not easy but you do it. I make the best product I can.

What is your style in the kitchen?

Tammy: He doesn’t stop. He’s very hard-working, and he’s a wizard in the kitchen. His style is ‘Shane Style’ and no one else’s. He’s always happy to chat to customers and answer their questions. 

Shane: The kitchen is my domain. 

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Shane: It used to be the gym, but not anymore. My gym’s here. I do like to take my American staffy for 5km walks and watch Collingwood play on the telly next to the open fire.

What do you love most about what you do?

Shane: I like seeing customers happy with my products. When I see a big smile on their faces I know they’re happy with it and that they’ll come back. I also like customers to come and talk to me if there is a problem. It’s not rocket science. When you’ve been in the business so long you know what the customer needs and wants. But going gluten-free was a whole new dynamic. It became interesting. Cooking dairy-free enhanced my skills too. It’s important to understand everyone’s needs these days. I had cooked gluten-free before but never at this capacity.

Any advice for aspiring pastry chefs?

Shane: The sky is the limit. Don’t stop learning. You can never stop learning. You also have to have passion.

KATE SEARS


Bring on the brilliant buffet selection

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Looking for a place where the food is great and the price is just right? Then head down to The New Atrium in Safety Beach for an all-you-can-eat buffet brimming with first-class flavour.

The New Atrium is well-known for providing Safety Beach residents with a scrumptious assortment of dining alternatives and entertainment. With the recent launch of the brilliant buffet selection offering something for everyone, including seniors, adults and the kids, this friendly and modern eatery mixes it up once again with a wide selection of dishes for meat-eaters and vegetarians alike. 

Open for quick and delicious dining on Thursdays from 5pm until 8pm and on Sundays from 2pm until 7.30pm, The New Atrium’s all-you-can-eat buffet is ideal for late-in-the-week family dining or a relaxed Sunday soiree with out-of-towners or friends from around the corner. Adults dine for $25, seniors for $20, kids under 12 for $10 and little ones under three eat for free.

Bring it on!    

THE NEW ATRIUM RESTAURANT AND FUNCTION CENTRE

A: 10 Country Club Drive, Safety Beach

T: 5981 8123

W: www.thenewatrium.com.au

FB: thenewatrium


Georgie Bass head chef tastes success again

Michael Cole is the 2019 Australian Professional Chef of the Year.  Photo by Sydney Low

Michael Cole is the 2019 Australian Professional Chef of the Year. Photo by Sydney Low

The heat is rising in the kitchen at Georgie Bass Café & Cookery in Flinders after head chef Michael Cole was named the 2019 Australian Professional Chef of the Year. It was a lucky last-minute entry that saw this award-winning chef win the prestigious title and take home cash and valuable prizes. Michael was under pressure to perform not only because he won the title in 2017, but also because he was Australia’s representative in this year’s Bocuse d’Or global culinary contest. Michael didn’t waiver in winning his first heat, then the semi-final and on to the grand final ahead of 32 other finalists.

“I couldn’t be happier,” said Michael. “I really wanted to test myself and see how far I had come since I won Chef of the Year in 2017. I think it’s a great way to benchmark myself against the best of the best in this industry, and competing inspires me to be more creative and disciplined.”

Georgie Bass Café & Cookery is renowned for its top-quality cooking classes that run every Saturday and are limited to 11 participants, ensuring everyone receives personalised tuition from a team of industry-leading chefs. Alternatively, gather your friends, family or corporate colleagues for an event to remember in the café’s purpose-built Miele kitchen as your private group has a sensational sensory experience full of tastes that will delight and skills to replicate at home.

In the café it’s all about offering fresh, local and seasonal produce, using the best ingredients from regional farmers, producers and fish suppliers in simple yet delicious dishes. Offering breakfast and lunch dishes daily, it’s paddock-to-plate in this modern venue opposite the Flinders Hotel. 

GEORGIE BASS CAFÉ & COOKERY

A: 30 Cook St, Flinders

T: 5989 0031

Open: 7am-2pm daily

W: georgiebass.com.au

INSTA: georgiebasscafe


It’s easy being green

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Miss Green’s colourful vegetarian dishes, vibrant smoothies and tasty salad bar options have generated a passionate following in Red Hill and beyond. Miss Green Red Hill has been serving up fresh salads made on site daily, like the popular peanut noodle and Moroccan spiced cauliflower salad. However, in April, Connor Sahely and Maddie Rotar took over the reins from Adam and Michelle, of Johnny Ripe Pastries, where Maddie had worked for five years. They’ve continued to serve up the rainbow with gusto ever since. 

At just 19 and 20 years old respectively, Maddie and Connor certainly know how to delight the tastebuds of their customers.  The salads on offer change seasonally, and customers can build their own salad bowl to create their own delicious combination. While you’re there, pick up a cold-pressed juice or smoothie to go with your bowl of goodness. Locally made muffins, homemade dips and chilli, nachos, avocado and mushroom pesto toast offer hearty winter warmers — not to mention a nourishing soup of the day and fresh homemade vegetable pasties made daily — in addition to a sweet treat of homemade cashew cream and baked pears.

Their wholefood menu is vegan; however, coffee options include cow’s milk. Incidentally, their coffee of choice is Little Rebel Coffee, and customers are offered a 50c discount if they bring their own cup.

With the whole menu designed to be taken away in bio-packaging, it’s perfect for those hectic days. Or sit back on the benches next to the vivid mural by Mornington Peninsula artist Meredith Gaston. With gluten-free and refined sugar-free options, you won’t want to miss this up-and-coming health food café. Maddie never stops inventing, so you’re sure to discover a different item on the menu every two weeks, and with a new menu predicted to be released in spring, this foodie destination will become your new local. 

KATE SEARS

MISS GREEN RED HILL

A: 1/1016 Mornington-Flinders Rd, Red Hill
FB: missgreenredhill
INSTA: missgreenredhill

A little pot of gold in the kitchen

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By now you would have noticed curcumin popping up in your supplement stores and chemist’s. It’s by no means a new food, but its beneficial properties have been gaining momentum of late — think turmeric lattes but with more gusto.

Curcumin is a bright yellow chemical produced by curcuma longa plants. Turmeric contains many plant substances, but one group — curcuminoids — has the greatest health-promoting effects. Three notable curcuminoids are curcumin, desmethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin. Of these, curcumin is the most active and most beneficial to health, and as the principal active curcuminoid of turmeric — a member of the ginger family zingiberaceae — curcumin is growing in popularity. It also represents about 2-8 per cent of most turmeric preparations and gives turmeric its distinctive colour and flavour. Turmeric is often found in food colouring, food flavouring, cosmetics, and as a herbal supplement.

The anti-rheumatic and anti-arthritic effects of curcumin may help provide temporary relief from the pain and inflammation associated with arthritic conditions. Curcumin supplementation may reduce pain, joint stiffness, mobility support, and decrease swelling. It’s traditionally used in Western herbal medicine to relieve digestive discomfort and it’s one of nature’s best-known herbs against inflammation. Curcumin may help support normal healthy brain physiology and function, and may even support a healthy cardiovascular system by encouraging the normal oxidation of lipoproteins. It’s also said to possibly have effects on wound-healing due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities.

As with any supplement and new medication, it’s best to check with your doctor first.

Burger Off and let the bunfight begin

Frankston Mayor Michael O’Reilly serves Youth Mayor Aaron Quarrell a burger during Frankston City Council’s Burger Off competition. Photo by Steve Brown

Frankston Mayor Michael O’Reilly serves Youth Mayor Aaron Quarrell a burger during Frankston City Council’s Burger Off competition. Photo by Steve Brown

Flex that burger grip and bring your appetite. This month, Frankston City Council is encouraging venues to heat up their kitchens for its inaugural winter promotion campaign Burger Off — and you’re invited to be part of the battle of the burgers.

The Council’s burger-loving team has secured more than 30 restaurants and cafes across Greater Frankston that have created a mouthwatering burger menu for you to discover and devour.  So resist the urge to get food delivered, and get out and join the burger movement.

From August 1-31, you can check the menu of those venues involved, choose the burger that suits you, taste it, and vote. And repeat! Because why wouldn’t you want to try them all? Anyone who purchases an eligible burger during the promotion period can register and vote between now and September 8, so those who are still in their burger coma after the event ends have got an extra week to vote. 

There’s even an incentive for the voters, besides indulging on limited edition juicy burgers. Throughout the campaign there will be random voter prizes and an Instagram photography contest where you can win vouchers to attend participating restaurants and cafes. So make sure you are getting social with your burger journey and tag @burgeroff_frankston and use hashtag #EnjoyEveryBurger to be in the running to win. 

The burger with the highest score at the end of voting will be crowned Frankston City’s best — so all the power is in your hands . . . and mouth. 

Visit burgeroff.com.au to browse the menu and follow the event on Facebook for regular updates or visit Instagram @burgeroff_frankston. Once you’ve tasted a burger, simply register on the website and follow the instructions to vote and rate your burger.


PENINSULA UNCORKED By Tom Portet

There are a lot of big-name cellar doors that you know on the Peninsula, fantastic pioneers of viticulture that don’t need much of an introduction to our local readers — Paringa, Elgee Park, Crittenden and Stonier, to name just a few. Lesser-known than all these are the micro-producers who bubble at the fringes and often pop up with stellar releases that deserve to be found. True nuggets of gold! Their wines are produced from less than 20 tonnes of fruit so are obviously hard to get, but they are great once found and are to be enjoyed as unicorn wines with your fellow wine-lover. 

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Allies Assemblage Pinot Noir 2018 $32

Allies was born in 2003 by David Chapman, a former chef and sommelier who was working at Moorooduc Estate under the tutelage of master maker Richard McIntyre. This is his three-vineyard blend, while upstairs he has site-specific wines each named after the townships of Tuerong, Merricks and Balnarring. Production may be small, but David is full of energy and few manage to articulate the specificity of site once the wine is in glass as well as ‘Chappy’. 

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Garagiste Le Stagiaire Riesling 2018 $30

Winemaker Barney Flanders notes that this is “way better than Alsace” — but what would he know? Actually, this is pretty good. The fruit from these 30-year-old vines is hand-picked and whole-bunch pressed to old barriques, and in 2018 Barney has made a trio of delights under the increasingly impressive Le Stagiaire label. The fermentation is spontaneous and the wine spends eight months nourishing on its ferment lees before bottling. It’s a cracking release for sure.

Bellingham Estate Pinot Noir 2018 $35

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A real hinterland insider’s wine, the Bellingham Estate vineyard perches high in Main Ridge facing perfectly northeast in a swathe of sunshine. A tiny plot of 1ha, it was planted in 1996 and is really coming to the fore of maturity, showing fruit presence and a lovely silky texture. Pinot noir at this level cannot be fluked, so it is testament to owner Ian Walker that his well-thought-out and precise nature is brimming in his wine.

Fireside winter family fun at Pier 10

Photo by Edward Wischer Photography

Photo by Edward Wischer Photography

Known for bringing family and friends together, Pier 10 is set to reveal sensational foodie-first offerings to see out the winter months with its two-course special that hits the spot. 

For just $35 you can satisfy your soul with house-spiced calamari or indulge in some delicious pulled pork spring rolls while watching the weather whirl and twirl from inside this cosy secluded restaurant. Or why not try the house-made melt-in-your-mouth gnocchi or slow-braised lamb with a Pier 10 winter blend of cabernet and shiraz? Whether you’re after an entrée and main, or main and dessert, this Pier 10 deal gives you more value than ever before with flavourful winter-warming dishes at a competitive price. 

Pier 10’s cellar door offers year-round specials, like the estate chardonnay and pinot noir. Come in for a fun and unique tasting experience and slip into the local sangiovese, Heathcote Shiraz, or be tempted by a sparkling pinot and the new-release sparkling shiraz. 

Pier 10 will be on a break for the school holidays. Yes, you’ll have to wait until July 18 to sample some of the Peninsula’s best winter food and wine at Pier 10 Restaurant and Cellar Door, but it will be worth it. Bring the whole clan to converse, dine and drink the dark skies away.

PIER 10 RESTAURANT & CELLAR DOOR

A: 10 Shoreham Rd, Shoreham

T: 5989 8848

W: www.pier10wine.com.au

FB: pier10wine

INSTA: pier10restaurant / pier10winery

Many great things come in little packages

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Introducing the newest member of the Polperro Family. From the team that brought Polperro Winery, HotHut Yoga and Amelie & Franks Fashion Boutique to the Mornington Peninsula — Many Little Bar & Bistro has been inviting us to indulge since opening last December.

Harvested from the established rich heritage of Polperro Winery (and its owners Sam Coverdale and Emma Phillips), Many Little is a new bistro, bar, cellar door and meeting place guaranteed to charm local residents and visitors alike. Drop by for lunch from Friday to Sunday, a weekend breakfast, or a dazzling dinner seven nights a week (takeaway dinner is available every night).

Many Little Bar & Bistro owes its success to a passion for sustainability, local produce and high-quality products and a belief in celebrating the land and the nourishment it provides. The menu is matched to the relaxed, convivial vibe and designed to comfort and nourish. While you take in the rustic styling and earthy tones of the bistro, linger over classic comfort food such as chicken schnitzel and spaghetti bolognese, or step away from the homely choices and dabble in such sophisticated options as quail, or scallops.

The cosy bar set by the open fire is the perfect place to explore the locally crafted brews on tap, imported luxury spirits and cocktails. Many Little offers a specially curated wine list, showcasing local Victorian producers, as well as a cellar door offering the opportunity to experience a small selection of micro producers from the Peninsula including, of course, Polperro and Even Keel wines. BYO wine is also offered every Sunday night!

A rotating specials board of dishes and cocktails means there will always be something new to experience for those who visit weekly, and the takeaway window is open over the weekend to serve up locally roasted coffee and pastries for those on the go.

Like all projects undertaken by Sam and Emma, Many Little has been lovingly created with meticulous attention to detail and an intrinsic understanding of what the community needs. Designed specifically with locals in mind, Many Little is the product of a shared passion for an experience that connects patrons to its source.

MANY LITTLE BAR & BISTRO

A: 2-5/159 Shoreham Rd, Red Hill South

T: 5989 2471

W: www.manylittle.com.au

FB: ManyLittleBarandBistro

INSTA: manylittlebarandbistro


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