A CHAT WITH OUR FOOD, WINE & DINING EXPERTS Ash Bradshaw – Pelikan Société, 2 Marine Pde, Hastings

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Tell us about yourself and Pelikan Société.

My background is of Greek/English heritage. This upbringing paved my way for a love of good cultured food and wine. My menus are classically inspired with an innovative and creative design – 80 per cent comfort, 20 per cent surprise! I’ve spent time with Ashley Palmer-Watts at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal in London and worked in Shannon Bennett’s Kitchen at Vue De Monde. I also spent time at Manchester United FC and the prestigious Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club. Pelikan Société is a family-run restaurant. Toula Bradshaw, Michael Greener and I opened the doors in November 2013. 

Cute name — how did it come about?

Opening our restaurant in the middle of Pelican Park, it only felt right to embrace the image and name of the pelican. These beautiful birds attract many people to Hastings each year, and we wanted to create the perfect environment on the Hastings foreshore where people could gather to eat and enjoy a coffee. 

What makes Pelikan Société so special?

Our amazing staff. We have quality individuals who strive to offer the best customer service, while the talented chefs consistently put up unique plates using local seasonal produce. Oh, and the view of Western Port Bay!

 Please describe the ambience.

With a light-filled dining room and 180-degree views of Western Port Bay, Pelikan Société paints a picture of tranquility. Our open kitchen is a hive of activity for all guests to experience.

What’s your favourite local produce to create with?

Local wild and foraged mushrooms in winter! I just love pine mushrooms and I try to create as many dishes as possible during the small seasonal window like local pine mushrooms with truffled polenta and chestnuts and taleggio, or wild rabbit gnocchi with pine mushrooms and pancetta.

We hear you’re the ideal space for functions.

Yes, we are. With a picturesque beachside setting, our venue offers a large indoor and outdoor function area, perfect for someone’s special day. We have function packages that cater for all types and styles of events — corporate events, Christmas parties, birthdays — and we work with the customer to personalise each package to cater to their needs and requests. We also provide outsourced catering upon request.

When are you open and do clients need to book?

Pelikan Société is open seven days a week from 7.30am until 4pm. Customers are recommended to book over weekends and public holidays, but you can walk in at other times. 

PELIKAN SOCIÉTÉ

A: 2 Marine Pde, Hastings

T: 5909 8132

W: pelikansociete.net

 

Treiner helps players reach their goals

Treiner is the simplest way to connect with a safe and experienced football coaching professional within your area and budget to help you reach your potential in football. Treiner is the only football-specific coach-booking platform in Australia and also looks to focus on the holistic development of players, offering not only personal football coaches but also those with expertise in futsal, goalkeeping, specific positions, video analysis, sports science and sports psychology.

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It aims to help improve the Australian football landscape and culture by providing and addressing solutions to previous problems faced in this space by both players and coaches. Now coaches only need to focus on their coaching and improving players they work with, as well as the ability to increase the number of players they can improve.

Players now have a wider and informed choice to decide between various coaches based on their needs and wants, such as playing and coaching experience, qualifications, area of expertise, cost, availability, location and reviews.

Treiner is Australia’s premier private coaching service, providing football players of all skill levels the opportunity to increase their abilities, learn new skills and become better players. If your game needs help or you just want the benefits that a professional coaching staff can provide, let Treiner help you achieve your goals today.

Based in Melbourne, Treiner provides quality one-on-one soccer or small-group coaching that can help players up their game and become more rounded no matter what position they play. Treiner offers training to all age and skill levels and is dedicated to providing a quality coaching experience for every client.

One-on-one and small-group technical training has been part of the private football coaching scene since players and parents started to identify that they needed more than club and/or school coaching in a team environment if they wanted to reach their full potential. With many players dreaming of becoming professional footballers, there were a lot of coaches and providers who took advantage of a lack of information publicly available.

Players would need to contact coaches, check to see if they were available, and find a location; sessions were doubled-booked or cancelled late; there were no shows from players and coaches, and no review/feedback system.

Treiner aims to professionalise all this and use the years of experience to provide a professional, smooth service for both player and football coaching professionals through its simple, easy to use website treiner.com.au

 

Family and friends help Lily’s dream come true By Kate Sears

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Three months ago, Mornington Peninsula couple Jacqui Lanarus and Gab Banay lost a sparkle in their lives when their 20-year-old daughter, Lily Phillips, was killed in a 4WD accident in Torrumbarry, Victoria. After seeing more than 750 people attend the former Padua student’s ‘celebration of life’ at Jetty Road Brewery, ‘the mums’ were prompted to pursue Lily’s hopes and dreams.

“She was gorgeous and had a clear picture in her mind about her ideals,” said step-mother Gab. “She wanted to have a bush block, free-range egg farm and a beauty salon. Phase 1 is Yolky Dokey Eggs.”

Gab, Jacqui, their family and friends opened Lil’s Farm in Somerville on Sunday, May 13, on what would have been Lily’s 21st birthday. The venture has two arms: Yolky Dokey free-range eggs, and a camping space for her friends on the property. Lily’s friends have been helping build an outdoor kitchen where they’ll hold weekly dinners for Lily, and next on the agenda is construction of a composting toilet and shower.

“She always wanted to have chickens,” Gab said. “She loved the outdoors, 4WD and camping with her friends. It’s such a good plan. We’re kicking ourselves that we didn’t do it with Lily. It’s been a cathartic process that keeps us busy. It’s been an outlet for her wide circle of friends and family to create something for her and to think of her while they do it. It’s a grieving process.”

Lil’s Farm includes six paddocks with six chicken caravans which enable the chooks to roam free during the day, and automated doors will close at night as the LED lights guide the chickens inside to roost. As a second line of defence, alpacas and maremma dogs have been bought as livestock guardians to protect the brood.

Gab and Jacqui have witnessed a profound response to Lily’s death as the farm has become a team project for those whose lives were touched by her. A family friend, Jack Miers, has created a logo for Yolky Dokey and her friends turn up in utes full of equipment and give a helping hand regularly. Gab admits that she and Jacqui wouldn’t have been able to complete the project without everyone’s support.

If you’re interested in placing an egg order for delivery, call Gab on 0458 130 597 or email [email protected]. Make sure to watch this farm grow on Instagram at @yolkydokey. Donations are welcome until Wednesday, June 13 via pozible.com/project/support-lil-s-yolky-dokey-egg-dream.

 

Local Angell on Sorrento settlement By Liz Rogers

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This winter is shaping up to be a ripper with Peninsula-connected people launching books that have been written with drive and desire to tell it like it is. Talented folk from the region include former Sorrento resident Barbara M Angell, who has just launched her book at Antipodes Bookshop & Gallery in Ocean Beach Rd with a Welcome to Country by Boon Wurrung elder Carolyn Briggs.

The Other End of Nowhere is 524 pages of engrossing history about the first European settlement on the Mornington Peninsula. On April 24, 1803, Lieutenant-Governor David Collins left England at the head of a fleet known as The Port Phillip Expedition with 450 people on board. The First Fleet had sailed only 16 years earlier. The expedition’s purpose was to form a penal settlement and it landed on the Peninsula not far from what is now sensational Sorrento. The new arrivals knew nothing of the more than 40,000-year history of the Boon Wurrung people of Port Phillip. This book is the story that ensued.

Barbara talks. “My father was a great history buff and would tell me stories of the first European settlement and Sullivan Bay. There were six graves there and one small notice board with parchment on it then. Nothing more, no houses, no paths. I became fascinated. I could imagine the soldiers and convicts arriving. The Indigenous peoples. I could see it all before my eyes as I looked out on Sullivan Bay.”

She continues. “As a kid holidaying in Webster St (Sorrento) when there were open paddocks, we’d roam around in a little gang in bare feet and explore the area. My parents bought the land for £47 and we camped until all the relatives pitched in to help us build our house. We’d climb the cliffs at Jubilee Point, and St Paul’s Rocks. My cousin and I even sailed across the bay when we were 12. There was such freedom. Over to Mud Islands and back. My parents came in 1945 and died here. I headed to London where I worked as an actress and writer for 20 years in theatre and television. I became interested in writing about the Collins Settlement in England and did my six years of research in the British Museum Manuscript Department, the Records Office at Kew, or going through original letters and historical documents in local archives all over England but kept my first draft in the bottom of a drawer for years until a dear friend of mine passed away. She made me promise I’d finish it — and I did. It took me this last five years to knock it into shape.” 

So hunker down and read up on the Peninsula’s Indigenous and European history by the fireside this winter. It’s time to take a peek into where we’ve come from and who was here before us. It’s available at Antipodes and at Farrells in Mornington.

 

Message in the making By Liz Rogers

Marco Gonzalez does art. This Spanish-born Mornington street and graphic artist comes from a raw aesthetic where expression surges from a reactive and reflective place. Deep down inside. And it has to surface.

We chat in his studio space in Co.Co Place on the industrial side of town. Still operating his graphic art business in Barcelona, where he directs his 20-plus staff from our medium-size seaside town halfway across the world, we chat about life, family, new and old beginnings. I wonder why an Antoni Gaudi (Catalan Modernist architect) native chooses to relocate on the Mornington Peninsula when he could be on the streets of Barcelona under the cover of darkness wheeling and dealing in paint, colour and freedom. He explains.

“The lifestyle was appealing. I met my Australian wife overseas and we have two young children who are three and six years old. It was time to come here for family. It was her turn and I like it a lot. It’s all new to me and I’m still near the sea.”

This is how his love affair with art started. “I was always in a bubble. I lived a long way from the city centre and was always painting and drawing even from a very young age. I was fascinated by the concept of using style as a message. One of the great things about street art is you just feel it and do it. You can be anonymous. It was exciting to be involved in the street art scene in Europe in the early ‘90s because it was quite evolved, and you earned respect quickly. We painted in beautiful places, abandoned factories and gypsy camps. Street art is a great conversation starter. But then I was becoming well-known (Milano show in 2000) and you started to need a permit and it was time to move on. I bought my first computer in 1996/7 and began teaching myself illustration. It was a natural progression.”

This instinctive artist has dabbled in set development and sculpting but is most contented while designing and painting. He is currently thriving on texturing and layering acrylics on to canvas while exploring colour splurges and fine fluid lines in still-life drawing classes.  

“When I was 14 my teacher spoke with my parents and suggested I go to art school. This is where I began my formal training at 15. It was 50km away from my home, but I went. My parents were always incredibly supportive of this obsession I had with creating and producing. It was all I did. It is still the same way. It’s my happy place.”

Got the message?

 

Forum provides food for thought

The 2018 Mornington Peninsula Food Forum, held at the Balnarring Town Hall in late April, was a great success with 140 new and existing producers, restaurateurs, food retailers and council representatives coming together to discuss key issues and opportunities for food production on the Mornington Peninsula.

Emma and Tom Lane, the owners of The Farm at Byron Bay, discussed why they believed tourists were so important to agriculture and how to maintain the integrity of tourist hot spots, while a rich discussion MC’d by Richard Cornish on how businesses can better distribute produce across the Peninsula plus tourism insights from some of the Peninsula’s agritourism royalty such as Red Hill Cherries and Pure Peninsula Honey entertained and enthralled attendees.

Guest speaker Emma Germano from I Love Farms entertained the Peninsula produce-mad crowd with a fast-paced and honest talk on the challenges her family faced to keep their farm profitable after a feast of produce provided by Mr Hall Catering. 

Jenny McAuley, of Red Hill Truffles, said the forum was a great opportunity to learn more about what was going on in the Peninsula food economy. “It was great to get off farm and connect with some producers I’d never met before,” Jenny said. “I learnt a lot.”

Positive feedback was flowing around the room and there were plenty of suggestions for future topics of interest.

Looks like the Mornington Peninsula Food Forum may be a permanent part of the foodie landscape here on the Peninsula. Watch this space.

Raise your glasses — VineHop is back

Peninsula VineHop Festival creator Lisa McGregor is hopping with happiness after a Regional Events Fund grant guaranteed the festival’s return in November for a second year.

The State Government and Visit Victoria grant is a ringing endorsement of the Seaford resident’s initiative. Just over a year ago Lisa took on two of the biggest projects of her life — caring for her newborn baby, Ferne, and putting on the festival to celebrate the premium range of beer, wine and cider created on the Mornington Peninsula.

“There was a significant risk involved with putting on my own event for the first time, especially with a new family, but I couldn’t get this idea out of my head,” Lisa said.

“I knew that the Peninsula needed its own version of the Winery Walkabout, but unlike the festival in the northeast, I didn’t want to just focus on wine. We also have outstanding beers and ciders being produced in this region.”

The inaugural festival last November attracted more than 3000 people, who boarded affordable shuttle and tour bus services to travel between participating wineries and breweries without any drink-driving concerns. And with food trucks, DJs and live music at each venue, the festival vibes continued throughout the day.

“Travelling between each venue on buses is not only a safe way to experience the unique tastes and offerings available across the Mornington Peninsula — it’s quite fun.”

Lisa is an events manager with more than 15 years’ experience, so she’s no stranger to co-ordinating and running major events, but this was the first time she had initiated and funded a major event of her own.

Dates for this year’s festival and the full line-up of participating venues will be announced soon. You can sign up for notifications at VineHopfestival.com.au

 

Generational earth By Liz Rogers

Jillian Holmes-Smith is lucky, and she knows it. Her family has been in Red Hill for seven generations and it is this connection to the rich Red Hill soil and the produce it supports that makes her the woman she is today. Partly anyway.

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Let’s begin at her Peony Estate in Arthurs Seat Rd. Originally grown for more than 2000 years in China, the peony is a flowering plant in the genus Paeonia — and Jill loves them. When you stroll down her long driveway past her sister’s truffle farm to the left and the acres of free farming land that have been passed on to her by her father, Ray Holmes, you are taken back to a time when living on the land might have been brutally wonderful. Simpler, but harsh at the same time. Set back is her and her husband Philip’s wonderful home and her prized Peony Estate, where thousands of peonies can be found behind a stunning 200-year-old gate from Egypt. It’s like you’ve been transported through a time portal where ancient premium Peninsula land melds with modern-day sensitivities under the umbrella of unobtrusively good taste.

She explains. “Herbaceous peonies are sold as bare root rhizomes with a few buds (or eyes). They love the sun. The Chinese have a saying about them: ‘The first year they sleep, the second year they creep and the third year they leap!’ Our peonies are ready to flower, and each plant can produce multiple blooms. It’s a wait and see campaign. It’s been hard work. We actually hand-ice each plant. (The flower buds need ice to develop, and if it melts during June and July it needs to be replaced.) We are looking forward to seeing the results.”

The land that grows these gorgeous flowers is magnificent. Jill’s great-great-grandparents Robert and Eliza Sheehan purchased the Red Hill property from James McKeown in 1886 — although Jill’s father is quick to mention that the original inhabitants of the land were the Bun Wurrung people in his wonderful historical record of the family’s history entitled Red Hill Ancestors, dedicated to his wife, Pat. McKeown had planted a large grove of European trees around his home from seeds provided by the Melbourne Botanical Gardens and many of them still stand today. 

The Sheehans came from Victoria’s Western District in search of a cooler climate after leaving their farm in Murtoa to their eldest son, and began clearing the land until they invited their daughter, Olive Holmes, and her large family to join them. They milled the timber, planted vegetables and fruit trees and had cattle grazing. Now, 132 years later, we see Jill and her sister, Jenny, tending to the land once again. Jill continues. “The remaining 80 acres (32ha) we have is still being farmed today — albeit very differently. The adjacent land formally known as Endeavour Gully is now owned by the National Trust and makes up the largest continuous treed area on the whole of the Mornington Peninsula.”

As you drive through Red Hill you’ll come across road signs like Sheehan’s and Holmes Rd and Sheehan’s Corner. Now you know why. Jill’s Peony Estate is open to the public for visits in November and is well worth a wander to be historically and aesthetically inspired. Or you can visit her history-laden cool store to pick up some peonies or purchase some of Jill’s fabulous art — yes, she can do that too! This Peninsula hands-on creative majored in woodwork at Melbourne University in 1977 and has been painting for years.

Everything Jill puts her mind to has a deeply satisfying artistic quality, whether it’s her peonies or painting or creating a beautiful space for Mornington Peninsula residents and visitors alike to unwind and connect with the generational earth beneath them.  

Log on to redhillpeonyestate.com.au to find Peony Estate’s 2018 open days, or phone Jill on 0438 558 633.

 

The art of communicating by heart By Liz Rogers

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Something’s always cooking in Carmela Amato D’Amore’s kitchen. In reality and metaphorically too. This 60-something pocket rocket has energy and passion to burn. She welcomes life, tradition and heritage with open arms only to absorb and release it tenfold.  A true believer in the old adages ‘what goes around comes around’ and ‘the more you give the more you receive’, this devotee of life, conversation and Sicilian food is soon to launch her second self-published book titled The Heart of the Table – Unlocking the Treasure of Family and Community Through Sicilian Food. It’s a beaut!

She explains. “My first book, Carmela’s Cucina Povera, was a journey of self-discovery and healing through Sicilian food. It was about family and heritage. The recipes from my mother and grandmother. It takes a village to raise a child, you see. This book is something different. The table is a symbol of coming together. Connecting and collaborating. Communicating and communing. The four Cs. We live at such a fast pace now. People in front of screens and feeling disconnected. There is a richness, a wealth of faith and hope when we look outwardly and communicate with others around the table. This book doesn’t have recipes like the first one. It is a navigational guide — to continue the art of sharing our hearts by cooking for those you love and eating with them around the table. One chapter focuses on the women of Sicily and their relationship with food. Another chapter relates to sharing memories through food. This is a book that helps you tap into the truth of you.”

She continues. “After my mother died I thought to myself, ‘What do you want to leave behind?’ I have always lived between two cultures — my connection to Australia and my Sicilian roots. I am taking the best part from both. Every year I host a cultural tour to Sicily and I hold classes each week here. It is all linked. These books deeply resonate with who I am and the lessons I’ve learnt along the way.”

The Heart of the Table – Unlocking the Treasure of Family and Community Through Sicilian Food is available from July through Amazon and Booktopia and from Sorrento Trattoria, which was a finalist in the Peninsula Business Awards. Explore it and unite. Go to carmelascucinaclass.com.au for more.

 

Get a whiff of this By Liz Rogers

Hands up who had a scratch and sniff T-shirt in the ‘80s? I did! Both fun and fabulously smelly, scratch and sniff products have come full circle with the launch of the first interactive scent-infused cookbook for kids by Peninsula innovators Glenn and Amy Hendriks.

The Hendriks’ first foray into the world of sniff and whiff products was their successful children’s interactive Smellies Brands range about five years ago that was found in high-end department stores all over the world. They are now concentrating on ‘smelly’ books and have recently come up with a ripper of a fun-fuelled and motivational tool inspiring young cooks to get in the kitchen and learn where their produce comes from. They are focused on a scratch ‘n’ smell book range after discovering new technology that is amazingly lifelike.

Amy explains. “The recipes in this book are simple, easy to follow and appealing for children from the ages of six years and upwards to cook with minimal adult supervision.  We know some little tummies don’t like certain foods so we have also included some recipes that are free from a variety of common allergens, and have some vegetarian and vegan options too. We are aware that cooking helps children form a positive connection with fresh foods like fruit and vegetables, which are the foundation for good nutrition.” They are also working with Mornington Peninsula Shire Council to promote the new Mornington Peninsula Produce brand and Peninsula farm gates.

Using the latest scent application technology, the Scratch & Smell Kids Cookbook brings all your favourite smells to life at the touch of a finger. Garlic, mint, coconut, raspberry, honey and pineapple jump from the page as your child navigates this premium, high-end spiral-bound cookbook that uncovers some of the best Mornington Peninsula produce. There’s also “Cook Happy, Eat Local” markings to find and the smells just keep giving – they never wear out!

Got an itch to get cooking? Scratch it with Glenn and Amy Hendriks’ Fun & Fabulous Scratch & Smell Kids Cookbook and breathe in the benefits that learning to cook from a young age can bring. Yes?

You can pre-order this Fun & Fabulous kids’ cookbook at a discount for delivery in August by visiting scratchandsmellbooks.com or emailing [email protected]

 

Learning how to fall By Liz Rogers

Get ready to rumble, folks. And don’t forget your panties in the ‘scrim’. Or your mouthguards, knee, elbow, wrist pads and helmets ‘cause the ‘bout’ could get hairy.  

There’s safety in numbers. Just ask Drew Barrymore and Ellen Page as they Whip It (2009) or the cast of ‘70s flicks Kansas City Bomber or Unholy Rollers. Roller derby has been on the rush-injecting radar since 1935 as a sport that conjures up images of spunky ‘broads’ who bring it. Johannah ‘Tomb Raider’ Bigas, from Mount Martha, is hooked on the thrill of this caper where women — and yes, that includes mums — seem to find a place where grace, strength, comradeship and adrenalin connect with the crowd and pumping music that spurs them on.

Johannah has been ‘jamming’ it for about nine months. She trains twice a week in Carrum Downs with her South Sea Roller Derby pals, bouts every Sunday in her own league and travels once a month farther afield. Her legs are like stone, and when she talks about the game her eyes light up like meteorites.

“The first time I went I got a bit scared and left. It was so full-on. But I went back and thought why not give it a go? It was the best thing I did. I was very sore the first few weeks because I kept falling down. I’d never been on skates before, but once you learn how to fall and get back up, it’s exciting. You feel fierce, fit and tough. The rush is awesome.”

So here’s the drill. Some girls like to get dressed up. There’s tutus, long socks, short shorts and team colours to be worn when playing away from home. Two teams of five bout for two minutes at a time. There’s jammers, blockers, pivots and a brace. Captains, ‘benchies’ (coaches) and lots of shouting out to each other.

Johannah continues. “There’s lots strategy and communication involved and great support from family and friends. Everyone has an on-track name (think Titasaurus, Scooby Doom and Butcher Bird). It’s fun to see how far you can push yourself physically,” says this gently-spoken eldest of four beachside 20-year-old women.

Never judge a book by its cover.

And panties? Helmet pantie sets including a star helmet cover for jammers and a stripe cover for pivots. Blockers go pantie-free.

Enough said. More at facebook.com/SSRD.AU and on Instagram @southsearollerderby