Owns 'FoodLit'. Highly qualified, established food & lifestyle writer, former restaurateur, founder professional writing business, Articul8. Long, diverse writing history, passion for food culture, the land & inspired food language.www.foodlit.com.au
If you seriously love good food (and who doesn't?), I seriously suggest re-scheduling any prior arrangements to make room for this year's Taste of Melbourne. This annual fine food extravaganza is on from this Thursday evening until Sunday at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton Gardens.
Taste offers some of our best chefs' best signature dishes and a big, beautiful Producer's Market, where Victoria's leading produce suppliers and purveyors of gastronomic delights exhibit their delicious wares for tasting and buying.
Expect to find fine wines, spirits, beers and liqueurs. Expect to find only very high quality (and some highly innovative) products produced with love. Also expect to find chocolate delights, Gundowring ice cream, environmentally-friendly meats, olive oil, pasta, teas, baked goods, kitchen equipment and utensils, and more - amidst 90 or so stalls.
So, let's whet the appetite a little further. Participating Melbourne restaurants include some of our finest: Esposito, Fifteen, Libertine, Maze & Maze Grill, Longrain, Melbourne Wine Room & Mr Wolf, Mezzo Bar & Grill, Sarti and Stokehouse, The Palace by Luke Mangan, and Charcoal Lane, which is sponsored by Mission Australia and offers Aboriginal and disadvantaged youth a range of opportunities in the industry.
The event brings some of our finest food under the one roof (and the dome of the Exhibition Building is a spectacular one indeed). You can buy any number of restaurants' smaller dishes (if they were full size, you wouldn't have room for many) using Crowns, a currency developed especially for Taste festivals. Basically, 1 Crown = $1, and a dish costs between a very reasonable 8 and 12 crowns. You can also use the Crowns at the Producers' Market. (It's much more hygienic than exchanging normal money too.)
There are lots of other exciting things to enjoy: Sensology - The Art of Cocktail-Making; the Australian Gourmet Traveller Chef's Table, where you can get up close and personal with your favourite chef; the Gourmet Traveller Wine Theatre for tasting and learning about rare and boutique wines; and the launch of the Taste of Melbourne French Pop-Up Restaurant, featuring fine French cuisine from a different acclaimed restaurant each day.
Here's a little more general information for making the most of this magical, mouth-watering event.