Taste of Melbourne 2011 – A Night of Tasty Treats

Like a kid in a candy shop, “Taste of Melbourne” was a dream come true! Here is a quick rundown of some of my ‘Taste of Melbourne’ highlights.

No only is ‘Taste of Melbourne’ a culinary masterpiece, but set against the backdrop of The Royal Exhibition Building, it is as much a feast for the architecturally trained eye as the well developed palette.

The grandeur of The Royal Exhibition Building has been a central feature of Melbourne since its completion is 1880.  Since then the site has played host to two world fairs, the first opening of The Parliament of Australia in 1901 and still stands as a ‘Palace of Industry’, hosting exhibitions today.  In 2004, this striking example of architecture was entered onto the UNESCO’s World Heritage List and the National Heritage List

A view from above

View from above at The Royal Exhibition Building

Whilst the surrounds were magnificent, everyone at ‘Taste of Melbourne’ was really only interested in one thing… the food!  The 2011 restaurant line up featured 14 top restaurants and bars from around the city.  Somewhat overwhelmed with choice we finally decided to try some of St. Katherine’s fabulous fare.

St. Katherine’s is part of the Press Club Group of restaurants in Melbourne.  Located in Kew (26 Cotham Road), St. Katherine’s focuses on tasty treats, free from too much pretense.

Our St. Katherine purchases: the Turkish Lamb Dumplings with garlic yoghurt, sumac and dried fruit and KFC ‘St. Katherine’s Fried Lilydale Chicken’ with BBQ sauce fit this bill perfectly.  Both dishes exuded careful thought and planning, but ultimately showcased expert cooking and flavour matching.  These little tidbits were exceptional treats, providing the necessary energy to continue our adventure.

Turkish Lamb Dumplings

Turkish Lamb Dumplings from St. Katherine's

KFC'St Katherin'es fried Chicken

KFC 'St. Katherine's Fried Chicken' from St. Katherine's

Another distinct highlight from a fabulous evening at ‘Taste of Melbourne’ was The Australian Gourmet Traveller Taste Kitchen cooking demonstration.  The 8:45 session on Thursday evening featured renowned chef Tobie Puttock from The Kitchen Cat.

Not only did I learn heaps about gnocchi and nudi making, which I can not wait to put into action, but there were also great tips and tricks from Tobie.  Presenting in an approachable and friendly manner, Tobie Puttock really engaged well with the audience and demonstrated himself to be a professional that was truly passionate about his work and helping share his knowledge with others.

Tobie Puttock from The Kitchen Cat

Tobie Puttock from The Kitchen Cat demonstrating the art of Nudi making

Another bonus of The Australian Gourmet Traveller Taste Kitchen…  I came away with a free current edition of their fabulous magazine.  Australian Gourmet Traveller always produces a quality magazine chock full of recipes, tips and reviews.  One of my favourite little treats for myself!

The Yarra Valley Farmers Market and Taste Producers gallery offered countless opportunities to sample new and fabulously creative food related products.  With so many beautiful products showcased it was exceedingly difficult to restrain my purchases.

With a whole lot of restraint I did manage to limit my purchases to a few fantastic purchases.

Shocolate Macaron Fruit Skewer

Macarons from Shocolate

Juno Cheese from the Yarra Valley Dairy

Juno Cheese from the Yarra Valley Dairy

 Ginger Drink

Honey-Ginger Sparkling Drink from Beechworth Honey

Tea Blossoms:  and  Teas

Tea Blossoms: and Teas

All and all ‘Taste of Melbourne’ 2011 was a fantastic event and I am eagerly looking forward to ToM 2012!

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