Taste of Melbourne Food Festival

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“Melbourne’s most exciting restaurants unite at Albert Park Lake for the lunch of Taste of Melbourne 2012”


Many refer to this incredible event as the world’s greatest restaurant festival; Taste of Melbourne was spectacularly staged outdoors from Thursday the 15th to Sunday the 18th of November at the stunning lakeside location of Pelican Lawn, Albert Park Lake – A stone’s throw from the ‘Paris end’ of Fitzroy Street St Kilda.

Now in its fifth year, Taste of Melbourne has moved outdoors to Albert Park Lake for the first time. It is the city’s premium restaurant festival, offering signature dishes from Melbourne’s latest, greatest and hottest restaurants. This is accompanied by over 100 of Australia’s leading gourmet food and drink producers.

Taste of Melbourne featured Melbourne’s most revered restaurants in what was undoubtedly the premium food and wine event of the spring social calendar. With crowds approaching 25,000 attendees over the four days –  the most discerning foodies were well and truly treated to a feast of feasts in Australia’s culinary capital.

The vibrant and diverse food culture of Melbourne was on display by the movers and shakers in the restaurant scene. They delivered their signature dishes to tantalise and surprise the tastebuds. International guest chef, Nuno Mendes from Viajante restaurant in London (one Michelin Star; number 80 with a bullet in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants) starred on the judging panel for the ‘Best in Taste Awards’ and was seen giving amazing cooking demonstrations daily.

MoVida and Mamasita reinvented Hispanic inspired dishes while Mahjong and Saké offered lighter, delicate flavours of varying Asian cuisines. Adding riverside glamour to the event, The Atlantic served its famous seafood that excites the senses and Mr. Hive Kitchen and Bar presented comfort dishes bursting with big flavours.

The St Kilda area featured several remarkable restaurants: Exciting and recently opened local restaurant Itali.co, of Barkly Street St Kilda, featured some of its extraordinary dishes. South Yarra establishment, The Botanical made a welcome return under the glance of Luke Brabin, and Nick Creswick of Liboertine was back to modernise classic French flavours. Darren Daley from Livingroom Restaurant, of Malvern, was on board for the first time too, as was dessert queen Philippa Sibley from Albert St Food & Wine.

New for 2012 is the Malaysia Kitchen; an exotic pop-up venue that explores the depth of the region’s cuisine, it featured the finest Malaysian restaurants: Laksa Me, Monk & Me and Dapur Mak Tok Malaysian Cuisine. The Sustainable Living pop- up site was hosted by Dirty Girl Kitchen.

Visitors encountered a host of master classes, demonstrations and gourmet producers over the weekend. Melbourne’s culinary greats willingly shared their secrets in a host of elite, pan rattling demonstrations at The Bertolli Taste Kitchen. The Plumm Wine Theatre, in association with Australian Gourmet Traveller WINE, also held tastings that were hosted by Nick Stock and Matt Skinner.

For a more relaxed experience, taste patrons unwound in the luxurious Laurent-Perrier VIP Lounge or chilled out in the Lilydale Gourmet Garden. Sensology, ‘the art of cocktail making,’ master class presented expert mixologists who guided audiences through a step by step process of making and serving iconic cocktails. Coffee aficionados indulged their senses in the Nespresso Experience and sampled some of their sustainable Grand Crus and ‘Live Italian,’ enjoying the outdoor café experience with Acqua Panna.

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