Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Travelling- foodies go networking in Acheron

The Upper Goulburn Food, Wine and Culture Group put on a fantastic night at Rennie’s at Acheron on June 1.
This was courtesy of a grant from the State Government received by the food and wine group to rebuild Murrindindi’s food and wine experience.
This project encouraged members of the Upper Goulburn Winegrowers Association and Goulburn Strathbogie Olive Growers Association to attend and network.

The Travelling-foodies didn’t know what to expect, but were excited at the prospect to meet so many producers in one spot. Once you drove over the lovely single lane wooden bridge at Breakaway Road you come across this oasis of light amongst well established gardens and nestled amongst the grounds lit by floodlights you discover Marian Rennies artist’s studio that now is Rennies at Acheron.

It’s a special place.

Inside has been transformed in to Marian’s latest venture, a restaurant where you find warmth and a glorious ambience of the subtly lit long studio with walls adorned with her effervescent works and beautifully appointed furnishings.
Marian our host for the evening herself is a warm, bubbly and enthused cultural person, who has had much experience in the world of art, food and moving pictures.
Nothing seems to faze her and she was busy lighting candles for the outside areas when we arrived.
The staff were busy behind the scenes ensuring everything was going to plan food wise.

By 7.15pm Rennies was wall to wall people all chatting, catching up and meeting new business owners that they previously didn’t know that had ventured from places such as Mansfield, Caveat, Ruffy, Yea, Eildon, Marysville, Benalla, Nagambie, Toolangi and special guests came from Melbourne.

Rennie’s Chef Jim Fahey is an enthusiast about local fare as well and this was showcased beautifully in the menu for the evening. Starters for the evening were house smoked Nangara garlic and Dobson potato soup complimented with Rubicon Mountain wasabi leaves topped with Yarra Valley (Rubicon) salmon sashimi and caviar, pickled vegetables and Rubicon Mountain wasabi mayonnaise.


Wood fired Pizzas came next circulating, more scrumptious food complimented the exceptional customer service, the two toppings were house made onion jam, Buxton smoked trout, Locheilan blue cheese and rocket and the other Nangara garlic, Dobson kipfler potatoes, Yea Brand club vintage cheddar and home grown chives.

Wood fired Pizza Heaven!

This was thoroughly enjoyed by all on the night who were trying to find out who had what produce or product; business cards were flying around the room in the true spirit of networking.
We met up with producers of garlic, olives, wine, capers, grapes, trout and salmon, wasabi and snails mixed in with owners of restaurants, hotels, inns and cafés. There were cultural businesses such as artists, jewellers, candle makers, photographers, health and wellbeing facilitators, internet based businesses and produce and general store owners all with a passion for regionality!

Then even more platters arrived with House baked bread, Hook and Spoon mutton terrine, a selection of smoked meats from the Thornton Butcher, Eildon Hills olives tapenade, Frattalii olives, Locheilan fetta, home grown basil pesto, Buxton smoked trout pate and house grilled vegetables.

All accompanied by Upper Goulburn wines such as Ros Ritchie Sauvignon Blanc, Mt Samaria White Shiraz, Buxton Ridge Molly Jean, Delatite Late Picked Riesling , Kinloch Merlot and Pinot Meunier, Growlers Gully Pinot Noir, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon

The UGFWCG launched their new website on the night, made mention of the new popular suppliers guide, the Winegrowers and the Wine Food and Culture group signed a memorandum of communication to continue their work cooperatively to promote the regions food and wine strengths and there was a business card lucky draw.
There was a flurry just before Brad Maunsell from Websitegurus drew out the lucky business card, everyone wanted to win the web site package worth $3500.00 donated by his company.
Liz and David Moon from Two Moon Olives in Limestone were the lucky recipients, Lit Candles from Taggerty won a free year of membership and Linda from RL Media won a bottle of Upper Goulburn wine.

The Tf's found out later that Liz from Two Moon Olives "transferred" the website prize to the Yea Community Market - a great community gesture from one of the regions producers!

Back to the food…… here come the cheese platters – the Tf's were in ‘please cheese me’ heaven with Yea Brand club (vintage, mature and mild) cheeses and Locheilan soft cheeses, muscatels and lavosh!

Yes what a way to go but there was more….
even more time to network and then the ‘something sweet platters’ arrived on the large round arty tables with their array of Yarra Valley (Marysville) fudges and Crumbs Biscuits lemon myrtle shortbread accompanied now with Great Divide expresso/macchiato coffee and traditionally brewed Acheron green tea.

The outcome?

We met lots of friends and producers, met new ones, enjoyed the local flavours and like everyone else on the night all declared a great night, great venue and great food!
When is the next one?

Heres to Murrindindi and the Upper Goulburn region!

Taste our passion discover the magic –

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