The Travelling- foodies with over 180 people enjoyed the 7th Worlds Longest Lunch as part of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival on Friday 4th March from 12 noon until 4pm.
Attendees enjoyed a four course meal featuring bangers and mash, trout, rabbit and ice cream and jelly matched with Upper Goulburn Regional wines.
Sounds plain and not gourmet? Well it was very gourmet!
Canapés from Fragas chefs James and Jane included: brie cheese with homemade chilli jam, Buxton Smoked trout pate, homemade olive tapenade with Eildon Hills olives and Salamanca chorizo with homemade onion marmalade. This was enjoyed with Little River Taggerty Sparkling of which we were hanging out to try and an old favourite Jamieson Brewery’s raspberry ale.
We so enjoyed that introduction and then noticed that ex footballer and media personality Garry Lyon was circulating.
Local band Pans on Fire were drumming in the background and with the mist over the ranges it was very picturesque.
It was just getting better and better!
Then it was time to be seated at that long table under the marquee.
Entrée was served and it was Chef Tony Thompsons’ time to shine with his Alexandra Butchers Cold Lamb, rosemary and seeded mustard sausage with Dobson’s potato and chive mash with Two Pickled smoked pumpkin chutney.
This was paired with Ros Ritchies Rosé 2010 and Kinloch Pinot Noir 2010. Both wines drew in a different taste in your pallet with the food, the Rose was sharp and crisp and the Pinot, we noticed the cherry and spicy nutmeg flavours, our taste buds were in heaven with the mash and potato followed with the smoked pumpkin flavours.
All too much really! And we were only half way through…
While seated we tried the oils on the table, from the suppliers guide we deduced that ten local olive growers from the Goulburn Strathbogie Olive Growers Association provided Olive Oil for the table and we happily dipped Wildcrust bakery’s sourdough to taste the different flavours. Some of the labels mentioned we know for sure are award winners.
It was simply fabulous to try the regions best.
We then noticed masterchef and the Press Club group owner George Calombaris had arrived with many attendees already waving and singing out hello George was he was seated.
The Master of Ceremonies Andrew Embling OAM was up at the microphone and talking to all of us about the lunch and the sponsors, he then introduced Mitch MacRae the president of the Upper Goulburn Food, Wine and Culture Group.
Mitch spoke about the groups efforts with the lunch, mentioned the eleven major sponsors and thanked the longest lunch team 2011 for their efforts.
Then he presented the proceeds from last years longest lunch auctions.
‘Saddle tramps’ Judy Johnston was there from the group to accept a $2,000.00 cheque and next Sherrie Ackerman was called to receive a cheque for the Marysville’s Girl Guides and Brownies for the amount of $2000.00.
Mitch then invited Garry Lyon up to the microphone to present a cheque to Principal John O’Meara from the Yea High School for $1100 towards the Beacon Foundations program Polish which they run. Garry explain that he was there on behalf of this organisation that helps young students realise their potential.
Mitch then went on to present a framed napkin to the following sponsors and individuals who have been most supportive of the luncheon over the years and the VIPs on the day:
Richard Rogerson - retired ceo of Lake Mountain Alpine Resort, Holmesglen’s - Phillip Crisp, Alexandra Secondary college – Mookie, Bendigo Bank – Upwey Branches board -Tony Thompson accepted on behalf of Mike Fleming, Andrew Embling the master of ceremonies, Garry Lyon, CR John Walsh from Murrindindi Shire Council and George Calombaris.
Mains were suddenly arriving, there were two and much swapping and tasting from both dishes was enjoyed by all.
Mains presented by Alan Hardin from Rennies at Acheron featured Buxton Smoked Trout and Ricotta Gnocchi with orange burre noisette, beet and watercress salad or Rolled Yarra Valley wild rabbit with walnut and garden grown herb farce served on a Dobson potato rosti and locally grown cherry jus.
Paired with Snobs Creek Pinot Gris 2010 and Sedona Cabernet Sauvignon 2004.
The rolled rabbit was the stand out dish for the Tf’s but the trout and lightly fried gnocchi melted in your mouth.
Both George and Garry had turns up at the microphone with Andrew talking about their latest projects and recounting funny stories.
Sensational food and wine and 2 celebrities. We pitied those who didn’t join us.
The wait staff all students were very professional and were sponsored by Holmesglen and Alexandra Secondary College. There were a few we noticed that were standouts and we wish them all luck in their future hospitality careers.
Auctions were then held fast and furious raising nearly four thousand dollars towards Victorian Flood relief. There were wine, packages, tickets, vouchers for food and product, hampers and four wheel driving courses, four tickets for the footy show from Garry, photos, trout, Georges hand signed cook books and olive oil and even a wine bottle from the prime ministers office.
Dessert - our favourite was in front of us and we were not to be disappointed.
Dessert ‘Ice cream and jelly and a punch in the belly” brought back childhood memories but it was anything but….
We were in foodie heaven, vanilla bean ice cream on a coconut biscuit base with fresh local raspberries set in jellied Buxton Ridge shiraz and a chilli chocolate truffle met our gaze and indeed this was sensational and complimented by Delatite’s’ Late Picked Riesling.
We could taste the lovely sweet aromas of citrus peel and orange blossom when we tried the wine by itself and when tasted with the very light dessert it complimented what My Chef Mike had set out to do.
What a way to go!
Freshly brewed plunger coffee from Great Divide coffee finished the day well and given the rain was lightly sprinkling on and off the coffee was welcomed!
Cant wait for next year, have heard a rumour another famous chef will be a guest.