The region’s best in food and wine was on show at the Upper Goulburn Vignerons Long Lunch held on Sunday 29th at the Mansfield Showground Ed Harris Pavilion. Guests arrived and gathered outside and were treated to sparkling wines from Delatite & Kinloch and other varietals from Barwite and Mansfield Park to whet the appetite. Wine barrels topped with spiced popcorn and Cedric the accordionist set the mood. The red carpet was rolled out and guests entered The Pavilion which was superbly decked out in Autumn hues thanks to Howqua River Trees; the two long tables were dressed in white with a wooden runner in the centre, topped with Christian Bergmoser’s, sour dough bread, Strathbogie Estate olive oil and delicious canapés prepared by Gill Belle and Megan Knapp. The canapés were delicious: Tomato Tart Tatin with fresh basil and marinated feta; Seared Scallop served on croute with cauliflower puree and chive tips, and Baked Purple Fig and Brie wrapped in prosciutto
Our chefs came together as “one” helping each other to plate up a delectable repast. The guests were waited on first with the entrée prepared by Christian Bergmoser from the Magnolia Gourmet House. His entrée set the bar with a Slow oven roasted Ballantine of free range Duck, Chicken and Quail fillets topped with poultry jus and served with truffle infused polenta and a garnish of sundried high country vegetable brunoise. Kinloch Chardonnay 2009 & Phillip Lobley Pinot Noir 2010 were the two wines chosen to match this dish.
Alternate dishes were served for the main meals. Michael Beltrame from the Mill Inn served his very tasty Swordfish involtini filled with herbs, semi dried tomatoes, capers and pine nuts in a tomato basil sofritto on braised snake beans, which married superbly with Ros Ritchie’s Pinot Gris 2010 vintage. Michael Nelson from the Deck on High impressed with his Braised ‘Ras el Hanout’ (best Moroccan spice blend) slow cooked Goat served with a Fenugreek and Dahl cake, Pomegranate and Beetroot relish and Roti bread which was paired off with Ros Ritchie’s 2010 Tempranillo.
The marriage of each wine with each dish was explained to the guests by each chef and winemaker and played a significant role in the plans for such an event. And there was more. Megan Knapp from Pure Taste, completed the menu with her dessert of Warm Almond Orange and Pistachio tart with orange blossom anglaise and edible Rose petals. This was washed down with the Kinloch Late Harvest Riesling 2010.
Australian Tenor Blake Fisher (aka Mario Lasagna) thrilled the guests with his operatic voice. His performance was absolutely brilliant - encore after encore and the guests sated. Coffee and tea served with Gill Belle’s Almond Biscotti and Fortune Cookies and so another Long Lunch came to an end!
Congratulatory notes have since been received on such a successful event and one of the many is reiterated below:
“I couldn't let Sunday go by without wishing you hearty congratulations on a highly successful Long Lunch. Anne and I (and our four friends) thoroughly enjoyed our first taste of this brilliant event. The food and wine were a triumph (including the informative explanations from chefs and winemakers), the company convivial, the venue created a wonderful atmosphere, and we will follow Mario Lasagna's career with interest!
Combined with the High Street festival on Saturday and a leisurely ride on the rail trail (to burn off a few calories!), the entire weekend could not have been better.
Naturally, we would love the opportunity to attend next year.
Thank you again for all of the hard work that made this year's event such a great success.
Ian & Anne Todd”
The travelling - foodies couldn't agree more, it was a fabulous day, with lots of laughter, catching up and fine wine and food! "Mario" was brilliant.,well done to Susan and her small team.