Fruits of Victoria

Festival friend and food writer Richard Cornish was behind-the-scenes at the latest MFWF video shoot, taking us on a journey of the edible (and drinkable!) delights of some of the most beautiful locations in Victoria.

What was the highlight of the Put Victoria on Your Table roadshow project?
Meeting the producers. We have so many focused, committed primary producers who weather droughts and floods, red tape at three levels of government and an often hostile market, who – despite this – still manage to produce some of the best food and wine on the planet. Victoria's primary producers are our biggest asset.

Was there any surprises or new information you learned while filming?
What surprised me was just how ready and willing the food and wine producers of Victoria were to get over their nerves and speak passionately on the camera, not only about their business, but about how good their competitors are as well. There is a genuine sense of generosity in the Victorian food and wine community that sees people looking after one another.

All up, how many producers did you visit and kilometres did you travel?
We drove thousands of kilometres around Victoria and met up with over 20 different farmers, winemakers, brewers, butchers and cheese makers. There was such a wealth of footage that not every single shot could make the final cut.

What is it that makes Victoria’s local produce so diverse?
Soil, climate, topography, culture, ingenuity, passion. Underlying all these factors however is a community of food lovers without whom Victoria's great produce could not exist. It is the food loving community of Victoria who buy the niche products and support our food producers that allows Victoria's local produce to be so diverse. They are what you might call “food patrons”.

Do you have any hot tips on how we can all put local produce on our tables?

  • Eat with the seasons. If you are eating what is in season and grown locally you are going to be eating a Victorian product. Seasonal food not only tastes better but is better for you.
  • Ask your greengrocer, fishmonger, butcher for local product.
  • Head straight to the Victorian section in your bottle shop.
  • Consider shopping at one of Victoria's great farmers' markets.
  • Head out into regional Victoria and see where your food is grown.

If viewers could only take out one key point from this series, what do you hope it would be?
By buying Victorian produce you’re not just getting the best quality you’re supporting Victorian farmers by creating jobs not only in regional Victoria but in your own community as well.

Miss the videos? Watch here! Stay tuned as we continue our journey through Victoria with Gippsland and the High Country.

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