By Richard Cornish
Wandering the cobblestone lanes and busy streets of Melbourne, in search of the best small dishes prepared by the city’s best chefs, is a local art form practiced by experienced foodies.
For several years the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, armed with insider knowledge, has curated night walks called Crawl ‘n’ Bite. Small groups visit several top restaurants in one evening, eating a few morsels and enjoying a drink before casually strolling for the next mini feast.
The Festival’s winter offer, The Roast Collection, is a magnificent celebration of the best food and wine grown and made in Victoria. Held in June with over 150 events across the state the roast inspired, winter Crawl ‘n’ Bite is one of this year’s highlights.
First cab off the rank is Global Roasts (9 June 2015) a Tuesday night meat fest.
The evening starts with a taste of Greece’s classic everyman fare at George Calmobaris’ Gazi.
Moving to British restaurant Papa Goose with chef Neale White serving up a slow-roasted shoulder of lamb served with mini Yorkshire pudding and mushie peas, washed down with pinot noir from Garagiste on the Mornington Peninsula. A small-batch wine (only 126 cases produced in total) that is hand-sorted and destemmed, wine racked by gravity and fermented using native yeast.
Rounding off with Pastuso down AC/DC Lane where Peruvian chef Alejandro Saravia is cooking a whole pig three different ways, starting off with an Andean-inspired pork broth with smoked potatoes. Then moving onto the belly, slowly curing it with salt, chilli and coriander and slowly smoke roasted. Finally, the loin is covered in salt and a wet cloth and cooked over coals to make lomo al trapo or loin in rags.
In the coming weeks I’ll be delving into the lives and stories behind some of Victoria’s most talented producers, so stay tuned.
In the meantime, do your bit to support local producers by getting involved in The Roast Collection or grabbing a bottle of Garagiste at Blackhearts and Sparrows, or if you're a restaurateur and would like more info contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out more about this year’s series of winter Crawl ‘n’ Bite