A carnival of culinary delights, The Village Feast returns to the MFWF Regional Edition this year, set to rock the cheery seaside town of Inverloch in Gippsland on Saturday 18 November with a huge line-up of local and interstate food and drink talent, and a big program of live music to boot.
But the fun doesn’t stop at the Feast. There’s a whole weekend of food and frivolity to be had in around Inverloch; here are a couple of ways you might go about maximising your weekend in Gippsland.
On Friday afternoon, we’re catching up with two of Gippsland’s favourite food and drink folk, cheesemaker Rachel Needoba and winemaker Bill Downie, for an afternoon of wine, cheese and music at their property at Yarragon – and you’re very much encouraged to drop by for the festivities.
Wake up at a leisurely hour on Saturday and explore the charming town of Inverloch before trundling down to the Village Feast when you’re good and ready, soaking up the atmosphere and drinking in the deliciousness, the sunset and the music right through until 8pm.
Adam Liaw will be there, leading the charge of personalities getting together to make everything taste good. He’s teaming up with chef Thi Le of Anchovy, Jeow and Ca Com fame. Paul Carmichael, the culinary powerhouse who led Momofuku Seiobo’s celebration of Caribbean food to world acclaim, is working with local-boy-made-good Nick Mahlook and his Sodafish crew, author, MasterChef winner and pâtissier extraordinaire Emelia Jackson is joining forces with the social sensation that is The Invy Baker, Little Picket legend Jo Barrett is working with the Hogget team – and that’s just the beginning. There’s free drinks tastings, there’s a kid zone – frankly, there’s a lot to be discovered.
Well rested and with Alex Lloyd’s ARIA Award-winning ‘Amazing’ echoing sweetly in your mind, pop down to the beach for an early morning swim with the local Icebergers, and find a bacon and egg roll from a local food truck sizzling to life as you towel off. Wend your way back to whence you came at your leisure and convenience, rested and well-fed.
The Village Feast kicks off on the Saturday at noon, which means you’ve got a mid-morning window for a cheese masterclass at the magnificent Kongwak Butter Factory. Expect excellent fromage from the celebrated likes of Prom Country Cheese, Berrys Creek, Maffra, Tarago River Cheese and Butterfly Factory, plus drinks from local Gippsland heroes and cheese toasties on arrival with loads of Gippsland Jersey Butter.
The Village Feast then runs until 8pm, but the party needn’t finish when ARIA Award-winner headliner Alex Lloyd sings ‘Amazing’ – quite the opposite. Instead, might we suggest you make for The Borough Dept Store in nearby Korumburra, where the excellent people from Northcote Georgian wine bar Gray & Gray join hands with wine wonder Momento Mori for a spring supri – one of the great long-table feasting traditions of the Caucasus.
Forgo the early-morning Sunday swim and make for Fleet Wines. A Gippsland pinot is a delicious proposition in any form, but one you’ve blended yourself under the expert guidance of Fleet Wines’ Lisa and Justin Jenkins? What could possibly be better. A blending masterclass awaits on Sunday, the perfect way to cap a delicious weekend in idyllic climes, and you’ll even go home with two bottles of your blend: one for now, one for the cellar.
Inverloch is located roughly 150km from Melbourne, about two hours by car. Regional coaches run from Southern Cross Station to the nearby town of Leongatha, from which you can hop on a local bus to Inverloch. Shuttle buses will operate throughout Inverloch during the Village Feast, calling at bus stops and accommodation throughout the day; head to ptv.vic.gov.au to plan your journey.
Where to stay
There’s a variety of accommodation available in and around the town of Inverloch, and visitgippsland.com.au/stay is a great place to start looking. If you fancy getting out and exploring the region, Wonthaggi (a 12-minute drive), Cape Paterson (a 14-minute drive) and Venus Bay (a 25-minute drive) are also close by.
By Frank Sweet