MOUNTAIN FRESH CHALLENGE FOR 2009 TOP CHEF
As temperatures fall and the snow base thickens, things are hotting up inside the kitchens of Mt Hotham and Dinner Plain. As a feature event of the 2009 Mountain Fresh Festival, mountain chefs have been challenged to create a regional alpine dish utilising fresh produce drawn from the surrounding alpine valleys. Diners across these two unique alpine villages will be able to participate in the critique and help determine who is the top dog in the kitchen for 2009.
But that’s not all that gastronomists can expect from the 2009 Mountain Fresh Festival, now in its fourth year. This six-day winter food and wine extravaganza will return to Dinner Plain and Mt Hotham from 24-29 July, to showcase the best regional food and cool climate wines from across Victoria’s Alpine Valley.
Local produce will be showcased in a series of special events and master classes in the mountain’s many cafes and restaurants. And events this year are set to be fun, diverse and eclectic.
Punters can expect to whet their appetites with master classes with a ‘think local act global’ attitude. Chef Andrew Blake will appear at Zirky’s with his secret ingredients for a fragrant Sri-Lankan curry (followed by Curry in a Hurry in the bistro); while, that Italian staple – the pizza – will be the raison d’être at The General.
Greg Duncan Powell will appear at the festival at The General, Mt Hotham, to discuss his take on the Alpine High Country’s food and wine scene.
Similarly, chefs at Rundell’s Graze restaurant will have their hands full with a nightly degustation menu, which will feature such regional organic delicacies as Cherry Tree lamb, Milawa duck and Capra cheese.
2009 festival highlights include the grand opening party with blues music by Lee Rosser at Zirky’s and a master class with a twist at Dinner Plain’s Onsen Retreat and Spa (where participants learn to create their own home spa recipes for body care and pampering with Alpine Valleys finest produce!).
The festivities will end with a degustation experience that will delight all food and wine lovers, from renowned Tsubo chef Hamish Nugent. This exceptional – and not to be missed - dining experience will be accompanied with new releases from Mayford, Ringer Reef and Dalbosco Wines. The winemakers from this trio of boutique Porepunkah wineries will also be present to discuss their wines.
So, head to the hills this winter from 24-29 July and savour the village-like atmosphere of Dinner Plain and Mt Hotham where you can enjoy alpine food and wine with altitude.
Pick up your festival program from regional visitor information centres, on mountain or online - visit www.mountainfresh.com.au
21 July 2009