Lunch in Gary’s Secret Vineyard

March 9, 2011

I was fortunate to be invited to a Melbourne Food and Wine Festival lunch at Gary’s Secret Vineyard last weekend.   The event was hosted by Gary Mehigan (British chef/owner of Fenix, Masterchef host) and Poh Ling Yeow (TV host Poh’s Kitchen, Masterchef  runner-up, artist, actress).   I didn’t actually know that this particular vineyard existed before the lunch.  You see, it’s actually called the Studley Park Vineyard.  It’s a small vineyard by the banks of the Yarra in the leafy suburb of Kew (4km from Melbourne CBD).  Gary and Poh hosted us through lunch with a Q&A from the guests.  I was able to personally spend some time talking with Poh.  She’s as lively and engaging as she is on her TV show – Poh’s Kitchen.   If you are interested in Poh’s Kitchen, it airs on the ABC.  Here are a few photos from my day in the sun.

Image (above): the tables are set under a bright white marquee

Image (above): The very entertaining trio – Full Circle Band, played well into the afternoon.

Image (above): canapes includes bread platter, beetroot dip, marinated olives

Image (above): beautiful pots of lavender added a light sweet scent across the table…unfortunately very popular with the bees!

Image (above): the guests are seated and wine glasses filled…

Image (above): Pork rillette served with onion marmalade and toast

Image (above): Poh’s delicious dish – Beef rendang floss with coconut lace pancakes & cucumber relish

Image (above): Salad of unripe peaches, green papaya, heirloom tomatoes, chilli, mint & coriander, with a tamarind and lime dressing.

Image (above): Freekah salad with mint, parsley, coriander & creme fraiche

Image (above): Spit-roast chicken smoked over tea, hay and fennel

Image (above): Lunch by the vineyard.  It was a spectacular day.

Image (above): A vineyard rose…sentinal of the vine

Did you know…roses traditionally served as an early warning system to protect the grapevines—the equivalent of a miner’s canary. Roses and grapevines are both susceptible to a fungus called ‘powdery mildew.’ In fact, roses are senstive than grapevines.  The health of the rose indiciated the health of the vine.

Click Melbourne Food and Wine Festival for more fabulous events during the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival.  The festival runs until March 14th 2011.

Ciao for now…

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