This was the first year I made any real effort to attend more than just the obligatory event, and I very quickly learnt that I'll need to be more tactical in future. The trouble with there being such an incredible array of talent on offer lies not only in the decision of when and what to eat, but in having a sufficiently sturdy constitution to make the most of it. I was certainly defeated, and as far as unmissable events go, I didn't even begin to scratch the surface...
But from what I did manage, a couple of daytime highlights included the brilliantly conceived Broadsheet cafe and an exceptionally pleasant summer afternoon spent wandering by the river at Cellar Door, Farm Gate. It was lovely to enjoy the pleasures of the likes of Five Senses and Dead Man a little closer to home, and taking in the deliciousness on offer from some of Victoria's finest producers on such a glorious day was undeniably bliss.
By night there was the sweet architextural delights of those thoroughly zany jellymongers, Bombas & Parr who, together with their sacchariferous partners in crime, created such an overindulgent spectacle that even Marie Antoinette would have been tickled. Some delicious Malaysian fare was enjoyed in the offerings of the ineffable Mr Pelaccio, but for me this year's festival highlight goes to the creative genius of Misters Burch and Purchese and the absolutely heavenly evening they presented together with the crew at Der Raum. As we spent the night reinterpreting dessert, I ate things I've never before consumed (liquid nitrogen-filled meringues, anyone?), experienced such divine textural and flavour combination's that my brain had minor conniptions, and ultimately had so much fun it was ridiculous. Thanks gents, 'twas both an honour and pleasure indeed.
Reinterpreting Der Raum
So as you can by now hopefully appreciate, not only has kitchen time this week been few and far between, but after such luxurious gluttony I've been subsisting on no more than the occasional celery stick in a bid to recover.
And so just a single offering this week, intended to help sustain those of us not entitled to tomorrow's holiday. A slight adaptation on one of my greater loves, these little carrot, pear and pecan muffins should certainly hit the spot.
Carrot, pear & pecan muffins... delish!