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This Week in Food: How to spend your Grand Final Eve holiday + a dumpling degustation

Ross and Kate
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The last Saturday is September isn’t all about the Grand Final, it’s now also about working out what to do with your Grand Final Eve public holiday. Well, what about heading into Saxe as they celebrate the day with an epic Aussie grazing menu and bottomless booze from Four Pillars Gin. From 2.00pm – 4.00pm, there’ll be a selection of four free-flowing Four Pillars gin cocktails, and head chef and owner Joe Grbac is putting his spin on some Australian classics – think Pork Chiko rolls with a Jalapeño sauce;  home-made Crumpets with mushroom jam and Beef Tartare with macadamia. Tickets are only $75 pp, but you better book.


Celebrate the greatest of all snacks with a dumpling degustation dinner at Oriental Teahouse for World Dumpling Day on Thursday 26 September. There’ll be 15 gourmet dumplings served up, across six courses, each inspired by regions across the world. Think Laksa Dumpling with mushroom and prawn; Braised Duck Leg Dumpling topped with Sichuan tea smoked duck breast and long Jing tea soup, or Scallop and Prawn Dumpling with a traditional Cantonese XO sauce. It’s priced at a reasonable $65 per person or $85 per person with matching drinks. Bookings here.


If you like your wine, you’ll know the Heathcote region is renowned for some of the state’s best shiraz in the state, but have you been there in the flesh? Well, here’s your excuse – the Heathcote Wine & Food Festival takes place October 5 & 6 at the Heathcote Showgrounds and there’ll be more than 45 wineries pouring new season and museum release wines. There are limited release ‘Golden Tickets’ available which get you express entry, tastings, a wine carrier bag, lunch box, and access to a VIP lounge. Tickets on-sale now and you can add-on bus transfers from Bendigo or Melbourne.


One of our favourite people to chat to on the program, Dani Valent, has launched a “Signature Dish Series” giving you the opportunity to enjoy an exclusive behind-the-scenes experiences in some of Melbourne’s very best restaurants, and she really is starting with a classic. Spend two hours in the kitchen at Vue de Monde with exec chef Hugh Allen, as he shows you how to make his signature marron curry with wattleseed damper. You’ll get snacks, wine, the recipe, and an ingredient to take home. Each experience is only open to ten attendees, it ain’t cheap – but it is pretty exclusive. More info here.


And finally, Graze + Grains is back at Starward Distillery celebrating all things local whisky and Gippsland produce. Alejandro Saravia will bring back campfire feasts at the Starward Whisky Garden, which lets you book a a three-course camp meal served with cocktails, or you can wander around the produce market and buy some bites a la carte. It’s happening Sat 21st September from 12pm-6pm, entry is free or the three course meal with whisky pairings will set you back $60pp.

Ross and Kate