Orbost East Gippsland


Rug up and ward off the winter chills with cockle-warming craft beers matched with dishes from Gippsland’s leading chefs at the inaugural Deep Winter Festival to be held in Orbost from Friday June 29 to Sunday July 1.


The three-day festival run by acclaimed local micro-brewery Sailors Grave Brewing includes free and ticketed events, such as a long-table degustation dinner, workshops, a food-and-beer pairing dinner and a FREE Sunday session. Not surprisingly, the centrepiece of the festival will be beer.

Sailors Grave Brewing – Orbost

“The Deep Winter Festival will feature a range of our latest dark beers, including Drunken Sailor, which is a breakfast stout, Law of the Tongue, an oyster stout, and Winter Farmhouse, a red saison fermented on pinot lees,” Sailors Grave Brewing co-director Gab Moore said.


“We also will use the opportunity to launch a festival collaboration beer between Sailors Grave Brewing and 3 Ravens. Other new beers will be announced closer to the event.”

The Deep Winter Festival kicks off at 6pm on Friday with a beer-matched long table degustation dinner, prepared by the chefs Tanya Bertino and Anton Eisenmenger from renowned Lindenow eatery, The Long Paddock. The dinner will feature four seasonal farmhouse ales and the best of Gippsland’s artisanal produce. Tickets are $120 – BOOKED OUT.

Saturday morning brings a three-hour The Fementary workshop, with participants learning to brew kombucha, mead, jun tea, country wine, water kefir and wild soda ($80), followed by Where the Wild Things Are a selection of dark beers and fermented delights – food by fiend – banquet, prepared by Josh Thomas from La Matanza and Mia Coady-Plumb ($65). Festival goers will be entertained throughout the evening by Newcastle’ Celtic punkabilly band and brewery namesakes Sailors Grave.

On Sunday morning, Sailors Grave’s head brewer Chris Moore joins Brendan O’Sullivan from 3 Ravens to explore the dark art of brewing during a three-hour workshop, followed by a Sunday session to wrap up the festival (FREE depending on availability), with live music, beers and tasting paddles, including charcuterie by Hogget Kitchen.

Gab Moore hopes the event will attract craft beer enthusiasts from around Gippsland, as well as urban centres such as Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra, where Sailors Grave’s craft offering has built a strong following. It also will give visitors a chance to explore the historic town of Orbost, and its surrounds.


Set on the banks of the mighty Snowy River, Orbost was settled in 1842 and has a rich history of riverboats and steamers, farmers, gold and timber mills, many of which are still part of everyday life.

“Orbost has a rich and interesting heritage and you don’t have to go far to experience it,” Ms Moore said. “Sailors Grave Brewing itself is housed in the original Orbost Butter and Produce factory, built by a group of local landholders in 1893, and which we are gradually restoring to its former glory.”

Bring or hire a bike and tour the region with Snowy River Cycles, tuck into fresh local seafood at Marlo Pub, explore the coastal rainforests and wild, rugged beaches of Cape Conran Coastal Park or see the unique pocket of cabbage fan palms more typically found the subtropical rainforests of Queensland.

Orbost East Gippsland

The Deep Winter Festival is sponsored by East Gippsland Shire Council and Gippslandia magazine.

Find out more on Facebook and Instagram @sailorsgravebrewing #deepwinterfest or visit the website:

Tickets available: (some events depending on availability)

**Information & Images Courtesy of Sailors Grave Brewing – Gab Moore/East Gippsland Marketing Inc. – Greta Donaldson



Connie Lambeth

The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events

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Orbost East Gippsland


An evening with Dan Woolley matching Japanese fine whisky

Calling all whisky lovers: South Yarra’s Zhou Zhou is holding an exclusive masterclass hosted by one of Australia’s most well-known authorities on the drop, Dan Woolley on Thursday 12 July.

Woolley, who is this year’s Beam-Suntory National Whisky Ambassador will be hosting the event at the bar above the popular Oriental Teahouse, showcasing seven of Japan’s finest whiskies including some discontinued bottlings from Yamazaki, Hakushu and Hibiki.


Guests on the night will also enjoy a matched three-course dinner courtesy of the Oriental Teahouse kitchen.

Food options will include some of the teahouse’s most popular dumplings, as well as one-off dishes well-suited to the evening such as a whisky glazed Char Sui Pork.

The masterclass will focus on Japanese fine whisky and presents the opportunity to learn about the ageing and blending process. Woolley, who jet-sets around the globe to taste and expand his knowledge of the most coveted drop, is dedicated to all things whisky, with the word even tattooed across his knuckles.

Zhou Zhou has one of the most extensive Japanese whisky collections in Melbourne, despite aged statement and single malt whisky being difficult to source throughout Australia. Woolley will also talk about some of Japan’s most famous distilleries, including the country’s oldest location at Yamazaki, who are known for multi-layering their whisky with fruit and Mizunara aromas.

For $92 per person, enjoy a night of whisky with Dan Woolley that will be perfectly matched with house-favourite yum cha items. Guests will also receive welcome and finishing cocktails which are given a Zhou Zhou twist such as the Tea-Smoked Old Fashioned.

Suntory Whisky Masterclass, hosted by Dan Woolley

Thursday 12 July, 6:30pm $92 per person
Location: 455 Chapel St South Yarra – upstairs at Zhou Zhou

**Information & Image Supplied Courtesy of Zhou Zhou/Zilla & Brook – Leigh-Anne Ramirez

Connie Lambeth

The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events

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David's Menu Shoot May 22nd_GRIFFIN SIMM_Finals

Oriental Teahouse and David’s bring seafood degustations to Good Food Month

26 and 27 June 2018

Oriental Teahouse Prawn Dumpling Degustation

David’s Seafood

South Yarra’s Oriental Teahouse returns
with another not-to-be-missed dumpling degustation, this time dedicated to a 12 variety culinary parade of delicious prawn dumplings on Tuesday 26 June.

Taking place in Zhou Zhou Bar, the cosy drinking den located upstairs will be transformed into a prawn dumpling paradise.

Set to be an unforgettable night, the degustation offers to answer why the delicate prawn dumpling remains king of yum cha. The six-course extravaganza will include five new flavours available only on the night:

  • Rice paper prawn, asparagus and seaweed dumplings
  • Creamy mushroom prawn dumplings
  • Japanese seaweed prawn pan fried dumplings
  • Wasabi prawn money bag dumplings
  • Chilli prawn and coriander Shu Mai dumplings

With decades of experience, the in-house dumpling masters serve one of the widest selection of dumplings found in Melbourne.

From prawn, spinach and basil dumplings worked through a Vietnamese ginger and lemon sauce to a shallot, wood ear mushroom, sesame and bamboo prawn dumpling served in a fresh spring onion dressing – the night also provides the option of matched wine and sake to create the ultimate feast.


To celebrate the launch of a refreshed new menu, local favourite David’s will put on a homely feast of Shanghai-inspired seafood dishes in a ten-course degustation on Wednesday 27 June.

Constant crowd-pleasers such as the chilli prawn Shu Mai and the garlic-soy Hervey Bay scallops served atop mung bean vermicelli will make an early appearance on the night.

Guests can expect some of the best-loved comfort food to be found in Shanghai cuisine served for 20 years at the Prahran institution.

Seafood dishes on offer include the following:

  • Crab and asparagus in rice noodles, ginger soy broth and coriander peanut pesto
  • Succulently steamed Sea Perch fillet with fresh ginger, spring onion and coriander served on tofu
  • XO chilli pippies with a touch of kaffir lime leaf
  • Fresh QLD King Prawns with garlic and tomato

Fancy a tipple during the ten courses? The night also provides the option of matched wines from world class regions such as Burgundy, Getariako Txakolina in Spain and more.

All dishes are designed to feed the soul with all menu items inspired by the rich heritage of founder David Zhou.

David's Menu Shoot May 22nd_GRIFFIN SIMM_Finals 1 (1)-1

Prawn Dumpling Degustation – six courses
Tuesday 26 June, 7pm

$50 pp / $80 pp with matched drinks Location: 455 Chapel St, South Yarra

David’s Seafood Degustation – ten courses
Wednesday 27 June, 7pm

$75 pp / $105 pp with matched drinks
Location: 4 Cecil Pl, Prahran

 **Information & Images Supplied Courtesy of Oriental Teahouse and David’s/Zilla & Brook – Leigh-Anne Ramirez

Connie Lambeth

The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events

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Copy of Copy of 1K2A6941-Rocket K-Closing Night Carpet

SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL – Closing Night Gala awards ceremony – Sunday 17 June 2018

Copy of Copy of 1K2A7231-Rocket K-Atmos In Theatre

Opening Night - State Theatre
Opening Night –
State Theatre

The 65th Sydney Film Festival awarded The Heiresses, the debut feature of Paraguayan filmmaker Marcelo Martinessi, the prestigious Sydney Film Prize, out of a selection of 12 Official Competition films. 

The Heiresses wins Sydney Film Prize

Heiresses, The - Poster Web

The $60,000 cash prize for ‘audacious, cutting-edge and courageous’ film was awarded to Martinessi at the Festival’s Closing Night Gala awards ceremony and event at the State Theatre, ahead of the Australian premiere screening of heart-warming indie comedy Hearts Beat Loud

Accepting the award, Martinessi said: “For me, this first experience in Sydney was beautiful, and was a great discovery of people, places, and stories.”

He emphasised that cinema is not about winning, but about sharing personal truths, adding: “Cinema is a collective work… sometimes we win, and sometimes we don’t win. But the important thing is to always do what we strongly believe in.”

Sydney filmmaker Ben Lawrence was awarded the Documentary Australia Foundation Award for Australian Documentary’s $10,000 cash prize for Ghosthunter, about a Western Sydney security guard and part time ghost hunter searching for his absent father.

The Dendy Awards for Australian Short Films saw the $7000 cash prize for the Dendy Live Action Short Award going to Second Best, directed by Alyssa McClelland. Tom Noakes’ Nursery Rhymes took out the $7000 Rouben Mamoulian Award for Best Director, with Special Mention going to Alison JamesJudas Collar. The $5000 Yoram Gross Animation Award went to Andrew Goldsmith and Bradley Slabe’s Lost and Found, with Larissa Behrendt’s Barbara receiving a Special Mention.

Judas Collar - Director Alison James
Judas Collar –
Director Alison James
Nursery Rhymes
Nursery Rhymes (Director Tim Noakes)
Barbara - Director Larissa Behrendt
Barbara –
Director Larissa Behrendt

The Event Cinemas Australian Short Screenplay Award, a $5,000 prize for the best short screenwriting, was awarded to Indigenous screenwriter Tyson Mowarin of Undiscovered Country. Renée Marie Petropoulos (Tangle and Knots), Lucy Knox (An Act of Love) and recently-announced recipients of the 2018 Lexus Australia Short Film Fellowship Curtis Taylor and Nathan Mewett (Yulubidyi – Until the End), all received Special Mentions.

Undiscovered Country
Undiscovered Country
Undiscovered Country - Director Tyson Mowarrin
Undiscovered Country – Director Tyson Mowarin

The $10,000 Sydney-UNESCO City of Film Award, bestowed by Create NSW to a trail-blazing NSW-based screen practitioner, went to Indigenous Australian filmmaker Warwick Thornton (We Don’t Need A Map, SFF 2017 Opening Night Film). The Award was presented by his friend and Archibald Prize-winning painter and activist Ben Quilty.

Sydney Film Festival CEO Leigh Small said, “The Festival spread out further this year to include cinemas at Moore Park and expand attendance at Randwick and Casula. Over 170,000 people joined filmmakers from 66 countries and our own filmmaking community.”

“Audiences of all ages and backgrounds ventured away from their personal screens to attend the Sydney Film Festival cinemas – much to the delight of the filmmakers. Virpi Suutari, Finnish director of Entrepreneur, summed it up well, ‘it’s one of the most open, most receptive, curious audiences that I’ve ever had in any festival. Really, it was a wonderful experience.”


SFF former director and 2018 programmer David Stratton said: “What you learn from the success of the Sydney Film Festival is that there’s still an audience that wants to come and see movies where they’re meant to be seen – on cinema screens, where they’re designed to be shown. Not sitting at home and watching them on television, no matter how big your television screen is.”


Sydney Film Festival Director Nashen Moodley said: “This year’s program presented a large number of first films from international directors, including the Official Competition winner Marcelo Martinessi from Paraguay. Our program continues in Sydney Film Festival’s spirit of discovery of impactful, relevant and urgent films. We have had filmmakers from every continent and many Indigenous Australian communities, and every year our audience continues to elate and surprise them.”

“Our juries have enthused about the quality of competition films; and our red carpets have been graced with Guo Pei gowns and New England Kelpies. Audiences have been in tears, in stiches and standing to applaud,” he said.

**Information & Images Courtesy of Sydney Film Festival/Cardinal Spin – Amy Owen

Margaret Pomeranz
Margaret Pomeranz
 Connie Lambeth

The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events

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Sydney Film Festival 2018 Opening NIght at the State Theatre & After Party at Sydney Town Hall, Sydney Wednesday 6th June, 2018 Photographer: Belinda Rolland © 2018
Sydney Film Festival 2018 Opening Night at the State Theatre & After Party at Sydney Town Hall, Sydney
Wednesday 6th June, 2018
Photographer: Belinda Rolland © 2018

More info and full lists of awards from Sydney Film Festival…

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Tim Tam Pancake Stack


**Photo Credit: Wayne Taylor

Following two eventful years, Long Story Short Port Melbourne will close its doors to the public forever on Sunday 24 June at 3pm after it received an offer owners Ly and Dario D’Agostino said, “They could not refuse.” The anonymous buyer intends on turning the iconic café into a new food
 hub for family and locals with renovations starting as early as Monday 25 June. 

Known as one of Australia’s Most Instagrammable Cafes, Long Story Short Port Melbourne first opened its doors in June 2016 with the launch of the Hot Chocolate Sphere which received over 12 million views on Insider. Long Story Short has since created a name for itself with some of its notable brunch creations by Creative Food Director Dario, including the Buttermilk Tim Tam Pancakes, Fairy Floss Dessert Burger and Activated Charcoal Fish and Chips. The Activated Charcoal Fish and Chips went viral across newspapers, radio stations, Channel 9 and after a local blogger wrongly assumed its uncanny resemblance to burnt faeces in July 2017.

Ly and Dario will be giving away glasses of pink moscato to every customer as a thank you for their loyalty and support this Sunday.

Long Story Short Café Brunswick will continue to trade, while the inventive couple will focus on growing Pizza E Birra and the newly opened Stretched Pizza. “Pho pizza at Stretched Pizza was just the beginning. We are already working on some very unique concepts.” Says Ly, “You’ll just have to wait and see!”

Long Story Short Port Melbourne, 40 Crockford Street
7 Days: 8am to 3pm | *CLOSING* 3pm Sunday 24 June 2018

**Photo featured:

Tim Tam Pancake Stack
Tim Tam Pancake Stack – photo credit: Wayne Taylor

Long Story Short Brusnwick, 10 Tripovich Street
7 Days: 8am to 3pm

Stretched Pizza, 53 Moreland Road, Coburg
7 Days: 5pm – 10pm

Pizza E Birra , 60A Fitzroy Street, St Kilda
Sunday to Thursday: 6pm to 10pm | Saturday & Sunday: 6pm to 11pm

Connie Lambeth

The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events

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PB_Cafe Patisserie_28-1


Award-winning, French-born chef Pierrick Boyer, formerly of Le Petit Gateau, has opened his first solo eatery, a self-titled café patisserie, on Izett Street in Prahran.

A celebration of his life’s work, Boyer’s new venture fuses the delicacy of fine French patisseries with the indulgence of a modern-Melburnian brunching destination.

Pastry Chef, Boyer creates his extensive and decadent range of sweet treats all in-house, while Head Chef, Bradley Pearce – who has trained under the watchful eye of George Calombaris – has delivered a savoury menu with a twist on much-loved classics including a brioche-wrapped breakfast burger, chilli and crab scrambled eggs and an indulgent eggs benedict, complete with smoked ham hock.

The sweet menu boasts extensive dine-in and take away options including a GF sponge cake with dark chocolate, blueberry cremeux – a French term for “creamy” – and jelly jam named after Boyers 6-month old daughter, Charlotte Tiffany.

The extravagant range of tarts, croissants and cakes include Boyer’s personal favourite, the PB passionfruit brownie made with a brownie base, crunchy praline, passionfruit custard, chocolate mousse and ganache.

Boyer and Pearce have collectively curated the sweet and savoury menu to include a broad range of vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and nut-free menu options. Substituting eggs for chickpea water in his vegan sweet treats – a technique called aquafaba – Boyer has carefully mastered creating French delicacies to suit all dietary requirements.

Hospitality venue specialists ZWEI Interiors Architecture designed the interior space, resulting in a minimalist aesthetic with macaroon inspired powder pink accents and timeless gold features, enticing velvet seating, light timber flooring and vibrant greenery.

Pierrick Boyer said this venture is a true embodiment of his years of experience and training under the world’s finest patissiers including 3 Michelin Star Chef, Alain Ducasse, Christophe Michalak (Michalak Paris), Belgium chocolatier Pierre Marcolini and – Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF) awarded – chocolatier Stéphane Leroux.

“Pierrick Boyer Café Patisserie is an all-encompassing dining experience. The intention was to create a venue for people to escape the hustle and bustle, indulge and relax and I think we have executed that really well,” said Boyer.

“With a comprehensive kitchen for both savoury and sweet, we aim to produce wholesome and exemplary food experiences in a beautiful atmosphere.”

In addition to the 2 kitchens designated for the sweet and savoury menus, Pierrick Boyer Café Patisserie also features a 35 square meter educational kitchen for intimate cooking classes hosted by Boyer himself.

Pierrick Boyer Café Patisserie is located at 31 Izett Street, Prahran and is open every day, weekdays from 7.30am to 4pm and weekends from 8am to 4pm.

**Information & Images Courtesy of Pierrick Boyer Café Patisserie/Papermill Media – Brittannie Edwards

Pierrick Boyer Cafe Patisserie

Connie Lambeth

The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events

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Truffles Prahran Market 2


Truffle Celebration Day – Melbourne

Prahran Market will play host to the Ultimate Truffle Celebration Day on Sunday 8 July to celebrate Australia’s Winter Truffle season.

Organised by Australia’s foremost truffle specialists, Friend & Burrell and Prahran Market’s very own Damian ‘The Mushroom Man’ Pike, the event will explore the delights of Tuber Melanosporum – The Black Truffle – through a series of demonstrations by some of Melbourne’s best chefs.

The free event will centre around the Omega and Neil Perry Kitchen, where demonstrations will be held to create a series of exciting dishes to whet guests’ appetites. Experts, including renowned truffle grower Peter Marshall, will be on hand to answer questions about this mysterious, yet surprisingly accessible food.

Chefs include:

  • Steven Nairn – Chef, Scott Pickett Group
  • Nick Woods – Head Chef and Owner, Rambler
  • Andy Harmer – Exec. Chef, QT Melbourne
  • Daniel Giraldo – Head Chef, MahaPrahran Market’s traders will be joining in the celebration by selling truffle based products and dishes created especially for the occasion.Of course, visitors can visit Damian Pike Mushrooms and get some truffles to take home so they can put into practice what they’ve learnt and impress their friends and family with this unique ingredient.


WHAT: Truffle Celebration Day event
WHEN: Sunday 8 July, 10am – 4pm
WHERE: Prahran Market, 163 Commercial Road, South Yarra

WHO: Friend & Burrell and Damian Pike bring together some of Melbourne’s top chefs and experts to demonstrate exciting truffle dishes and answer questions. Traders will offer special truffle based products and dishes.
To celebrate the Australian’s Winter Truffle season and to showcase the best truffles while highlighting their uses and accessibility.

Truffles Prahran market-1

Prahran Market, 163 Commercial Road, South Yarra, 3141

**Information & Images Courtesy of Prahran Market – Leanne Baker

Connie Lambeth

The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events

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Shiloh – Melbourne

Review by Celeste Iuliano

Photographer: Fiona Hamilton



If you’re on social media, you’ll know that hummus is having a big moment right now. For many, this creamy chickpea, dream dip is the gateway to experiencing the colourful flavours of Israeli cuisine. With such a reputation, it’s no surprise that this spread featured heavily on the menu at Shiloh restaurant’s opening night.

Located on Caulfield’s busy Kooyong Road, Shiloh is serving up Israeli cuisine with a modern twist. Restaurateur Assaf Ben David and business partner Gabi Yitshaki, have responded to a gap in the market for a kosher restaurant specialising in fine dining, but you definitely don’t have to eat kosher to appreciate the dishes on offer.



Matthew Butcher (R)
Matthew Butcher (R)

Renowned chef Matthew Butcher (ex Morris Jones) is at the helm in the kitchen, putting his spin on comforting classics. Take our beloved hummus for example, which is outstanding served in flaky filo cigars, and given a smokey tang with paprika and black olive ash or paired with charred baby peppers, tahini, and green oil.



But of course hummus isn’t the only star of such a varied cuisine. The Baba ganoush puffs proved a fast favourite – light as air and filled with moreish eggplant dip, they disappeared almost as quickly as they were brought out. The lamb kofta pops are also a ‘must try’.  Glazed with honey and topped with crispy, puffed wild rice, they offer a surprisingly good combination of flavours.


The Shilo team (Matthew Butcher centre)
The Shilo team
(Matthew Butcher centre)

If you’re after something a little bigger, Shiloh also serves up plates to share. From Chickpea Spaetzle to Harissa Spiced Poussin, there’s a wealth of inventive dishes showcasing Middle Eastern ingredients. Because this is a kosher restaurant, it goes without saying that there is a wide selection of kosher wines to pair with your meal. For those thirsting after something with a bit of a kick, try the signature cocktail, a refreshing mix of gin and cucumber with a zesty zataar rim.


A sneak peek at the menu assures us that sweet lovers will be enticed by a selection of tempting desserts including Spiced Pear, olive oil & almond meringue bowl and a Pistachio Cake with orange blossom.

While Shiloh is a large restaurant, it has an intimate atmosphere that lends itself easily to long, relaxed dinners with family and friends. As winter begins to settle in the city, nothing could sound more comforting.




67 Kooyong Road

Caulfield Melbourne Vic

Phone: 03 8592 4912


*Celeste was a guest of Helen Reizer HRPR/additional images Thomas Bindley & Celeste Iuliano

Photo credit: Thomas Bindley
Photo credit:
Thomas Bindley
Photo credit: Celeste Iuliano
Photo credit:
Celeste Iuliano







Connie Lambeth

The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events

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More pics from Fiona Hamilton at the fantastic launch of Shiloh…

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TRUFFLE DINNERS – Saturday June 23 and Tuesday July 10 – MELBOURNE

In celebration of the return of Australia’s truffle season, ST ALi and Mercedes Me will host ‘Truffles with me’, a unique six-course dinner designed to highlight the wonderful complexity of this seasonal ingredient.

Crafted by St Ali x Mercedes Me Head Chef, Garry Dick, the menu will give diners the chance to experience the distinct flavour and texture of Mother Nature’s black gold.

The event will run on Saturday June 23 and Tuesday July 10 at Mercedes Me.

Simon Johnson, the general manager of Mercedes Me, says diners can expect a superb night. “ST. ALi has been running truffle dinners like this for years, and their experience is what sets this event apart as one to attend for truffle lovers and newcomers alike.”

Highlights of the truffle tasting menu include dishes such as duck and truffle consume, salmon and truffle roulade and snow crab and truffle carbonara. Dessert will feature decadent sugar baked parsnip ice cream and warm truffle chocolate mousse.

Head Chef Gary Dick sources truffles from the award-winning producer Stonebarn Truffles. Located near Manjimup, just 300km south of Perth, Stonebarn Truffles are renowned for producing truffles with exceptional quality, taste and aroma.

In honour of their hard work over the season, there will be two special guests in attendance at the first dinner: Two Australian Shepherd ‘truffle dogs’, who have been specially trained to identify and unearth ripe truffles. “They are probably the hardest-working truffle dogs in Victoria,” says Nigel Wood, founder of the annual Truffle Melbourne Festival. “In Victoria, we are probably going to find a tonne of truffles this year, so these dogs are probably going to find half of that.”

In recent years, Australia has become one of the most prolific producers of black truffles in the world. Nigel says that the sudden popularity of the truffle is due to the fact that “it’s seasonal, it’s rare, it’s unusual, it only comes around once a year. “I think Australian chefs are some of the best with truffles. Unlike the French or Italians, where there are centuries of tradition that have also produced a whole lot of rules, Australian chefs are much more creative with the truffle.


Pain perdu, honey butter, truffle salt

Duck and truffle consume, smouldered thyme

Truffle Tasting Menu

Salmon and truffle roulade, peated whisky dashi, sea herbs

Snow crab and truffle ‘carbonara’

Quail, smoked corn, celeriac, black truffle oil

Sugar baked parsnip ice cream, warm truffled chocolate mousse

During the Truffle Melbourne Festival, visitors to Mercedes Me will also have the chance to add Stonebarn truffles to the braised wild mushrooms dish currently on the refreshed seasonal menu.

Tickets: $94 or $159 for matched wines + booking fee

**Information & Images Courtesy of ST. ALi & Mercedes Me/Zilla & Brook – Fiona Brook


Connie Lambeth

The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events

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There’s a new set of heroes in town and they aren’t the typical cape-wearing kind. These heroes wear aprons, are the sweetest kind – they’re the first Australian Callebaut Chocolate Heroes.

Chocolate Heroes is a concept developed by Callebaut – creators of the finest Belgian chocolate – to pay tribute to dedicated pastry chefs and chocolatiers around the world. The perfectionists who work hard at their craft every day, ensuring they delight the taste buds of every guest and customer.

Selecting a truly fitting group of artisans, the Callebaut team are excited to announce Darren Purchese of Purchese Sweet Studio, Jodie Van Der Velden from Josophan’s Fine Chocolate, along with John Ralley and Steve Anderson of Textbook Boulangerie Patisserie as the first Callebaut Chocolate Heroes in Australia.

Known for his exquisite sweet creations, Darren Purchese is the director and founder of Burch and Purchese Sweet Studio in Melbourne. As one of the country’s most respected and in demand pastry chefs, Darren is renowned for his extravagant creations, in which he skillfully balances flavours, textures and modern kitchen techniques to produce revolutionary dessert concepts, making him perfect for the job as a Callebaut Chocolate Hero.

Darren Purchese @ Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio for Callebaut. Photo © Ari Hatzis
Darren Purchese @ Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio for Callebaut. Photo © Ari Hatzis

Joining Darren is Jodie Van Der Veldon who is the owner of the truly spectacular chocolate store Josophan’s Fine Chocolates, nestled in the historic village of Leura in the Blue Mountains. Jodie’s story is truly special, in that she is a self-taught chocolatier, whose natural gift for creating fine chocolates is evident throughout her spectacular displays and fine chocolates made using fresh flavour infusions.

Jodie Van Der Velden - owner of Josophan's Fine Chocolates
Jodie Van Der Veldon – owner of Josophan’s Fine Chocolates

Completing the first group of Heroes is John Ralley and Steven Anderson who joined forces to create Textbook Boulangerie Patisserie in Sydney. When it comes to a dynamic duo, these two emulate just that – both successful in their own right with Steve becoming a bread scientist and John forging his way into the international and Australian pastry scene, making the Textbook combination one of the finest in Australia.

John Ralley & Steven Anderson - Textbook Boulangerie Patisserie
John Ralley & Steven Anderson – Textbook Boulangerie Patisserie

Joining an international line-up of Chocolate Heroes from around the world, the Australian Heroes become part of a growing roster of global chocolate chefs who are known to inspire others in the industry through the creation and sharing of incredible chocolate desserts.

Callebaut is extremely excited to announce the very first group of Callebaut Chocolate Heroes in Australia and to celebrate the passion-fuelled artisans who continue to inspire and excite us with their chocolate creations. 

For further information on the Callebaut Chocolate Heroes, visit:

**Information & Images Courtesy of Callebaut/Evil Twin PR

F.Mayer Imports is the Australian importer of Callebaut chocolate, crafted in the heart of Belgium from Bean to Chocolate since 1911. Passed on from generation to generation, Callebauts love for the finest Belgian chocolate has no boundaries. Callebaut chocolate is relied on every day by chefs and chocolatiers around the country and the world to craft truly delicious creations.


Connie Lambeth

The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events

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