Almost 50 guests toured the southern hemisphere’s largest kitchen and enjoyed an intimate five course dinner at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre’s Melbourne Food & Wine Festival (MFWF) event ‘From Farm to Fork’ on Wednesday 13 March.
Partnering with suppliers Yarra Valley Gourmet Greenhouse and Warialda Belted Galloway Beef, MCEC’s executive chef Tony Panetta created a one-off menu featuring produce direct from their Victorian farms, including alpine strawberries picked fresh that day.
Chef plating up for guests at the ‘From Farm to Fork’ event.
“It was a real thrill for us to dish up for the public and put our own stamp on the menu – from selecting the individual ingredients to the matched Victorian wines – we enjoyed every aspect of the event,” said Panetta.
“Our dinner was an example of how MCEC support local producers across Victoria which is rare for a venue of our size and something we’re particularly proud of.”
As Panetta introduced each course the farmers spoke about the produce featured and importance of MCEC’s relationship in the growth of their ‘cattle microbusiness’ and ‘overgrown vegetable patch’.
Warialda Belted Galloway Beef’s Lizette Snaith said, “Most guests at the dinner had never tried our beef before, which was great exposure for us, so thanks MCEC for opening up your venue to small producers.”
Yarra Valley Gourmet Greenhouse’s Meagan Bertram said: “MCEC’s chefs did a great job showcasing both the beef and our vegetables – for us it was a special experience seeing patrons enjoy the final product.”
The dinner allowed guests to try a range of locally sourced produce and matched Victorian wines.
The menu was complemented by matching Victorian wines from King Valley, Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula, Rutherglen and Nagambie.
MCEC’s food and wine philosophy is simple, to think local and draw on the best produce from around the state, breaking the mould that surrounds traditional business events catering by producing the venue’s dishes in-house.
Now in its 21st year the MFWF and is an internationally acclaimed celebration of food and wine that took place across Victoria from 1-17 March 2013.