All about Derby Eve

It wasn't just the golden goblets that glittered as celebrities gathered at Melbourne's Crown Towers for the Moët & Chandon Derby Eve party to herald spring racing week.

If the Melbourne Cup Carnival is the biggest party of the year, what do you do to kick it all off? Throw another party, of course. Since its inception, the Moët & Chandon Derby Eve party has become the unofficial launch of Melbourne's week-long spring racing festivities.

Attendees this year at Crown Towers' sparkling lobby bar, The Waiting Room, included television journalist Karl Stefanovic, who was buddying up to the Australian Financial Review's Rear Window columnist Joe Aston, former Miss Universe Australia Jesinta Campbell, seen chatting with Crown PR maven Ann Peacock, and songstress Danielle Spencer. Various horseracing identities, including members of the Waterhouse and Ingham clans, meanwhile, jockeyed to swap Birdcage invitations, titbits and racing tips.

Moët Hennessy Australia marketing and business development director Jonathan Coles said the Derby Eve party had become a mainstay on the brand's entertaining calendar. "It's always fun because, everyone's just arriving for the carnival and getting excited. There's so much anticipation about the week, it's just great to be the ones to get the party started."

Limited-edition gold magnums of Moët & Chandon Impérial were on pour, ramping up the glamour on the evening, and served alongside it were Champagne-friendly canapés, including mushroom gougères, lobster with basil and avocado, and white chocolate truffles with raspberry and gold leaf. Chef John Lawson, of Crown's No 8 restaurant, said the white chocolate dessert canapé and the jicama ravioli were his two favourites of the night.

"The ravioli, which we did with avocado and lime, really worked with the fresh crispness of the wine," said Lawson. "There's such a buzz down here. It's the busiest week of the year for us." And his punting strategy? "I'll be with some of our suppliers. We'll pull out silly names and go for it."


Newsletter

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

Latest news
The GT x STILY Christmas Boutique is now open
21.11.2017
Christmas gifts at the GT x STILY Christmas Boutique
17.11.2017
Support young chefs raising money for mental health
16.11.2017
The 2017 Margaret River Gourmet Escape program
09.11.2017
The GT x STILY Christmas Boutique is back
01.11.2017
Where to watch the 2017 Melbourne Cup
24.10.2017
The Gourmet Traveller podcast

Each fortnight we round up the most interesting characters from the food world for your listening pleasure. We chat to chefs, cooks, authors, bar tenders and baristas - anyone who has something new and interesting to say about the way we like to eat and drink.

Listen
Recipe collections

Looking for fresh dinner ideas? Not sure how to make the most out of seasonal produce? Or do you need to plan the perfect party menu? Our recipe collections have you covered.

See more

You might also like...

2010 Restaurant Awards night

The 2010 Restaurant Awards were celebrated in style at Rockp...

2010 Restaurant Awards

We’ve downed forks, the votes are in, and we are proud to pr...

2011 GT Restaurant Awards winners

We’ve downed forks, the votes are in, and we’re proud to pre...

2011 Restaurant Awards nominees

Want a snapshot of the movers and shakers in the Australian ...

2011 GT Restaurant Awards event

Melbourne's Flower Drum was the scarlet setting this year fo...

2012 Restaurant Awards nominees

The hottest (and coolest) places to imbibe and graze have be...

2012 Restaurant Awards event

Australia’s restaurant stars took a well-deserved night off ...

2012 GT Restaurant Awards winners

We’ve cleaned our plates, we’ve drained our glasses, and we’...

2013 Restaurant Awards nominees

If you’re an adventurous diner, times have never been better...

GT 2013 Restaurant Awards event

Gourmet Traveller’s team of 60 reviewers has eaten its way f...

GT 2013 Restaurant Awards winners

We’ve made our decisions and folded our napkins. Please rais...

2014 GT Restaurant Awards nominations

The Oscars of the open mouth, the Nobel Prize of noble provi...

2014 GT Restaurant Awards winners

The reviews are in, the guide is out, the forks are down and...

2014 GT Restaurant Awards

Behind the scenes at Gourmet Traveller's 2014 Restaurant Gui...

Sydney's top ten restaurants 2014

Looking for the best restaurants in Sydney? Here are the top...