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The benefits of live yoghurt
23.03.2017

Step away from the “dessert yoghurt", writes Will Studd. The real unadulterated thing is much more rewarding.

All-Star Yum Cha
22.03.2017

What happens the morning after the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards? We treat the chefs to a world-beating yum cha session, as Dani Valent discovers.

Honey Fingers, Melbourne's inner-city beekeepers
22.03.2017

Single-source honey putting community and sustainability next to sweetness.

Vermouth is having a moment
21.03.2017

More and more adventurous local winemakers are embracing Vermouth's botanicals, writes Max Allen.

Exploring Indonesia's Komodo National Park
21.03.2017

Indonesia's Komodo National Park is home to staggering scenery and biodiversity. Michael Harden sets sail in a handcrafted yacht to explore its remote islands in pared-back luxury.

The new cruises on the horizon in 2017
21.03.2017

Cue the Champagne.

Seven recipes that shaped 1980s fine dining
21.03.2017

Australia saw some bold moves in the ’80s, and we’re not just talking hairstyles. Greater cultural references started peppering the menus of our restaurants, and home-grown ingredients won a new appreciation. The dining scene was coming of age and a new band of pioneers led the charge.

Where Melbourne's finest will take the World's Best Chefs
20.03.2017

Leading chefs descend on Melbourne in April for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. We asked local hospitality folk who they’d abduct for the day and where they’d take them to show off their city. There may be coffee, there may be culture, but in the end it’s cocktails.

Melbourne Tomato Festival 2015

Guy Grossi, Melbourne Tomato Festival

Guy Grossi, Melbourne Tomato Festival

Hey, Melbourne - there's a festival heading your way this March offering a taste of Italy's annual tomato harvest Down Under.

The Melbourne Tomato Festival is pegged as the key event in Victoria's Melbournese Movement - an initiative launched by the Grossi family (of Grossi Florentino) to preserve authentic Italian cooking and customs.

Traditionally, Italian families grow tomatoes in summer and turn the excess from each season into passata to use through the winter months. The festival, Guy Grossi tells us, draws inspiration from his childhood memories of this.

"Dad grew a crop of tomatoes in the backyard. Every year we would have the passata-making day," he says. "It's something I took for granted at the time because it was normal practice. As I grew up I realised the importance of this day. This was a celebration of our harvest".

The day-long event will celebrate the humble red fruit through with passata-making workshops, cooking demonstrations from the likes of MoVida's Frank Camorra and Rosa Mitchell of Rosa's Kitchen, as well as talks on produce, seasonality and permaculture from local experts. There will also be plenty for your palate's perusal, with some of Melbourne's favourite Italian wine bars and restaurants (Elyros, Enoteca Sileno and 400 Gradi, among them) taking part in a Italian-inspired market, offering meals, fresh produce and take-home treats.

Grossi's got his money on the international talent. "Fabrizia Lanza will be flying in from Sicily," he says, "to share her manifesto on the traditions of Sicilian cooking."

And he assures us the star fruit will be treated with the utmost respect. "Every tomato is saved - eaten or squashed for winter," he says. "No tomatoes will be harmed in the making of this festival."

The Melbourne Tomato Festival takes place on Sunday 1 March at Farm Vigano, 10 Bushmans Way, South Morang, Vic. Tickets cost $25 for adults, $10 for children from six to 13 years and can be purchased by visiting the festival's website. Children aged five and under can enter free of charge.

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