The Paris issue

Our October issue is on sale - the Paris special. Grab your copy for all-things Parisian, plus ultimate French baking recipes and more.

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller before October 24, 2016 and receive 3 BONUS ISSUES - save 46%.

Gourmet on your iPad

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad.

Melbourne Tomato Festival 2015 recap

If ever there was any doubt that the humble tomato is an ingredient that inspires love and devotion (and a willingness to queue), Sunday's inaugural Melbourne Tomato Festival emphatically put paid to that.

Held at the beautiful Farm Vigano on Melbourne's northern fringe, the festival attracted a sell-out crowd of around 2400 people who came to buy, eat, cook, observe, listen and talk all things tomato.

Melbourne food writer Rita Erlich, who helped open the festival, said the tomato was a metaphor for a healthy society.

"It grows in clusters," she said. "It comes in all sizes, shapes and colours. It goes with everything and it encourages sociability and community."

There was certainly plenty of opportunity for sociability and community as people queued good-naturedly to enter the Mint Inc marquee. Inside the sizeable tent with its stage and video screens, cooking demonstrations by Karen Martini, Rosa Mitchell, Frank Camorra, Melbourne Tomato Festival founder and organiser Guy Grossi, Thermomix guru Dani Valent and famed Sicilian food preservationist Fabrizia Lanza covered dishes from spaghetti alla checca to chilli tomato sorbet and gazpacho.

Elsewhere on the grounds a cluster of tents featured food from the likes of 400 Gradi (pizza), Enoteca Sileno (pasta) and Cavallini (cannoli), while the Grossi family's latest venture, a gelati van dubbed Gelato Tino, had its first workout. An Italian brass band played on as customers tried to choose between salted caramel, raspberry and rosemary, and Ligurian honey flavours.

A farmers market sold a staggering variety of tomatoes, and workshops in passata making demonstrated what could be done with the bounty. There were also lessons in growing tomatoes and a discussion about the future of food in Australia.

The mix of the practical, the philosophical and the sociable ensured a successful day, as did the presence of many members of the Grossi family (decked out in covetable red Melbourne Tomato Festival t-shirts) making sure everything ran smoothly.

And so it did, well enough that many in the crowd will no doubt be marking the date in their diary for the return bout next year. As will Guy Grossi.

"I was so happy to see so many people come together to celebrate the tomato harvest and the earth," he says. "To see such a wonderful sense of community around is inspiring."


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

Latest news
500 free pizzas at Fratelli Famous
A fried chicken and wine festival in Sydney’s Inner West
Good Food & Wine Show, Brisbane
Melbourne Salami Festa 2016
Gourmet Institute Event 10: Orazio D'Elia
Notes on Mental Notes #2
Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
things to do this autumn

Whether it's foraging for wild mushrooms in a picturesque Victorian forest or watching a film by moonlight in Darwin, we've got you covered with 20 exciting autumn experiences from around Australia.

Read More
Gourmet TV

Check out our YouTube channel for our latest cover recipes, chef cooking demos, interviews and more.

Watch Now

You might also like...

All about Derby Eve

It wasn’t just the golden goblets that glittered as celebrit...

The Birdcage: 2014 Melbourne Cup Carnival

Our behind-the-scenes form guide to some of the golden ticke...

Off and racing

There’s no greater party to launch the festive season than t...

Eat-Drink-Design Awards

The 2013 Eat-Drink-Design Awards gongs were handed out last ...

Melbourne Food & Wine Festival 2014

Brace your appetites, Australia. Melbourne Food and Wine Fes...

The Immersery at Melbourne Food & Wine Festival

Top bartenders from around the country will team up with Mel...

Melbourne Salami Festa 2014

Cut it. Clean it. Mince it. Spice it. Mix it. Pipe it. Hang ...

GT reader dinner: River Cafe at Rosetta, Melbourne

Join us for a very special reader dinner with The River Cafe...

OCRF Silver Style Cocktail Party 2014

The Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation and GT co-hosted a gl...

Canturi 10th anniversary dinner

Gems weren’t the only things to shine at a 10th anniversary ...

GT reader dinner: Valentino, Melbourne

Come and enjoy a southern Italian feast at Melbourne’s Valen...

Gatsby greatness

More than a million dollars was raised for the OCRF at the E...

2015 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival recap

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival CEO, Natalie O’Brien, talks...

GT reader dinner: Saint Crispin, Melbourne

Melbourne’s Saint Crispin celebrates its second birthday wit...

Soulfor Wine

Melbourne may have been slow to catch the natural-wine spark...

get the latest news

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