Disclosure: I attended courtesy of Prahran Market.
It’s that time of year again – yes, it’s March and the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival is back.
I don’t have much planned for this year’s festival for some reason. I had a bit going on when the program was released last year and just never got around to organising anything. And I must admit that the allure of staying home and doing absolutely nothing is having a very strong pull on me at the moment!
But last weekend, I left the house temporarily to go to Prahran Market to attend their Harvest the Sea and the Vine event.
Harvest the Sea and the Vine was held at the Blanco Demonstration Kitchen in the middle of the market, and when people started arriving, Chef Walter Trupp from Trupp Cooking School was already there and getting ready. He had prepared four small seafood dishes for tasting for the event, with shellfish sourced from the Prahran Market fishmongers. The finished dishes were each matched with wines from Punt Road.
Lightly poached oysters with beetroot jelly, peppercress, and a horseradish foam, matched with NV Punt Road Sparkling
There’s nothing like a fresh oyster to kick start an event. Normally I’m a raw oyster kind of person, but all the elements on top of this worked wonderfully, with sweetness from the beetroot and the spicy pungency from the horseradish. And there’s nothing like a glass of sparkling with an oyster, is there?
Two: Oven baked scallops with aromatic saffron and anise butter, topped and decorated with fennel shavings and matched with 2012 Airlie Bank Pinot Grigio
Next we had scallops that came with a fragrant butter flavoured with saffron and anise. This was topped with thinly shaved fennel and a teeny amount of truffle. The wine match was a Pinot Grigio and it was my favourite match – the aniseed in the fennel seemed to pull out something interesting from the wine.
Rich creamy shellfish bisque with a fragrant curry froth, matched with: 2012 Punt Road Chardonnay
From the sounds of things, the shellfish bisque is supposed to be quite easy to make. Well, Walter Trupp made it sound easy! The broth was made with roasted crab shells (you can also use prawns or lobster if you’re feeling flush) and had a great depth of flavour, topped with a lighter layer of foam.
Four: Fresh prawns a l’armoricaine on a bed of creamy white polenta, matched with 2012 Chemin Pinot Noir
L’armoricaine is a traditional sauce from Brittany, France that’s commonly served with shellfish or white fleshed fish. It’s normally made with seafood stock/broth, tomatoes, white wine or cognac, garlic and fresh herbs.
The prawns were cooked in a pan and served on top of the white polenta, with some of the rich sauce over it.
The whole thing was done and dusted in an hour – no messing about here. That was excellent because it left plenty of time to go wander around Prahran Market afterwards. A quick event is a good event!
163-185 Commercial Road
Phone: 03 8290 8220
Opening hours: Tues, Thur & Sat 7am-5pm, Fri 7am-6pm, Sun 10am-3pm