Five minutes with Maria Crews, director of the Noosa Food & Wine Festival (Halliday)

Noosa Food & Wine Festival adds emphasis to the ‘wine’ in its title this year, says director Maria Crews.

The festival has undergone some changes in the past couple of years – tell us about the fresh approach.

We’ve brought back the focus on wine, so it literally now is a food and wine festival. Wine has been a part of it in previous years, but this year we’ve brought it more to the forefront. We’re putting on new events such as The Woods, which is our wine and produce village. And we’ve made it more accessible, with 50 per cent of the tickets $40 or less. We’ve also for the first time got a pop-up restaurant by French Saloon from Melbourne, which will be right on the beach.

Tell us more about The Woods – what’s the idea there?

The idea is that you can pop in for an hour or stay all day. You can visit in between events for a glass of wine, or stay a little longer to watch a food demo or a chat with a winemaker. We’ve got 30-odd winemakers, plus the Dal Zotto guys will be doing prosecco cocktails, Sticks Yarra Valley will be doing a cheese and wine bar, Asahi is doing oysters and beer, and Infiniti is doing a share table with Adam D’Sylva. It’s at the end of Hastings Street and it’s in a big park area that looks out over the river, so you can either walk to it or get on a ferry and come by boat.

Which producers are on your must-visit list at The Woods?

Dal Zotto and Sticks for sure, as well as Shaw + Smith, S.C. Pannell, the guys from Oakridge, Vanya and the team from Cullen Wines, Journey Wines and Rudi from Quartz Reef [NZ].

What wine events at the festival are you most excited about?

We’re doing an event called Make Peace With Wine hosted by [sommelier] Matt Skinner, which will be a fun, easy way to learn about wine. Another that we’ve just launched is an urban winery concept that Dan Sims and Mike Bennie have developed, which will be a really casual wine masterclass ‘in the round’, meaning that rather than having a formal table everyone will be sitting at high tops tasting wines with the winemakers, Dan and Mike walking around – more of a relaxed way to educate people.

There are about eight sessions as part of the Urban Winery and one of the ideas the guys have come up with is ‘Bangers and Smash’, showcasing the kinds of wines you’d smash at a barbecue. There’ll also be a Pinot Palooza Unplugged session. The other one that is kind of cool is Bernadette O’Shea’s Champagne masterclass. It’s all just really chilled out – we’re serious about the wine but not serious about how we deliver it.

With all of the wine-focused events happening around the country over the next weeks and months, what’s Noosa Food & Wine Festival’s point of difference?

Firstly, it’s at Noosa on the beach. You can’t beat that. Noosa is a lot more approachable and accessible – the chefs and winemakers often bring their families and make a holiday of it, so you’ll see them walking around and can chat to them on the street. It’s a really condensed area and because everyone flies in for the four days, you’re all kind of hanging out for the whole time rather than, say, events you go to in Melbourne where you’d head straight home afterward.

Broadcasting Ringside: Day Three of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants (Broadsheet)

Dentucky Fried Chicken and the World’s Best Somms.

Yesterday, we kicked off this column by asking if Melbourne can keep up this pace. It would appear the answer to that question is yes. Yes it can.

If ever there was a time to sleep in to gird your loins for the main event (the 50 Best Awards), this morning would have been that morning. But there, at the official 50 Best press conference, which began today at 8.30am, were Ben Shewry, Massimo Bottura, Kylie Kwong and most of Australia and the world’s food media. Very few of them turned in early last night, but of course none of them deserve your sympathy.

Also present this morning was Steven Ciobo, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment; Peter Bingeman, CEO of Visit Victoria, and John O’Sullivan, Managing Director of Tourism Australia. If you needed any further convincing about just what the World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards has meant to Australian tourism, these three men were more than happy to tell you. O’Sullivan casually mentioned that Tourism Australia hasn’t invited this many international media to Australia since Oprah Winfrey’s visit, and all three reeled off an impressive list of figures about what the attention of the world’s food media will mean to the country’s tourism prospects.

But enough about that. What happened last night?

While most of the World’s 50 Best chefs were dining on the beach at St Kilda for the “Chef’s Feast” led by Kylie Kwong (and didn’t they get lucky with the weather), most of the international media was being taken on a Tourism Australia-organised laneway tour, stopping in at restaurants and bars such as Mo Vida to get the full Melbourne experience.

In Japanese, Den – the name of Zaiyu Hasegawa’s modern kaiseki restaurant in Tokyo and winner of the 2016 One to Watch award – means style, and last night’s Den takeover at Cutler & Co (you can still see in our Instagram stories) had no shortage of Zaiyu-san’s name sake. Plenty of Den’s signatures – the savoury foie gras monaka; the “Dentucky Fried Chicken” complete with replica box – were present and accounted for. Service under the Cutler team, and Hasegawa’s wife Emi and Den restaurant manager Noriko Yamaguchi, was as fun and genteel as back in the mothership. Expect plenty of eyes on team Den at tonight’s awards.

Peru’s top chefs – including Virgilio Martinez and Gastón Acurio – gathered at Melbourne’s Peruvian home Pastuso for an intimate lunch. Before being whisked off to another event after a haul of ceviche, Acurio spoke about the importance of a restaurant debut from a country that’s never appeared on the list. As he says, once one restaurant from a country gets ranked, the entire restaurant industry gets a lift.

It’s not just the chefs of the world’s best restaurants in Melbourne this week – the 50 best sommeliers are here, too. As are the international media, being squired around the state to get a sense of what we have to offer. Yesterday some visited Beechworth for tastings with local winemakers. Others went on a tour of Melbourne, led by Dan Sims of Bottle Shop Concepts, which began at Cumulus before hitting Coda, Kirk’s and Embla, showcasing different Australian bottles at each stop. (Day two of that tour happened today, with somms from Relae and Alinea among the group of nine).

At about 7.30 last night, two busloads of somms arrived at Project 49 to sample wine from across Victoria. We watched to see which bottles they were taking photos of – and then we copied them.

Denise Scott on the C word, the lie-down that lasted a year, and Disappointments (Sydney Morning Herald)

When Denise Scott tried out for a role in Winners and Losers, she was required to audition four times. Eventually, she asked “Why do I have to come back again?” The reply was swift – and blunt: because the network is not convinced you can act.

“And I wasn’t either!” she says. “I was all right with the humorous stuff, but there was gonna be some serious stuff. So that’s when I got Alan Brough to come to my kitchen and give me some acting lessons. He coached me through and taught me that, in acting, eye contact (is critical). It’s all about eye contact.”

In stand-up, it’s the opposite. “Comedians never make eye contact for long,” she says. “We look over the top of the audience.”

As a teenager, Scott dreamt of being a serious actor but it never seemed like a viable option. She was 56 before she got a dramatic role. So how did that come about? “Apparently I look as if I care incredibly well! That seems to be what I’m cast for, to just stand there and look as though I care. I am rapt – I am genuinely grateful – but geez, I wouldn’t mind a storyline. Good things come to those who wait – I’m only nearly 62, so who knows?”

Coming to that line of work late meant certain protocols meant nothing to her. “I didn’t know it’s shameful for an actor to call for the tearstick. Makeup have a tearstick and they wave it under your eyes and next thing you’re crying. I had no shame. Need tears? ‘Tearstick!’ I became famous for it – I didn’t even have to call for it.”

This season she also appears in House Husbands, as Nurse Toni, a gig she again attributes to having perfected The Concerned Look. “That’s why. I do think that the creators and the writers like having a funny presence but beyond that, in those ensemble sort of shows, like there really isn’t that much for me to do. That’s why I don’t imagine that my TV career is going to go on …”

That said, don’t discount her bobbing up elsewhere. “Look as long as there’s the tearstick available, I’m up for anything.”

We meet at French Saloon, a gorgeous, light-filled bistro by Con Christopoulos and Ian Curley, the names behind the European. It’s a pared back, welcoming space, complete with a charming young French waitress straight from Central Casting who runs us through the menu. Most things are designed to share, so we settle on kingfish with fennel and cucumber, and raw tuna with oyster creme to start, followed by a 300-gram Cape Grim porterhouse, fries and a lettuce and anchovy salad. She opts for a glass of rosé and I have a chardonnay.

Best-known for her comedy, Scott first hit the stage at La Mama, something of a baptism by fire. Early on there could be fewer than a dozen people in the audience. How do you go playing to that few people?

“Seven’s traumatic … you just have to suck it up. Cos what often you want to do is throw it all away and sit down with the audience and say let’s just chat cos it’s gonna sound stupid if I just stand here and do a routine. In fact, it can really help you craft a routine. You’ve paid, this is my show, here it is.”

Back then there were few comedy venues in town; the scene was in its infancy. In 1977 the pioneering Last Laugh opened in Collingwood; the Melbourne International Comedy Festival kicked off a decade later in 1987.

Scott is grateful she started out then rather than now. “It was really – dare I say – it was to some extent fun. Cos none of us actually thought we were making a career out of it. It was just this accidental weaving around, having a crack at something called stand-up comedy. And so in my case, even though I did take it very seriously and I stressed about it, I didn’t feel anywhere near the pressure I see in my kids.”

We’re dining together in lieu of a show Scott and Judith Lucy have devised for the Comedy Festival this year. Called Disappointments, the title reflects the reality both women faced in 2015-16. I confess I thought they were taking the piss with that title. Apparently not. “We were really disappointed in ourselves, in our careers,” Scott says. “Because we both invested a lot of time in individual television projects and in the end they both got rejected. To some degree, rejection is part of our world, it’s not like that extreme or unusual but … You feel it more as you age I think.”

For Scott, it represented a year’s worth of work, developing a sitcom for one of the major networks. Called Denise, it was based on her family life – she appeared in nearly every scene.

She and John Lane, her partner of 36 years, met in Albury when they were performing – she had lied about being a clown in order to get the gig. John was a clown and he continues to work with various theatre groups as well as in education working with teenagers. (Pete Rowsthorn had played him in the ill-fated sitcom.) Their children are also creative: son Jordie Lane is a singer/songwriter and New York-based daughter Bonnie Lane is a video installation artist.

Last year, Scott’s beloved dog Raffi died. “I spent a lot of 2016 – and I mean a lot of time – lying on my bed. Just sort of lying there. And it was, apart from the fact that my arthritis had gotten really bad, it was like … my dog had died, my kids live overseas, there were no parents left to look after and I didn’t have work. I really lost my mojo a bit. So yeah, I sort of thought I might just lie down for a minute and a year went by.”

Reflecting on what happened, she says she’d lost her parents and good friends in previous years. “Somehow the dog dying … that seemed to be my excuse to go, ‘Well, that’s it now’. It’s been quite good I think. I don’t think necessarily your shit catches up with you but I reckon in most cases it does. I think shit caught up with me. A lifetime of stuff.”

At a certain point, Scott realised things were not moving towards a natural conclusion. So she took herself off to counselling, for the first time in 22 years; it made a big difference. “I was going a bit crazy in my own head. It’s like just saying stuff out loud sometimes is enough.”

Sadly, it’s almost not surprising the network knocked back the pilot. Australian television is notoriously conservative and depicts a very limited slice of reality. We’re yet to see a diversity of faces or ages on our screens, in stark contrast to British and American television.

“The reason we’re in the State Theatre, which is like 2200 people a night – I mean sure ,we’ve been around a long time and we’re good at what we do – but it’s because women our age [Lucy is late 40s and Scott early 60s] can’t get enough. They don’t hear their stories being told anywhere else and they love it.”

“It’s really quite something, hearing these women roar with laughter and familiarity.”

She is convinced that “we’re a foolish group to ignore, both entertainment wise and economically”.

As well as their individual projects, Scott and Lucy have also pitched a good old-fashioned morning TV show with music and funny ladies hosting to one of the networks. That sounds like a great idea, I say.

“Isn’t it! Put that in the paper. It’s [breakfast television] quite good company but it’s all of a certain [ilk]. I think Judith and I would shake that pattern up somewhat. We put that out there and no one’s jumped! Can you believe it!” she says with a laugh.

After Disappointments, she is heading to Tibet to do a writer’s workshop. “As you do! Apart from doing some jottings in my journal, I can’t imagine that coming to anything. I love the process of writing. Once again these are always just my own little world. I’m just so unpractised at moving beyond that and I think that’s what’s required.”

Having performed for so long, Scott is much-loved by her audience. “That was the beauty of doing comedy festivals and I think festivals in general, an audience travels along with you, so they kind of get to know you. By the time you get to your 60s, they will accept that, oh my God, Denise has just said c—!”

Even so, she did have a woman faint once. “We were in the Spiegeltent and it was hot. I dropped the C bomb and down she fell and hit the floor. We had to stop the show and get an ambulance … I felt so bad. She was so gorgeous. I asked her, ‘Was it the C word?’. She said, ‘It did shock me, but I think it was more the lack of air.’ “

The Business Traveller’s Guide to A Short Stop in a New City (Broadsheet)

When you regularly travel for work, a few spare hours to yourself can be revitalising – but only if you know how to use them. In partnership with Quest Apartment Hotels, we highlight some of the best uses of even a brief window of time.

Hotel rooms, long lunches, and constant invitations to explore a different city: travelling for business sounds a lot like a holiday. But as with any office job, it can also be exhausting, stressful and sometimes lonely.

Like a brisk walk or lazy lunch in the park breaks up the office hours, utilising your spare time on a business trip to rest and recharge can work wonders.

It’s all about knowing where to go. Here’s a cheat-sheet for making the most of a few spare hours around Australia.

Sydney

Tackling the endless options of Sydney on a short stop can be daunting – and time-consuming – so plan ahead. Potts Point is a great, central cul-de-sac of daytime eating options, including Macleay St Deli, The Deli Potts Point or The Farm Wholefoods. A short stroll across to Arthur McElhone Reserve at Elizabeth Bay provides an excellent vantage point to put down the phone and while away the time with some spectacular harbour views.

Venturing inland and Enmore has more than enough attractions to sate the business traveller’s palate. Flying Tong is a no-frills eatery serving up peerless Korean fried chicken, and just 100 metres down the road you’ll find The Gretz, a stylish neighbourhood bar featuring a short seafood-centric menu and interesting cocktails. For those needing to keep a clear head, return to the hotel via Cow and the Moon, Enmore’s award-winning gelato bar.

Perth

No matter where you find yourself in Perth with a moment to yourself, make a beeline for Northbridge. Depending on your timeframe, try the Perth Cultural Centre, a one-stop shop for eating, drinking and absorbing a few spare hours. Some of Australia’s finest Indigenous art is on display at the Art Gallery of WA, while the year-round roster of exhibitions and cultural events at Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA) is a reliable visit. There you’ll also find PICA Bar, a versatile venue good for breakfast or, if later in the evening, cocktails.

The peckish should seek out the Mechanics’ Institute on William Street for a Flipside burger and a craft beer while taking in city skyline from the rooftop terrace. If your flight isn’t until the morning, head around the corner to Lot Twenty, which serves beers, cocktails, and in-house sodas, as well as brisket, burgers, bar snacks and sandwiches until 11.30pm. Just in time to get yourself to bed at a reasonable hour.

Brisbane

The great thing about visiting a gallery is that even a short time exploring can be as revitalising as a day-trip. In Brisbane, zip around the Gallery of Modern Art at South Bank before grabbing a table at GOMA Restaurant, the venue’s own produce-driven restaurant and attraction in its own right.

For somewhere that works as both an ideal location for a private meal or low-key business meeting, Montrachet in Paddington does classy French cuisine and stellar service. Current owners Shannon Kellam and Clare Wallace have maintained the classic French brasserie’s high standards since taking over from founder Thierry Galichet in 2015.

Don’t even have an hour to spare? Male business travellers in need of a refresh can duck out to Esquire Male Grooming in Tattersall’s Arcade for a 30-minute open blade shave.

Adelaide

A free afternoon in Adelaide can easily be accounted for with a visit to The Central Market, where you can graze on a heaving array of fresh produce, cured meats and cheeses. The Grind @ Central does a good coffee, you can grab something sweet at bakery Dough, or just take a moment to wander around and absorb the goings on away from the office.

A failsafe option for dinner is Osteria Oggi, a contemporary Italian eatery from restaurateur Simon Kardachi. Weekends are booked out a fortnight in advance, but walk-ins can be catered for around the large concrete bar. If you know you’ll be in town and requiring a private meeting spot, there’s also a hideaway split-level room that doubles as a fully functional cellar.

Melbourne

The city’s new go-to work and brunch spot is Higher Ground, a vaulted-ceiling, old warehouse-style space down by Southern Cross Station, where you can check emails over a light meal of steamed fish or charcuterie small plate. If you’re more central and time-poor, head to Agathé Pâtisserie Petite, a hole-in-the-wall patisserie in Royal Arcade serving authentic French pastries.

Reliable dining options include Andrew McConnell’s slick pan-Asian offering Supernormal, on Flinders Lane; basement hideout Il Solito Posto; Cumulus Inc; and Kirk’s Wine Bar, a cosy venue serving top-notch sharing plates, conveniently located on the corner of Hardware Lane and Little Bourke Street in the CBD.

For a nightcap, head to The Elysian Whisky Bar or Good Heavens, a rooftop bar on Bourke Street. And if at nightfall you simply require a moment to yourself, wind down in the lowlight of Gertrude Street bar The Everleigh and let their bartenders take care of the remaining day’s business.

Australia’s top food festivals: take your pick from Melbourne, Adelaide, Noosa (Financial Review)

By any reckoning, the next two months are the hottest of the Australian food lover’s year.

It’s festival season, when the Big Three – Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, Adelaide’s Tasting Australia and the Noosa Food & Wine Festival – take turns to block out foodie calendars from the end of March to the end of May, with a break for Easter in between.

But this year? Our cups runneth over. In an unprecedented event, the 25th Melbourne festival coincides with the city’s hosting of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards on April 5, when super chefs from Milan to Mexico will vie to be top of the pots in what is widely recognised as the world’s most influential restaurant ranking system.

Adelaide picks up the baton from late April with its first annual (previously biennial) Tasting Australia, a 10-day immersion in the state’s booming food and wine culture; and thence to the Sunshine Coast, where the long-running Noosa festival will be celebrating a rebirth of sorts after its collapse under previous managers in 2015.

For the culinary traveller – that rapidly multiplying breed squarely in the sights of governments and tourism bodies across the nation – it’s a delicious dilemma. Where do you go? Who do you see? And, not least of all, what do you choose to eat and drink?

Here, then, a quick taster of what The Big Three will deliver.

Star city – Melbourne Food & Wine Festival

Chefs, chefs, and more … chefs. Can there be too many? We’re about to find out, when an army of the world’s best zooms into Melbourne at festival time and hooks up with our homegrown talent.

While the awards gala on April 5 is an industry-only event, there are plenty of chances to catch a little stardust elsewhere. To be really in the moment, get to Federation Square on the night to watch the countdown at a free live-streaming event, kicking off with entertainment from Comedy Festival stars and a people’s picnic.

All the festival’s masterclasses this year will feature current or past World’s 50 besties. How to choose between Tokyo funster Zaiyu Hasegawa – famous for “Dentucky Fried Chicken” – Mexico’s native foods champion Jorge Vallejo, Milanese master Carlo Cracco and Peruvian national hero Gastón Acurio?

There’s also the option of lunch or dinner with one of the visitors in collaboration with a kindred local chef: America’s Wylie Dufresne at Town Mouse, or Russia’s Vladimir Mukhin at Lake House, for starters.

Or, if you just want an insight into what makes a top chef tick, catch the #50BestTalks at Margaret Court Arena on April 3, hosted by Annabel Crabb (a parallel event at the Sydney Opera House will be hosted by Crabb on April 1).

Beyond the international circus, a whole other festival awaits. “We’re not just a celebration of food and wine in Melbourne but also of beer, cider, coffee and produce across the state,” says festival chief executive Natalie O’Brien.

“Of course it’s no accident that the World’s 50 Best Awards have chosen Melbourne as their host city. There’s never been a better time to showcase what we do best.”

And for something completely different, why not drop by the festival’s hub, the House of Food & Wine, where wine guy Mark Protheroe will be pouring one-off bottles from all those great local producers you so wish the coolest wine bars would put on their lists, but mysteriously often don’t.

The maverick – Tasting Australia

It’s not just Lonely Planet that ranks South Australia among its top five must-see destinations for 2017. With better bang-for-buck than the eastern states and a proud tradition of doing things its own way, Adelaide is every hipster’s favourite Oz city right now. It’s close to the wine regions. It’s easy to get around. The weather’s good. And, increasingly, its food and wine festival is attracting a level of state government backing to match the singular vision of creative director Simon Bryant.

This year, says Bryant, sounding a little like George in MasterChef, it’s all about the journey.

“I don’t want people to feel overwhelmed, which can so easily happen at festivals,” he says. “So we’ve spread events in such a way that you can move through them logically: there’s a clear route, a journey you can take through the regions and the city.”

In other words, a solution to that festival curse of realising that the three events you most want to go to are all on the same night and at opposite ends of the city.

This year, much of the action at the city hub in Victoria Square will take place not in tents but in a specially built Glasshouse Kitchen. “I’ve decided to embrace the City of Churches,” says Bryant in a reference to the site’s surroundings. “Also, the point is the festival is not about elitism, it’s part of a bigger, more inclusive picture.”

Top international draws at the Kitchen are Slovenia’s Ana Ros, recently named World’s Best Female Chef 2017, who’ll be cooking dinner with festival co-director Jock Zonfrillo of Orana and Paul Carmichael from Sydney’s Momofuku Seiōbo; and everyone’s favourite louche British chef, Marco Pierre White.

This being one of the world’s Great Wine Capitals, Bacchus is big. Highlights include a Fresh Wine Disco at Uraidla, with tastings of just-picked wines siphoned straight from the barrel; and an East End Cellars masterclass with winemakers Steve Pannell, Robert Hill Smith and Chester Osborn.

Hit the beach – Noosa Food & Wine Festival

Is there a better location for a food festival than Noosa? Here’s a plan: you start with breakfast on Main Beach with surfing chef Ben O’Donoghue; move on to lunch at Hastings Street’s Noosa Beach House with local star Peter Kuruvita; stroll up to the Woods for drinks at the Wine and Produce Village; then back to the beach for a French Saloon soirée with Melbourne’s Ian Curley, followed by a digestive or two at the cocktail bash in the beach tipis (a fancy word for tents).

No car required. No jacket either, though gold sandals could be handy.

New director Maria Crews is bringing fresh blood to the recovering festival at both ends of the pay scale. At the top are a three-night glamping trip on a macadamia farm for $3900 (including $2000 worth of festival tix) and a day on Richard Branson’s private island, Makepeace ($295 including wine); while at the people’s end is an increase in the number of events for $40 and under. And somewhere in the middle is the essential seafood experience at Locale, where local fisherfolk will join chefs and “salty dog” John Susman to serve Queensland’s best and freshest straight from a raw bar, fire pits and a wood oven.

The other big change this year is the dropping of the “International” from the title. Why bother, when the cream of Australia’s chef fraternity is falling over themselves to score a gig in the subtropical sunshine? Why bother, when an event like Taste of MoVida on the Beach can sell out in the first two days?

“We’re aiming to make the festival more accessible,” says Crews. “And we’ve brought back the focus on wine.”

Noosa, it’s good to have you back.

Read more: http://www.afr.com/lifestyle/food-and-wine/fine-dining/calling-all-gourmets-its-food-festival-season-20170309-guu5xo#ixzz4chsrYMCO

Modi apples hit Aussie shelves early (Produce Plus)

The red-skinned, sweet crunchy apple Modi is hitting Australia’s retail shelves earlier than previous years, as volumes look to be around five times that of last season.

Freshmax Australia, which holds the exclusive license to grow and market the apple in Australia, will be supplying Coles, independents and wholesale markets across Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland from March to August.

“As an earlier maturing variety, when compared to most other club varieties, Modi has a unique ranging window,” Matthew Crouch, Freshmax group marketing manager, told Produce Plus. “As ‘Australia’s Finest Italian’, Modi is uniquely positioned to align to all things Italian culture and prestige. But beneath this, there is uniqueness in flavour, championed by the recipes we developed; texture, with its superior crunch; and colouring, bringing us back to Modigliano’s famous paintings, from which the fruit is named.”

The year’s Modi season will be complemented by a bigger promotional push on social media, increased ambassadorial engagement and increased store presence and promotions.

Nutritionist Lyndi Cohen, head chef of Melbourne’s 400 Gradi Johnny di Franceso, and chef consultant Ian Curley have been announced as Modi’s three major ambassadors, while in-store activations will also run at Coles, Crouch says.

Andrew Maughan, Freshmax GM of IP and commercial, told Produce Plus that more hectares of Modi are being planted in Western Australia and Queensland.

“Modi is a good example of Freshmax driving IP varietal development and commercialisation in a controlled and engaging way for growers,” he said. “The Modi grower group is at the centre of all decisions made for the product each year.”

This article originally appeared in Produce Plus autumn.

Celebration of all things Burgundy (Open House)

The Burgundy Celebration returns to Australia for five day programme in March.

The annual Burgundy Celebration returns to this month, with a five day programme of wine tastings, masterclasses, panels discussions and events dedicated to showcasing the very best of Burgundy wine.

Inspired by New York’s renowned La Paulée de Meursault, and brought to Australia by Master Sommelier Franck Moreau, the Burgundy Celebration brings together some of the country’s most respected sommeliers, industry experts and chefs including Peter Doyle (est.), Peter Gilmore (Bennelong and Quay), Brent Savage (Bentley Restaurant & Bar, Cirrus, Monopole and Yellow) and Todd Moses (French Saloon Bar & Bistro).

There will also be in attendance four of Burgundy’s most prestigeous winemakers: Margaux Laroche (Le Domaine d’Henri), Virgile Lignier (Domaine Lignier-Michelot), Caroline Morey (Domaine Caroline Morey) and Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey (Domaine Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey); in Australia for the very first time together.