The 2015 Harvest Festival will return at the end of April for 10 days of non-stop luncheons, wine tastings, chef dinners and farmers’ markets. But it’s not all about the swirling of the wine and the five-course degustations. This is a festival at which visitors can to roll up their sleeves and get a little dirty.
Have you ever wanted to learn how to break down and bone-out half a pig? Or perhaps you’d prefer to learn how to knead a great loaf of sourdough? Whatever your hankering, Harvest offers masterclasses and workshops designed to make you a pro. You can even learn the ins and outs of soil management and crop rotation.
The festival celebrates everything free-range and grass-fed, ethically grown and honourably distributed in the Daylesford Macedon Region.
“Provenance of one’s food is increasingly important to people,” says Alla Wolf-Tasker AM, the culinary director of Lake House, Daylesford and chair of Daylesford Macedon Produce.
“Visitors will meet growers and producers who care about ethics and best practice in their enterprises.”
The festival is supported by the region’s local chefs, winemakers and provedores, as well as the artisan producers and growers. There is a series of masterclasses and workshops suitable for all skill levels; home cooks and industry professionals alike.
There’s a full day devoted to charcuterie, where you can learn the principles of salting and curing meats in your own home. Or learn how to make a French farmhouse-style goat’s cheese from scratch. There are classes in coffee roasting, martini shaking and bread baking (which includes bottomless coffee) as well a full day of demonstrations, discussion and dining at the Lake House in Daylesford with Andrew McConnell, (Supernormal, Cumulus Inc., Cutler & Co., Moon Under Water and Luxembourg) and Daniel Wilson (Huxtable), and Colin Fassnidge of My Kitchen Rules.
There will be a long-table lunch hosted by Delicious magazine food director Valli Little and a “beer vs wine” dinner at the newly relaunched Boathouse in Daylesford. On opening night, there’s also a four-course shared banquet with matched wines prepared by Emma Chapple of Star Anise Bistro in the Cosmopolitan Stables.
Throughout the festival, there will be farmers’ markets, winery tours, open garden days and even a walk of the leafy grounds of Bolobek followed by afternoon tea and a glass of bubbles.
You can catch a screening of Fair Food at The Daylesford Cinema; a documentary which looks at the Australian food system. And on Friday May 1, there’ll be a performance by singer/songwriter Geoffrey Williams from the UK performing songs by Nina Simone and Bill Withers at The Grande Hotel in Hepburn Springs.
For the full line-up of events and classes happening throughout Harvest Festival, visit the website dmproduce.com.au/dmpharvest-festival-2015.