The screen is bigger, the food is better and the films make you feel something. That’s the premise of Gourmet Cinema, held at Caulfield Racecourse over five days at the start of March.
Creative director David Strong – who holds the same title at The Peninsula Picnic and used to produce the St. Kilda Film Festival – is upping the outdoor cinema ante by matchmaking five of Melbourne’s most respected restaurants with a handful of film favourites.
European restaurant Epocha will pair with The Grand Budapest Hotel; Le Bon Ton will put on “dude food” as a tribute to The Big Lebowski; Baby’s Italian food will complement The Great Beauty; Mamasita will bring Chef to life.
For the final evening in the series, chef Ian Curley from The European and French Saloon will serve ocean-trout nicoise, croque monsieur and mini boudin blanc burgers alongside one of his favourite films, Midnight in Paris.
“One of the things about bringing all of these restaurants south side is that the majority are from the north or CBD, so it’s really nice for those who live in the south to have great parts of that northern, culinary explosion come here,” says Strong.
Although each restaurant will serve special dishes inspired by a particular movie on a set night, you’ll be able to eat from each establishment throughout the program. There will also be themed cocktails, a separate Yak Ales bar and a third watering hole offering wines by the glass and bottle. St ALi will have a coffee stand. Desserts by LuxBite and Melbourne Racing Club head chef Julian Robertshaw will be your choc-top alternatives.
Gates open at 6pm, but the larger-than-most LED screen – as opposed to the projector screens usually used – means that the movie won’t start too late. Film buffs can expect the picture quality to surpass other outdoor cinemas, too. Get there early to score a good spot, eat your way through the movie-inspired menus and have first dibs on hiring deck and beach chairs.
Gourmet Cinema runs from March 2 to 6 at Caulfield Racecourse. Tickets are $19.50 ($14.50 concession) plus booking fee and are available from gourmetcinema.com.au.
Broadsheet is a proud media partner of Gourmet Cinema.