Vivid Sydney Lights Up

by Alise Salins on May 25, 2015

www.foodwinetravel.com.au, Vivid Sydney.

The lights are warming up, the music is getting louder – the stage is set. Vivid has descended on Sydney.

Drums made from plastic containers are being thumped and pounded as I’m standing in front of The Star. In time with the beat, the trees light up, accompanied by the sound of fireworks in what’s known as Pyrmont Pyro. This digital fireworks display in Pyrmont Bay Park is totally captivating.

The lightest and brightest, and now perhaps even the loudest, festival this country offers, Vivid Sydney is a hit with visitors and locals alike. Festival goers have even more to love this year, with new precincts like Chatswood and Chippendale’s Central Park adding to installations in The Rocks, Circular Quay, Darling Harbour, Walsh Bay, Martin Place, The Star & Pyrmont.

Seven years since it first began, the festival can only be described as sensory overload, with the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour and other iconic landmarks and urban spaces transformed by 3D projections and more than 60 light installations.

www.foodwinetravel.com.au, Vivid Sydney.

It’s a journey of creative discovery with light, music, sculptures and ideas as the platform. See the harbour in a new light as the sails of the Opera House are transformed into a living mural, boats change colours and the city skyline is illuminated in a rainbow of lights.

Make sure you visit the Argyle Cut with its flowing imagery of birds, marine and animal life and words from Sir David Attenborough, from 7pm each week night, 6pm on weekends.

www.foodwinetravel.com.au, Vivid Sydney.

Are you a Presets fan? If so, you won’t want to miss the Laser-Fountain Water Theatre, right by Harbourside Shopping Centre. With jets shooting water 30 metres into the air and complete with spirals, lasers and dancing flames, the show is choreographed to an awesome soundtrack created by the Australian duo.

www.foodwinetravel.com.au, Vivid Sydney.

Be sure to visit The Star, where there is a sweet pop-up dessert bar with Vivid Treats created by Executive Pastry Chef Buddika Gunawardana. Think fairy floss, warm crepes and hot chocolates.

Vivid Sydney runs until June 8, 2015. For the full program, visit www.vividsydney.com

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The Tables Are Set For Hunter Valley Wine & Food Month

by Christine Salins on May 22, 2015

www.foodwinetravel.com.au, Hunter Valley Wine & Food Month, Margan Wines, Peterson House, The Sebel Kirkton Park, Muse Dining, Troy Rhoades-Brown, Briar Ridge, Gwyn Olsen, making gnocchi.Hunter Valley Wine & Food Month offers the chance to wine and dine with leading Hunter Valley winemakers and chefs, take part in an array of interactive classes to fine-tune your culinary skills, or curl up beside an open fire with a glass of wine and a cheese plate. The month-long food and wine extravaganza includes more than 60 events throughout June, across about 40 different venues.

We had a taste of what’s on offer during a media preview and were blown away by the diversity of events. If you haven’t been before, mark it in your calendar now – you don’t know what you’re missing. If you have been, I’m sure there’ll be plenty more to pique your interest.

www.foodwinetravel.com.au, Hunter Valley Wine & Food Month, Margan Wines, Peterson House, The Sebel Kirkton Park, Muse Dining, Troy Rhoades-Brown, Briar Ridge, Gwyn Olsen, making gnocchi.

www.foodwinetravel.com.au, Hunter Valley Wine & Food Month, Margan Wines, Peterson House, The Sebel Kirkton Park, Muse Dining, Troy Rhoades-Brown, Briar Ridge, Gwyn Olsen, making gnocchi.Our first stop was for breakfast at Peterson House for a preview of its Bare Vines & Bubbles event to be held on June 27 and 28, when wines from various local wineries will be served amongst the vines, along with food from Peterson’s Restaurant Cuvée and local producers.

www.foodwinetravel.com.au, Hunter Valley Wine & Food Month, Margan Wines, Peterson House, The Sebel Kirkton Park, Muse Dining, Troy Rhoades-Brown, Briar Ridge, Gwyn Olsen, making gnocchi.

We strolled in the flourishing kitchen garden at Margan Restaurant & Winery, which will host a number of events, including The Original 100 Metre Meal, available daily during June. Guests will do a similar garden tour followed by a cooking class and leisurely lunch, great value for $50. Lunch includes estate-grown Suffolk lamb with heirloom vegetables and a glass of White Label Barbera, everything grown on site within 100 metres of the restaurant.

www.foodwinetravel.com.au, Hunter Valley Wine & Food Month, Margan Wines, Peterson House, The Sebel Kirkton Park, Muse Dining, Troy Rhoades-Brown, Briar Ridge, Gwyn Olsen, making gnocchi.

A very popular event is the Olive Long Table Luncheon at Whispering Brook, where a Mediterranean-inspired menu will be accompanied by wine, live music, a walking tour in the olive grove and a talk on extra virgin olive oil. We sampled some of their Frangipane tart and guests are clearly in for a treat.

www.foodwinetravel.com.au, Hunter Valley Wine & Food Month, Margan Wines, Peterson House, The Sebel Kirkton Park, Muse Dining, Troy Rhoades-Brown, Briar Ridge, Gwyn Olsen, making gnocchi.

Many of the events are very imaginative, not least of them the Sweet Decadence tasting at Pepper Tree Wines (above) where the wines will be matched with ‘Brix’ chocolates, an interesting and delicious exercise, held daily during June.

www.foodwinetravel.com.au, Hunter Valley Wine & Food Month, Margan Wines, Peterson House, The Sebel Kirkton Park, Muse Dining, Troy Rhoades-Brown, Briar Ridge, Gwyn Olsen, making gnocchi.

Another interesting tasting is #VivaVerdelho at Tulloch Wines, held on weekdays in June, where you can taste five styles of Verdelho matched with different foods.

www.foodwinetravel.com.au, Hunter Valley Wine & Food Month, Margan Wines, Peterson House, The Sebel Kirkton Park, Muse Dining, Troy Rhoades-Brown, Briar Ridge, Gwyn Olsen, making gnocchi.

At First Creek Wines, we had a preview of their Eat, Drink, Run event in which guests travel by bus between four venues, sampling wines paired with morsels prepared by local chef Matt Dillow.

www.foodwinetravel.com.au, Hunter Valley Wine & Food Month, Margan Wines, Peterson House, The Sebel Kirkton Park, Muse Dining, Troy Rhoades-Brown, Briar Ridge, Gwyn Olsen, making gnocchi.

Then it was time to get down and floury at Il Cacciatore, where we had a hands-on preview of their Art of Gnocchi masterclass, making the gnocchi ourselves then sitting down to eat it in a couple of beautiful dishes.

www.foodwinetravel.com.au, Hunter Valley Wine & Food Month, Margan Wines, Peterson House, The Sebel Kirkton Park, Muse Dining, Troy Rhoades-Brown, Briar Ridge, Gwyn Olsen, making gnocchi.

One of the highlights of Wine & Food Month will surely be the Dine with the Dynamic Duo lunch on June 14 at Muse Restaurant, when two bright young Hunter talents, Gourmet Traveller Wine Young Restaurateur of the Year, Muse owner/chef Troy Rhoades-Brown, and Young Winemaker of the Year, Briar Ridge winemaker Gwyn Olsen, join forces to present a very exciting four-course menu. This event is definitely one not to be missed.

www.foodwinetravel.com.au, The Sebel Kirkton Park, where to stay in the Hunter Valley, Accor hotels, Hunter Valley Wine & Food Month.

We stayed at The Sebel Kirkton Park which, with 24 hours notice, will make up lovely picnic hampers for anyone who is still hungry. It also has a fabulous Murder Mystery night planned for June 20, which you can read about in another post.

NSW TrainLink and Destination NSW are offering “Food & Wine Escape” packages throughout June. Phone 13 72 45 for details.

For the full calendar of Hunter Valley Wine & Food Month events: www.winecountry.com.au
More information about the Hunter Valley: www.visitnsw.com

Listen to Christine talking about Hunter Valley Wine & Food Month on Radio 87.8FM.

www.foodwinetravel.com.au, Hunter Valley Wine & Food Month, Margan Wines, Peterson House, The Sebel Kirkton Park, Muse Dining, Troy Rhoades-Brown, Briar Ridge, Gwyn Olsen, making gnocchi.

You might also like: The Sebel Kirkton Park; Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley Wine Festival; 5 Dinners That Are Simply Too Good To Miss.

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Friday Food Tip #108

by Christine Salins on May 22, 2015

FoodLogoSteam or boil Brussels sprouts, then chop them and fry with button mushrooms in butter and nutmeg. Season to taste and serve with sour cream sprinkled on top.

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