Melbourne is delicious

Foodies Guide to Melbourne 2009 - Campion and Curtis

By Louise Johnson
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The Age Foodies' Guide to Melbourne 2009 - Allan Campion and Michele Curtis

The Age Foodies' Guide to Melbourne 2009 - Allan Campion and Michele Curtis

I've lived in Melbourne for six years now and I haven't stopped eating local food since. The day I arrived, driving from New South Wales, I took a "shortcut" off the Hume Highway through Yea and had my first taste of the great regional produce of this state.

For the first two years I religiously crawled out of bed early on Saturday mornings and joined the Toorak mums in joggers, baseball hats and hired trolleys at the Queen Victoria Markets. Then I found the Prahran and South Melbourne Markets, then Preston Markets, and when The Foodies Guide to Melbourne 2009 arrived and I'm off to Footscray and Camberwell so I can say I've done them all, and will probably keep doing them, maybe on a regular rotation. Then I found the chapter on farmers markets, some I hadn't seen before, which I've entered into my diary for the coming weekends.

I must admit a minor panic  when I read the title this year. In 2007 Hardie Grant published The Foodies Guide to Melbourne and Regional Victoria by the same authors and reading the latest edition's title I thought our regions had been missed out - understandable perhaps that Melbourne's foodie scene has grown so significantly that it would push the regions out into their own publication. However, our beloved regions are still there in the "out of town" chapter - they just didn't make the cover this year.

The Guide announces the Foodies Awards for 2009 - accolades for retailers who make Melbourne the foodie capital that it is.  Ganache Chocolate in South Yarra, Hausfrau Bakery in Yarraville, Il Dolce Freddo's gelati in Carlton and Le Petit Gateau in the city suggest authors and judges Allan Campion and Michele Curtis had a very sweet tooth this year. Wild Mushroom Specialist Damien Pike (find him at the Praham Markets), John Cester Poultry and Game in South Yarra, Tartine in Armadale and Annie's Provedore at Barwon Heads fly the flag for the savoury lovers.

Outside of the markets, finding good speciality seafood retailers has been the bane of my existence, especially since we moved to the northern suburbs. Hello to the fish and seafood chapter which not only highlights the best suppliers in some of the markets but has some high street retailers that are already adding more seafood to my family's diet. A real treasure is M & C Seafoods in Preston, a wholesaler that welcomes retail customers and labels "all of their products as either local or imported, so you always know what you are buying."

The maps are a great feature, especially if you plan a day to explore a suburb. Areas like South Melbourne show a massive cluster around the market area which can suck you in and steal your day. The map reveals that just a short walk away are delights like the Daley at Chimmy's bakery in Park Street, and Cloudwine up on Clarendon St. But perhaps the best way to discover Melbourne's food is with a local food tour - there's a whole page dedicated to them, including one hosted by co-author of the Guide, Alan Campion.

The Foodies Guide to Melbourne raises a massive question - how can the big guys, those supermarket chains, compete with the amazing quality of produce and passion available in our fair city?

 

The Foodies Guide to Melbourne 2009 by Allan Campion and Michele Curtis is published by Hardie Grant Books, October 2008, RRP A$29.95

VisitVineyards.com and Winepros Archive subscribers may buy The Foodies Guide to Melbourne 2009 online at a subscribers-only 12.5% discounted price through our book partners, Seekbooks (postage extra).

 

Regions

  • Geelong and Bellarine Peninsula (VIC)
  • Great Ocean Road (VIC)
  • Melbourne Surrounds (VIC)
  • Melbourne (VIC)
  • Mornington Peninsula (VIC)
  • Yarra Valley, Dandenongs and the Ranges (VIC)

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