Over three food coma-inducing afternoons, Talk & Taste delves into Melbourne’s multicultural food landscape through a series of informal talks. Part of the Talk & Taste experience is the Immigration Museum exhibitions, which explore who we are and where we came from. Drawing on this, each talk is accompanied by a ‘taste’ – a sample of the food the speakers made. You also have lots of opportunities to ask questions and learn about how culture can inspire cuisine.
My plus one and I made our way through the huge Immigration Museum, and, after a few wrong turns, found ourselves being handed a tasty-looking snack box and finding some good seats.
The panel of speakers were excellent and very passionate about what they were doing. “When we talk about Australia’s food identity, we have to mention just how open Aussies are to trying new food,” says our excellent moderator Gemima Cody. Gemima would know, too. As a professional restaurant critic at The Age (yes – the dream job) she presumably spends all day eating.
I had made the trip to Feast of Merit, a Richmond-based café, before and was looking forward to learning a little more about not just the food but the philosophy behind the café. As Pauline Duncan from charity YGAP explained, all profits from the café/social enterprise go to supporting various initiatives to help communities around the world. Basically, when you eat at Feast of Merit you can feel happy in your belly and your head knowing that you are helping those less fortunate.
The food boxes in question this time were from head chef (and lovely guy) Ravi Presser. He explained that while the food at Merit is Middle Eastern-meets-Melbourne; his own upbringing was full of completely different types of cuisine.
The run time of almost two hours is a little excessive (one hour would have been perfect), but overall the experience was great and we both loved the ‘tastes’. I think the biggest thing we got from the talk was that Melbourne has built its own food identity and that comes from how multicultural and accepting of new experiences we are as a city.
If you missed the first talk, don’t stress. There are still tickets available for another Talk & Taste session:
Saturday 5 Sep 2015, 2-4pm
Talk: Mazen Hajjar, Hawkers Beer & Joseph Abboud, Hawkers Beer/Rumi; Jenny Echevarria-Lang, Chato [read our review of Chato]
Taste: Selection of Hawkers beer, ‘Chato’ and Spanish inspired tapas
Tomas is a filmmaker, writer, coffee addict and tall person who does not play basketball. You can follow him @TomasZagoda.
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