Food and Drink
Posted by Brihony Tulloch
12. Mar, 2015
In recent years it seems that the whole world is obsessed with some kind of carb free diet. The Paleo diet, clean eating and of course gluten free food have become increasingly popular in restaurants. However, the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2015 has dumped this trend in favour of delicious, wholesome homemade carbs.
The Festival Artisan Bakery and Bar is the headliner at this year’s event. Boasting a selection of freshly baked loaves and sweet goodies as well as coffee, preserves and an ample wine list, patrons can sit on the banks of the Yarra and soak up the atmosphere, all free of charge. You can even try your hand at kneading, baking or cheese making with workshops featuring local culinary greats such as Michael James, Daniel Chirico and Anna Kate Pizzini.
The layout of the bakery has a Parisian feel; mint wicker chairs and long cedar tables decorated with dainty potted plants. Although they have many enticing platters on offer, I decide to keep it simple with a fresh loaf of sourdough bread and a pot of smoked salt butter from the Myrtleford region.
The loaf is difficult to cut, but the firm crust belies a tender and fluffy inner core. The first bite is spongy and fresh with a perfectly subtle sour flavour. It’s the kind of bread that just begs to be dipped into salmon pâté, slathered with soft butter or decorated with cheese and olives.
The smoked salt butter is totally foreign to me, and the idea of a smoked dairy product isn’t exactly appealing. The smooth texture is complimented by an intense and delicious salty flavour. It’s rich and decadent with the occasional pops of pure sea salt. I believe there are some foods that one can consume without a second thought for its calories content – and smoked salted butter is definitely one of them.
The Artisan Bakery and Bar is a celebration of the simple things; flavour, ingredients and recipes. Bread is a staple in almost every Australian home. But gone are the days where you would have local bakery that would service the community, baking fresh loaves every morning that weren’t bleached white or vitamin enriched. The focus on wholesome yet masterful bread has definitely passed. That’s why it’s so important to have places like the Artisan Bakery and Bar that showcases the importance of good quality bread.
Festival Artisan Bakery And Bar
Queensbridge Square, 1A Queens Bridge St, Southbank
Friday February 27 – Sunday March 15
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