March Into Merivale Rides Again

How cool is it to have a 3 week food and wine entertainment event in the middle of summer? And how sexy is the arty advertising poster for “Art of Food” – whatever age you are and whatever your tastes – check out the line up of sensory indulgence and foodie edutainment available in this year’s March into Merivale Festival (twitter handle #MIM2011 ). Just surfing the website literally made me salivate in anticipation.

This slick foodie extravaganza organised by “Bar Tsar” Justin Hemmes serves up a smorgasbord of exciting events to suit every budget, from Feb 21 through to April 15 2011. Like any great lifestyle connoisseur should, Justin Hemmes has hand picked and collected his own coterie of Australia’s most talented chefs, dotted all around Sydney’s dining landscape. Combining exciting chefs with the services of a world class sommelier and then letting their creative juices flow has proven to be a sure-fired recipe for success. Launching next Thursday (Feb 24th) with a gastronome’s version of a street party for just $20 per head, March Into Merivale 2011 will also repeat the incredible $33 lunch and dinner offers across eleven Merivale restaurants (and four pubs), as well as a whole range of master classes. Check out the full festival details here at

Here are Champagne Jayne’s personal #MIM2011 highlights:

Melbourne MasterChef @ est.

Andrew McConnell is one of Australia’s finest chefs. The owner and chef of Melbourne’s famed Cutler & Co. and Cumulus Inc., presides over the est. kitchen for one night only. Melbourne’s very own Masterchef will treat you to a five-course menu of his signature dishes…

$160pp 5-courses includes a glass of French champagne
Date: Monday 21st February, 7pm
est. Establishment, Level 1, 252 George Street, Sydney. Bookings essential 9240 3000

Showcase: Biodynamic wine dinner
With Nicolas Joly and Julian Castagna

Loire Valley winemaker Nicolas Joly converted his family estate entirely to biodynamic principles in 1984 and is now considered an industry inspiration. Julian Castagna is the father of biodynamic wine-making in Australia, making some of the country’s best shiraz in Beechworth. Both of these pioneers will showcase their wines and ideals at est. restaurant, matched to a five-course menu designed by Peter Doyle.

$250pp 5-courses includes matched wine
Date: Wednesday 16th March, 6.30pm

Charlie & the Chocolate Factory lunch

Step inside Lotus’s Roald Dahl inspired weird and wonderful world of culinary experimentation. See the world of Willy Wonka come to life as Lotus transforms at this literary-inspired lunch for chocoholics and the child in all of us. This overwhelming sensory experience promises to be a dentist’s nightmare as we prepare an entirely-sweet lunch menu.

$75pp includes a cocktail on arrival, $35pp for children
Date: Saturday 2nd April, 12 noon
Lotus, 22 Challis Avenue, Potts Point, Sydney. Bookings essential 9240 3000

Foodie Film Nights

Merivale will fold out their own laneway cinema screen for a series of mouth watering food-related films, a delight for gourmets and movie-lovers alike.

$39pp includes the film, tapas and a glass of wine or beer
Dates: From 6pm, film starts after sunset
Monday 7th March – The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (R)
Monday 14th March – Julie & Julia (PG)
Monday 21st March – Chocolat (M)
Monday 28th March – Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? (R)
Ash Street Cellar, 1 Ash Street, Sydney
Bookings essential 9240 3000

Champagne Tasting – Uccello

A perennial favourite for all champagne lovers – more like a social club than a tasting – so much so that we look forward to bumping into practically the same gang every year. Merivale’s head sommelier Franck Moreau is a Frenchman who knows his champagne. On March 30th he pours bubbles from over twenty different champagne houses. Enjoy Uccello’s beautiful poolside setting along with delectable canapés that complement these fine champagnes.

$90pp includes canapés from Eugenio Riva
Date: Wednesday 30th March, 6.30pm
Uccello, ivy, Level 4, 320 George Street, Sydney
Bookings essential 9240 3000

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1 Response

  1. February 22, 2011

    […] McConnell arrived in Sydney on Sunday with two of his chefs on a self-titled “busman’s holiday” to prep and jam in the Merivale kitchens with celebrity chef pal Peter Doyle. On Monday night McConnell effortlessly combined and contrasted flavours and visuals on the plate to bring interest and pleasure to the palate, much as an artist uses the the nuances of paint on a palette. The morning after he flew straight back to Melbourne to begin his own working week at Cutler & Co. Lucky for foodies everywhere, in his 20s, Andrew McConnell chose food over art and now brings a broad range of diverse master chef learnings into his kitchen and front of house experience. McConnell is definitely a devotee of the “Art of Food” which just happens to be the theme of this year’s March Into Merivale festival. Hence the perfect synergy! More about Champagne Jayne’s highlights of 2011 March Into Merivale Festival here. […]

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