Under the radar
Gusto! A culinary history of Victoria
The rich diversity of Melbourne and regional Victoria’s culinary scene is much lauded. Visitors can now explore the gastronomic world of both through the State Library’s wealth of culinary treasures. Gusto! is a free exhibition showcasing items such as photographs, posters, labels, packaging, cookbooks and hand-written recipes, many of which have never been exhibited before. Featured foodies include renowned Melbourne personalities such as Jacques Reymond, Rita Erlich and Guy Grossi. A solid-gold Vegemite jar and an army biscuit from World War I are but a couple of the highlights. The exhibition runs 3 August 2012 until 28 April 2013.
Winter wonderland at The Enchanted Maze
The Enchanted Maze Garden, just an hour out of Melbourne, is unveiling a giant Snowdome as part of its winter program this month. Filled with thousands of white foam snow balls, the oversized dome joins an exciting choice of indoor and outdoor activity at this award-winning attraction on the Mornington Peninsula. Visitors can rug up and take a ride on one of four 150m tube slides or wander through The Enchanted Sculpture Walk to experience frost covered tree sculptures of the Bunnerong elders. For those wanting to escape the chill, there’s an eerie, indoor 3D Maze, three winter picnic marquees or fudge tastings and hot chocolate at the Amazing Lolly Shop.
Bendigo Writers’ Festival
The City of Bendigo will hold its first Writers Festival this August (10 -12) showcasing more than 50 writers from genres such as crime, history, romance, poetry and fiction. Keynote sessions featuring Ita Buttrose, Gideon Haigh and Don Watson will take place at Bendigo's glorious heritage performing arts centre - The Capital Theatre. Interviews, discussions, performances, readings and Q&A sessions with writers and illustrators provide for a scintillating program staged in various venues throughout the city.
Rare Book Week
Staying on the literary theme, kicking off in Melbourne on 19 July is Rare Book Week, enticing lovers of literature to flock to Victoria’s capital for ten days of literary exhibitions, lectures and events. Hidden Secrets is offering ‘Melbourne by the Book’, a special two hour walking tour for enthusiasts to discover the city’s literary history. The perfect city for such an event, Melbourne is recognised as a UNESCO City of Literature and recently saw the unveiling of Literature Lane, a lasting legacy of Melbourne’s literary diversity.
New Japanese cooking class on high
Much-loved Japanese restaurant Tsubo in Dinner Plain (Victoria’s High Country) has introduced cooking classes this winter to give visitors to the alpine region the opportunity to get hands on with Japanese cuisine. Chefs Hamish Nugent and Rachel Reed are eager to share their expertise, hot off their return from Japan. Classes start at $85pp for the Izakaya class that includes a lesson on cooking Okonomiyaki and gyoza, to the Simple Sushi class with a three-course lunch ($139pp). Tsubo also offers a four hour masterclass for those looking for a challenge in preparing a roasted honey duck feast and side dishes. Classes include transport to and from accommodation.