growing harvesting preparing sharing

Just yesterday I was writing a piece about food and culture, then and now. This got me thinking about our future. When I was a girl, I learnt to cook from my aunty, and my mother, and other women in the home. As I developed my early cooking skills, I passionately followed the beautiful writings of another Australian woman, cook Stephanie Alexander.

I thought about Stephanie yesterday, when I was writing, not only because of the inspiration she was, and is, to me through her cookery, and her food writing, but also because of the aspirational work she is doing with the School Kitchen Garden Project.

I was blushing like a schoolgirl, when I recounted all of this to her today. She was one of the esteemed guests at the launch for the 2010 Melbourne Food & Wine Festival. Her involvement is exciting, and builds on the Festival’s centrepiece in Melbourne’s City Square. It’s being transformed into The Edible Garden.

The Edible Garden, will be “the ultimate food-producing urban garden” lovingly tended by the Digger’s Club. Green-thumbed activity will include a veggie swap. Stephanie Alexander is sharing her foundation’s ‘growing, harvesting, preparing, sharing’ philosophy at hands-on sessions for kids, and lunch-hour programming. The Edible Garden celebrates both the food we can grow in our own suburban backyard and the produce grown in Victoria’s regional backyard.

And, there are many other exciting events and guests (including international chefs). Britain’s culinary hero Jamie Oliver will join the resilient community of Marysville as a guest of Marysville World’s Longest Lunch. Other food and wine luminaries include David Chang, Mads Refslund, Rex Morgan, Massimo Bottura, Andoni Luis Aduriz, Chiara Boschis, Gaia Gaja and Guiseppe Valra.

2010 also sees the return by popular demand of Hawkers’ Market. Langham Melbourne Masterclass sees a renewed focus on natural ingredients as the culinary heroes.

Prahan Market will become nature’s nucleus as it transforms into an edible market garden by night for Earthly Abundance – The Dinner.

Federation Square will form a central hub during the evenings as Foodie Films take over the big screen and as deck chairs and sprawling lawn take over the Square.

And there’s so much more … but I’ll leave that for YOU to discover on the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival website.

Melbourne Food & Wine festival 12 – 23 March 2010.

Select Festival signature events are on sale now. The full programme is on sale from 8th December. melbournefoodandwine.com.au or Ticketmaster (61) 136 100

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