Saturday, 20 October 2012

Taking Centre Stage

I am one to enjoy being Wow'd and Amazed with food and arts, but when the two are combined together I become somewhat speechless.

An evening at the Art's Centre Melbourne was enjoyed launching their new image in capturing not only spectacular performances but to bring our dynamic food industry within. To ensure all aspects of the Arts centre is elegant in every level possible.

Beginning our evening in the Commonwealth Bank lounge, tailored with low ceilings and amazing lead lit walls and pillars, set for a remarkable effect as we sipped champagne, enjoyed delicate canapes and being welcomed to the evening of the launch.

Executive chef Sean Keating placed together some nourish treats to begin with my favourite being the Victorian Duck breast, five spice and compressed watermelon. Other canapes were the Spring Lamb loin, aromatic herbs and spices on a toasted sourdough with hummus and garlic milk as well as individual Parmesan dusted tartlets with whipped Meredith goats cheese and crispy puffed rice.

To follow we were introduced to their Culinary Consultant Jan Gundlach (Michelin star recipient) and presented with glasses of Sangria along with some extraordinary dishes of Sushi Royale with beetroot cured ocean trout, wild rice salad, avocado mousse and ocean trout caviar. Both fresh and unique filled with some cured vegies to bring another depth and flavour.

The other tasty dish bought another depth of flavour with a Rare yellow fin tuna trofie with shitake, spring onion, red wine and vinegar powder. Both pleasant and individually different, with it's stand alone presentation capturing the eye.

Whisked away to the ANZ Pavilion where we tantalise out taste buds with pots of Creamy Chicken and saffron soup with Sour cream pastry pillows and some rich Orecchetti with porcini cream, swiss browns and parmigiano, while we shown the adaptions that the Arts Centre has taken on board.

The Arts Centre Melbourne placed all revenue created from there food and beverage sales which has developed a range of artistic development programs and initiatives. With it's new development's they have offered 180 jobs so that they could develop the food and beverage to in-house. The arts Centre has created their own Signature Series where they have crafted their own range to showcase throughout the Centre.  The series include Genovese's coffee, Yering station's bespoke and indulgent Yarra Valley chocolates made from the Yarra Valley Chocolate Compant.

Into the Riverside Bar we are treated with some charming piano, whilst meeting the people behind the Signature Series as well as tasting the canape boxes hand crafted by Nicolas Poelaert.

The Canape Boxes were presented in gold designed box's which would be presented to theatre patrons to give them a culinary discovery to highlight their experience. A treat box of puffed rye pillow with goats cheese and thyme, Steamed bread, yoghurt, radish and cured kingfish, Smoked ham, gruyere cheese, smoked tomato chutney and to finish delicate pear frangipane tart.

After relaxing for a brief while we tour into the  Truscott Lounge. The Truscott room is laid out in Emeralds and golds to showcase the Oscar trophies of John Truscott. But it is not here that we finish our evening, it is on the stage of the newly developed Hamer Hall stage.

Hamer Hall brings back memories of my school years and there award nights. Looking back to the red velvet interior and it's overall romantic setting is a spectacular end to the evening.

A table is decked with desserts that your heart desires, but each having a unique spin. Glasses of sheep's milk panna cotta with beets and a shiraz sorbet, leaves for a desired taste with it's earth tones.

 Ivory and thyme chocolate bars with salmon pearls were creamy and melt in your mouth with bursts of roe. Not one for most people but those foodies who are living on the edge would love them.

Shards of dark chocolate with pea and avocado mousse and silver leaf and Confit garlic bulbs coated in chocolate with coffee salt and olive oil were ones that some avoided, but me a risk taker went for both with the garlic being one of my more favourites of the evening. weird I know and hard to explain, but all I can say is that if you like garlic and like chocolate then you really cant go wrong.

Jan Gundlach showcased the final dessert of a Pistachio pavlova, Turkish delight and black sesame tasting table finished with gold leaf and roses. The spread was a delight as you scooped your spoon through the pavlova, sorbets and creams with enchanting zing from citrus flavours and mild favours of the black sesame to break through. So tasty that I think I went back for a third spoon (no double dipping I promise).

The overall evening was delicate and the elegance shone through the evening. The Art's Centre Melbourne has developed a creation to continue what they explain is a love story through the Arts and food.  To entwine the two together to make an experience exceptional through out the restaurants and bars and into the theatre itself.

The evening showed our there developed professionalism through both the back of house and front of house teams. They gelled together and the night ran smoothly with no hic-cups that the audience could see. On each step of the way the team were there hand and foot serving us beverages. Not once was there a room where waiters weren't there before us. The team has worked hard and the efforts should be rewarded.

The Arts Centre Melbourne is endeavouring to bring us wider culinary and arts experiences through out the year with upcoming events such as the Festival of food where programs will be held like 'An Obsession with chocolate morning tea', ' Master classes' and a 'Festival of Food Hawkers Market'.

The development is truly going to marriage the Arts and Food together and I hope all Melbournians get involved more with their Art's Centre and enjoy the Culinary experiences they are delivering us.

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