The latest in epicurean news

From luxury food tours to new hotel restaurant offerings and rare wine and spirit experiences, here’s the latest food news from around the world.

Gourmet tour of New Zealand

Brisbane cooking school the Golden Pig has announced a 10-day food and wine tour of New Zealand, which will take place from 17 to 26 March 2018. Co-hosted by the company’s owner Katrina Ryan and Kiwi restaurateur Vivienne Farnell, guests will be led on an epicurean exploration of New Zealand’s finest wines and dining venues.
The journey will kick off on Waiheke Island, with two nights at the Baywatch Estate and lunch at one of Farnell’s fine-dining restaurants, Poderi Crisci. From there, the experience will meander south, eventually culminating in a wine tour of Central Otago, in the countryside surrounding Queenstown. Highlights of the itinerary include a private cellar tasting and lunch at Amisfield Winery, and dinner at Botswana Butchery in Auckland. Ryan says the tour focuses on “hand-picked regional food and wine experiences, with a little bit of walking, cycling, cooking, kayaking and optional golf thrown in”.
Prices start from A$9,350 per person including accommodation, internal flights, transfers, all activities, and most meals and wine.

Four Seasons Sydney unveils Mode Kitchen & Bar

Truffle risotto

Mode Kitchen & Bar has opened its doors on the ground floor of the Four Seasons Hotel Sydney in the Rocks. The 1920s-inspired venue serves a seasonal menu crafted by head chef Francesco Mannelli. Drawing on his experience at hatted Sydney restaurants Balla, est. and Uccello, Mannelli’s menu features Fremantle octopus, slow-cooked wagyu cheek, and king prawns with burnt butter, as well as a signature carrot cake with citrus and cinnamon inspired by a family recipe. The 24-metre brass and stone bar serves signature interpretations of classic cocktails, like the Contessa, a smooth Negroni made with Brookie’s Byron Bay Dry Gin, Aperol and Antica Formula vermouth, and the Mode G&T, made with Archie Rose Dry Gin and StrangeLove Dirty Tonic.

Rare whisky degustation at Eau-de-Vie

Melbourne will get to sample some of the world’s rarest scotch this September, with cocktail bar Eau-de-Vie hosting an exclusive degustation and tasting event. The Balvenie DCS Compendium Chapter One is a unique collection of five rare single-malt whiskies, aged up to 46 years and worth A$57,000. Eau-de-Vie is the only bar in the world in possession of a Chapter One; the remaining 49 editions produced globally were all sold into private collections. Tickets to the five-course degustation event are priced at A$1,500 per person.

Michelin dining in the Maldives

Maldives resorts Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani will be hosting an eight-star Michelin culinary experience this October, in collaboration with Dutch chef Henk Savelberg. Six renowned Michelin-starred chefs, all hailing from the Netherlands, will be conducting events across both Soneva resorts from 21 to 25 October. The events will include a one-night-only restaurant takeover, food stall market and a ‘chef battle’, which will see the chefs competing in a head-to-head cooking contest.

Wildflower experience at COMO The Treasury, Perth

Dining at COMO The Treasury

This spring, COMO The Treasury in Perth will be offering guests a culinary exploration of the region’s indigenous produce, led by executive chef Jed Gerrard. The two-day experience will draw on the knowledge and practices of the traditional custodians of the land, the Noongar people, who have eaten the seasonal native plants in the area for thousands of years. Guests will be taken on a guided tour of Perth’s Kings Park where they will learn how indigenous Australians use blossoming wildflowers to determine which plants are ripe for eating. They will also get the chance to dine on a five-course meal designed to showcase local produce such as southwest marron (a freshwater crayfish) with native river greens, and wood-grilled Arkady lamb with artichoke, saltbush, peppermint tree cream and malt oil. The Wildflower Experience will be available from 1 September to 30 November and will include two nights’ accommodation, a welcome gift, picnic lunch, indigenous heritage tour, valet parking and a five-course tasting menu with paired wines. Prices start from A$1,950 per person, twin share.


Gourmet getaway with Stefano Manfredi

Australian-Italian chef Stefano Manfredi, often referred to as the ‘godfather’ of modern Italian cuisine, has partnered with luxury Sicilian villa Rocca delle Tre Contrade to offer a weeklong culinary experience for aspiring home chefs and Italian food lovers. Sitting on the fertile foothills of Mount Etna and surrounded by the fish-rich waters of the Ionian Sea, Rocca delle Tre Contrade provides a picturesque backdrop for a culinary exploration of Sicily. Over the course of the week, days will be spent visiting local fresh-food markets, taking guided tours of the nearby cities, and learning and practicing culinary techniques under the expert guidance of chef Manfredi. In between meals guests can take a stroll through the villa’s lemon groves and vegetable gardens, play a game of tennis or cool off in the pool. In the evenings, a gourmet dinner will be prepared by the villa’s in-house cooks and accompanied by local wines. After a long day of culinary immersion, guests will retire to their luxe rooms in the 12-bedroom, 19th century villa.
The culinary week will run from 14 to 21 October 2017. Prices for the seven-day experience start from €4,600 (about A$6,769) per person twin share. For those whose partner prefers relaxation to degustation,  the villa also offers reduced rates for accompanying partners sharing the room and not participating in the culinary experience.

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