Inverloch and its beaches are a special place for many of us.
Whether it's fish and chips near the sea on a toasty summer eve; huddled by the footy ground catching a game or snapping a new surfboard in half during the first session of a road trip up Australia's East Coast.
The town and surrounds can be the perfect base for a lazy holiday largely bereft of shoes or a fantastic bookend for a road trip (taken by bike or car) along this captivating stretch of coast.
And, for one magical weekend in November (17-19th) - specifically Saturday's HUGE event - Inverloch will host a delicious combination of acclaimed Gippsland produce and A-listers of the culinary world, set in the dreamy seaside town.
Yup, from the gun team that brings you the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival comes this year's Village Feast; an event guided by thoughtful program curation and all the small touches that make it one of the very best on the foodie calendar.
“...all the small touches that make the Village Feast one of the best on the foodie calendar.”—
The main event is the annual Village Feast on Saturday afternoon (12 – 8pm) on Inverloch’s village green, The Glade. It’s a market-style food and wine festival with collabs, wine bars, workshops, live entertainment and the who’s who of the Australian culinary scene.
So, who’s going to be there?
The Cook Up’s Adam Liaw leads the charge of personalities getting together to make the deliciousness. He’s teaming up with chef Thi Le of Anchovy, Jeow and Ca Com fame. Paul Carmichael, the trailblazer who led Momofuku Seiobo’s celebration of Caribbean food to world acclaim, is working with local-boy-made-good Nick Mahlook and his Sodafish crew, author, MasterChef winner and patisserieGip extraordinaire Emelia Jackson is joining forces with social sensation that is The Invy Baker, Mod Dining chef Clayton Wells is collaborating with Paynesville heroes Sardine Dining, Victor Churchill chef Vincenzo Ursini joins Trevor Perkins and the Hogget Kitchen crew in a meeting of expert meat-minds, there’s a meeting of town and country pizza thought-leaders in the form of Leonardo’s team-up with Trulli, as well as taco action from Raph Rashid and the Taco Truck with special guests Ricos Tacos, plus Gippsland Jersey rocking ice-cream sundaes and more, you’ll have fine Gippsland cheese from Udder & Hoe, and, for all your cacao-related needs, Cuvée Chocolat.
Catch them on the pans across 10 food stalls, or talking shop, up close, personal and informal, in the Chef Shack, hosted by The Seasoned Traveller herself, Sofia Levin.
Drinks? We got you. There are seven festival bars, run by leading producers Patrick Sullivan and William Downie, Momento Mori and Bandicoot Run, Dirty Three Wines, Sailors Grave, Good Land Brewing, Gurneys Cider and Loch Brewery and Distillery, and if that isn’t dazzling enough there are another 14 top-drawer winemakers offering free tastings at the Wine Gippsland Cellar. If you want to get a little more structured in your drinks learning, there’s chats in the Drinks Shack, hosted by Dan Sims and Shanteh Wale, and all the drinks are available to buy so you can load up your cellar for the summer silly season ahead.
Things to see and do
Bands, DJs and sea shanty singalongs provide the soundtrack, while The Village Market is the place to go if you want to buy local produce, gifts and artisanal wares. Painter Lucy Hersey's popular art workshops are back, while the new Kids’ Zone is dedicated to activities and games for the younger enthusiasts, with cupcake decorating, sandcastle-making competitions plus the ever-irresistible face-painting.
Playing live at the Village Feast
6.45pm-7.45pm Alex Lloyd
5.30pm-6.20pm Kim Churchill
4.15pm-5.00pm Cool Out Sun
3.05pm-3.50pm Maddy May
1.05pm-1.35pm Carissa Nyalu
12.15pm-12.50pm Invy Horn Jam
Make a weekend of it
We’ve got delicious adventures running on Friday afternoon and evening, Saturday morning and Saturday night and on Sunday, all the more reason to stay a night or two, and make the most of everything your trip, whether it’s wine, cheese and music with William Downie and Rachel Needoba at Guendulain Farm, a Georgian feast with Gray & Gray and Momento Mori at The Borough, or a Gippsland cheese and dairy masterclass hosted by Mould Cheese at the Kongwak Butter Factory.
You can also pop down to the beach for an early Sunday morning swim with the local Icebergers, and enjoy a local Inverloch Egg and Amber Creek bacon roll with a side of coffee.
The Village Feast: it’s a big day out and one that you’re going to love, so why don't you block out your whole weekend and spend it in Inverloch?
Thanks to the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival team for supporting our giveaway and this post.
Kudos to Events Gippsland (a great resource on the Village Fest can be found here), Bass Coast Shire Council and Wine Gippsland, who are partners of this spectacular event.