Piccolo: Melbourne food industry news including Castlemaine's Public Inn move

Social enterprise Scarf is partnering with Carlton North's Green Park to run a series of autumn dinners.
Social enterprise Scarf is partnering with Carlton North's Green Park to run a series of autumn dinners. Photo: Erinna Ford

Castlemaine's Public Inn is moving to the old fire station building on Templeton Street. The move marks a consolidation between Public Inn and sister cafe Re-public, which occupies the fire station's reel-house. The Public Inn will stop trading from its current corner-pub location on March 22, and is expected to reopen in the fire station at Easter. Owner Hayden Winch says the move is phase one: "Eventually, we will create alfresco dining and a craft brewery on the same site."

Ian Curley, executive chef of Spring Street's European and co-owner of Kirk's Wine Bar (corner Hardware Lane and Little Bourke Street), has confirmed that he and business partner Con Christopoulos have taken over the two apartments above the wine bar. Curley says they are currently renovating the apartments, which will be used as a dining room through the week and private events space on weekends. He also plans to hold Saturday cooking classes upstairs after the extension opens in late June.

Social enterprise Scarf is partnering with Carlton North's Green Park for a series of autumn dinners. Starting tonight, and running every Tuesday until May 12, Green Park will be staffed by young refugees and asylum seekers in training – gaining skills to help land a job in hospitality. Dinner is a two-course set-menu from head chef Howard Stamp; $40 a head; bookings@scarfcommunity.com.au.

The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation has reached its target, with the program now teaching children in 800 primary schools about growing, harvesting, preparing and sharing seasonal food. Now, for the first time since it launched in 2001, the not-for-profit organisation is inviting secondary schools and early learning centres to join the program. Membership is $275 for the first year, $110 a year thereafter for access to design and planning templates, teaching and learning activities, videos and more. For details go to kitchengardenfoundation.org.au

Tip your hat to St Pat today with an Irish brunch of house-smoked bacon, free-range eggs, sausage, black pudding and potato bread at the Last Jar from 11am to 3pm. Thigh-slapping tunes from local bands start at 6pm. The Last Jar, 616 Elizabeth Street, city.