What's On: April events in and around Melbourne

British sound artist Matthew Herbert will be cooking up some tunes in Melbourne this month.
British sound artist Matthew Herbert will be cooking up some tunes in Melbourne this month. Photo: Supplied


High tea with a twist
How’s this for different? A little bit burlesque and a little bit Motown. Local food catering group Bursaria are serving up high tea with a twist on April 21st at the Abbotsford Convent and the food may just prove secondary to the entertainment, which will be curated by Bravo Darling. But yes, there will be food: Honey-cured salmon with remoulade on dill blinis, baby buttered leeks and lavender mini tart to name a few bites, along with a roving dessert menu.

Details: Sunday April 21st, 2-4pm, Rosina Function Space at the convent, 1 St. Heliers Street, Abbotsford. Tickets are $55 per person. For booking inquiries go to: bookings@bursaria.com.au or call 9417 7771.

Producer dinner in the city
Gavin Baker, chef at Little Hunter, the city’s new grill house, will host the first of what promises to be many producer dinners later this month. The inaugural event will celebrate Robbin’s Island wagyu (Tasmania) in a menu that will showcase Baker’s smoking skills (even the dessert in smoked burnt butter ice cream).

Details: Sunday April 28th, Little Hunter, 195 Little Collins St, Melbourne. Dinner costs $120 per-person with matched wine. Phone 9654 0900 or see www.littlehunter.com.au

Pig for thought
Melbourne chef Jesse Gerner (The Aylesbury) teams up with British DJ and electronic artist Matthew Herbert (pictured top) for a unique event at the Melbourne Recital Centre on Saturday April 13. Herbert will perform his controversial performance piece One Pig, which has attracted protest from animal-rights activists overseas. Gerner meanwhile will lend his culinary skills to the mix; think music and the sound of frying pork. Make up your own mind. It's all part of the Metropolis New Music Festival.

High tea at the Abbotsford Convent this month promises to be a little more energetic.
High tea at the Abbotsford Convent this month promises to be a little more energetic. Photo: Supplied

Details: April 13, 8pm, Elisabeth Murdoch Hall, Melbourne Recital Centre, 31 Sturt Street, Southbank. See metropolisfestival.com.au for more details.

Yarra Valley Food & Wine Festival
Highlighted by three major dinners around the Yarra Valley, the food and wine festival is set to showcase the region's fine food and wine. Don't miss the main event; the Garden Party - taking place on Sunday April 14 at Healesville Racecourse - will include tastings, demonstrations and live entertainment.

Details: April 11–14, various venues around the Yarra Valley, Healesville-Yarra Glen Road, Healesville, Victoria. For more information visit their website.


Pop-up night at The Merri
Celebrate autumn's harvest with round two of POP-UP at The Merri at Brunswick's CERES environment park. French pastry chef Younes Khazour (pictured above) teams up with Nick Boyle (sous chef, Rockpool) and Ashley Harvey (former sous chef at Bella Vedere) to create a dinner-time feast. Tickets are on sale now.

Details: April 12, $80, your tickets here.


Heathcote Unearthed
Look forward to a Sunday afternoon of fine food and wine tasting at Pei Modern. Eat a stunning four-course menu accompanied with Heathcote wines as you taste your way around one of Victoria's best wine regions.

Details: April 14, from 12 Noon, $135, Pei Modern, Collins Place, 45 Collins Street Melbourne, Bookings are essential on 9654 8545 or visit their website.

Pack a picnic rug and head to Elsternwick for another Harvest 'n' Graze festival event. Take advantage of the food, beer and wine stalls on offer and laze the day away whilst enjoying some great Australian music.

Details: April 14, Rippon Lea Estate, 192 Hotham street, Elsternwick, 9528 5045, for more information visit their website.

Help hospitality stars of the future
HEAT hospitality students are putting their skills to the test. Guests can enjoy a two or three-course cafe lunch and help students gain practical work experience.

Details: April 18, $20 (2 course) or $25 (3 course), SKYS Learning Centre, 62-74 Pickles St, South Melbourne, for more information visit their website.

Harvest Festival
It’s harvest time in central Victoria and the producers and providores of Daylesford, Macedon and surrounds are in a frenzy. Harvest Week is a fun, food-filled program that enables visitors to taste their way around the region and join in with lots of hands-on activities for all; from making pasta, trout fishing, farm tours, learning the art of charcuterie to butchering a pig. Local cafes, restaurants and wineries are getting in on the action with tasting plates and one-off lunch and dinner specials. For the full program see www.dmproduce.com.au

April 26 - May 5. Website


Sourdough bread baking workshop
Master the basics of bread at the Boonderoo Organic Farm Micro Bakery in Cheshunt. This hands-on workshop takes you through from the milling process and finishes with baking your own loaves in a wood-fired brick oven.

Details: April 6 - 7, Boonderoo Organic Farm, 922 Upper Rose River Rd, Cheshunt, Victoria, 5729 8441, for more information visit their website.

Cooking for kids
To coincide with the success of Liz Long's first cookbook, The Junior Gourmet, classes will be held to teach your little chef some skills in the kitchen. Cuisines include Mexican, Thai and Indian.

Details: April 8–10, Luscious Affairs, Shop 9, Toorak Village, Toorak Road. Call 9827 7199 for all inquiries and bookings. Classes $99 (three hours).

Preserving masterclass
Forget store-bought jams and make your own instead. This hands-on workshop will show you the basics of pickling and preserving your own jams and conserves. Using seasonal produce the recipes for the day include spiced plum jam, Moroccan chilli jam, Kimchi and more.

Details: April 13, 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM, Community Kitchen, CERES Environment Park, Cnr Roberts and Stewart St, Brunswick, for more information visit their website.

Growing fruit
Cool weather means the time to plant fruit trees is nigh. The folk at Mount Alexander Fruit Gardens in Harcourt, central Victoria, want to help you perfect the art of fruit-growing and will be holding a series of half-day workshops from now until the end of June. Topics include building healthy soil, pest and disease control and pruning. City-dwellers, don't despair; classes will be held at the Collingwood Children's Farm, as well as in Harcourt.

Details: April 18 until end of June, $44 (group discounts apply), for more information see www.mafg.com.au

For the diary

High Country Harvest
Get down-to-earth with top chefs, producers, winemakers and craft brewers for a ten-day celebration of the North East's autumn flavours. Events include foraging for mushrooms, cycling tours, and a bee-keeping workshop.

Details: May 17–26, for more information visit their website.