May 082019
 

A new chocolate maker – Ratio Cocoa Roasters

Ratio Cocoa Roasters, who are based in Brunswick, make dark and milk single origin chocolate using traditional chocolate making techniques. The chocolate ranges from 45% to 100% cacao. There are no preservatives or additives. Their dark chocolate is vegan. You can buy their chocolate online on their website or at their shop at 186 Sydney Road, Brunswick. Their shop is open Thursday and Friday, 2–10pm,; Saturday, 10am–10pm; and Sunday 10am–5pm. It is also a cafe, selling hot chocolates, coffees and sweet treats. Inter alia, it is the only dedicated chocolate gelato store in Melbourne, with 7 different chocolate gelato on offer (2 vegan).

Uniquely in North East Melbourne, Ratio Cocoa Roasters do public tours of their factory on most Fridays and Sundays. $10. Book on EventBrite.

Read their page in our Local Food Directory. Welcome, Debb!

There are now 10 local chocolate makers in our Local Food Directory

Our biggest ever giveaway

Ratio Cocoa Roasters are generously giving away 30(!) complementary tickets to the factory tour to newsletter readers (thanks, Debb!). As you will see if you watch this video, the factory tour promises to be very interesting. I’m currently working out how best to distribute the tickets – they are paper tickets so they need to be physically picked up. I’m going to start with the following two methods:

  • Pick up from Eltham Farmers’ Market: if you want one or two tickets and are willing to pick up from Eltham Farmers’ Market, email me and we’ll arrange a day and time for pick up.
  • Pick up from The Veggie Spot – Lygon Street Community Garden: the Lygon Street Community Garden at 119A Lygon Street in Brunswick is within walking distance of the chocolate factory. If you turn up at their next working bee on Saturday, 18th May some time between 10.30am and 11am, I will be there and will give you some tickets.

Local food producer news

Alot of Good Stuff have opened a shop at 12 Templestowe Road, Bulleen which is open Tuesdays to Saturdays. It happens to be next door to one of the best takeaway spanakopita in the whole of Melbourne (the place is called Make ‘n’ Bake and the dish is called ‘spinach and cheese triangle’).

The Big Vegan Market, which is on this upcoming weekend, includes Billy van Creamy (Fitzroy North), Curry Favour (Hawthorn), PoppySmack (Warrandyte) and The Mrs & Co (Mount Evelyn).

Edible flowers

Following Pam Jenkins’ comments about edible flowers in last week’s newsletter, I decided to investigate a bit. The picture right shows some of the edible flowers sold by a UK company. A new page on our website discusses how these edible flowers can be used and when they are in season.

In Victoria, you can buy edible flowers from Petite Ingredient or Sprout House Farms. Flowerdale Farm’s edible flowers are available in a number of shops around North East Melbourne.

Read and watch what The Garden Gurus say about edible flowers.

Which link was clicked most times in the last newsletter?

Lots of you clicked on the thumbnail of the male gardeners (cf. World Naked Gardening Day) only to see an unrelated (but arguably amusing) cartoon. Many of you weren’t happy! By way of example, here’s one of the numerous emails that I received. “I am a bit befuddled by what went on in last week’s newsletter. I clicked on the image of Evan Gellert’s wheelbarrow for a closer look … and was transported to a cartoon of a chocolate Easter bunny with the caption ‘I just feel so hollow inside’. Then, even more disappointingly, I clicked on the naked gardeners … and it took me back to the same cartoon. In the oft quoted words of Pauline Hanson: please explain.

My reply: sorry, my bad! Not sure what happened or how it happened. Now corrected in the two pictures below.

     

Want a job?

Organic Fix, in Eltham, are looking for both full-time and casual people. Send your resume by email.

And the winner of Leaf, Root & Fruit’s tromboncino competition is …

… Brooke, whose fruit grew to 141cm (which is substantially longer than she is!).

Joke of the week

How do you make an apple puff? Chase it round the garden.

Read more jokes.

New events – Darebin Homemade Food And Wine Festival

The festival is being held from 1st June to 8th June. View/download the full program.

Preserving fruit with Kat Lavers: Saturday, 1st June, 10-11.30am; Northcote.

What: View Kat Lavers’ permaculture garden and explore her walk-in pantry used to store preserves throughout the year. Kat will discuss tips and tricks for preserving with a focus on fruit.
Cost: $10.
Bookings: their website.

Ratatouille (film): Saturday, 1st June, midday-2pm; Reservoir.

What: This Disney Pixar animation follows a rat named Remy whose dream of becoming a great chef sets into motion a hilarious and exciting chain of events that turns the culinary world of Paris upside down. For all the junior chefs out there! Dir. Brad Bird, USA, 2007 (PG). Mild animated violence.
Cost: $10.
Bookings: their website.

Home winemaking in the garage: Saturday, 1st June, 1-2pm; Kingsbury.

What: Ever wondered how Italians make wine at home? Tour of Vince’s garage, where Vince will talk you through his craft, honed over 55 years of winemaking, while showing you the crushing machine, wine press, fermentation tanks and other equipment that his uses. Shiraz and Cabernet that are his specialities.
Cost: $10.
Bookings: their website.

Our Blood is Wine (film): Saturday, 1st June, 3-5pm; Reservoir.

What: Filmmaker Emily Railsback and sommelier Jeremy Quinn provide intimate access to rural family life in the Republic of Georgia as they explore the rebirth of 8,000-year-old winemaking traditions almost lost during the period of Soviet rule. Dir. Emily Railsback, USA, 2018 (CTC). Not rated, recommended for mature audiences.
Cost: $10.
Bookings: their website.

The Lunchbox (film): Saturday, 1st June, 5.30-7.30pm; Reservoir.

What: In Mumbai’s famously efficient lunchbox delivery system, a meal made by an unhappy young housewife mistakenly lands in the hands of irritable widower. After realising the mix up, the strangers begin to communicate through a series of letters, revealing a little more of themselves each time. Dir. Ritesh Batra, India, 2013 (PG). Mild themes.
Cost: $10.
Bookings: their website.

Melbourne Food Hub open day: Sunday, 2nd June, 9am-3pm; Melbourne Innovation Centre, Alphington.

What: Experience the diverse food enterprises at Alphington Farmers Market and explore how community organisations and social enterprises based at Melbourne Food Hub are working together to grow, share, buy, make and recycle healthy, fair food.
Cost: gold coin.
Bookings: just turn up.

Local legends – Gary Campanella, Danny Cappellani and Mario Fantin – raspberry winemaking: Monday, 3rd June, 6.30-8.30pm; Darebin Arts Centre, Preston.

What: Join Gary, Danny and Mario from Eltham & District Winemakers Guild as they take you on a step-by-step journey through the age old process of winemaking, covering fermentation, racking, adjustments and bottling techniques. Plenty of tips and tricks for creating raspberry wine. The workshop will include the opportunity to sample finished wines and a mini raspberry winemaking kit to take home.
Cost: $35.
Bookings: their website.

Local legends – Luul Aligas – tastes from a Somali kitchen: Tuesday, 4th June, 6.30-8.30pm; Darebin Arts Centre, Preston.

What: For Luul Aligas, cooking has always been about generosity and sharing with her community. In this workshop you will learn how to make sambusas – a stuffed pastry that is a common appetiser in Somali cuisine – plus an accompanying chilli sauce. All food will be vegetarian and Luul’s chilli sauce will be available for purchase.
Cost: $10.
Bookings: their website.

Local legends – Ben McMenamin – cook for the planet : Wednesday, 5th June, 6.30-8pm; Darebin Arts Centre, Preston.

What: Ben McMenamin, founder of The Social Food Project, will discuss the EAT-Lancet Planetary Health Diet – a science-based plan to re-shape global food systems and change the way that we eat for both our health and our planet. You will learn how to make meals based on EAT’s weekly menu plan.
Cost: $10.
Bookings: their website.

Preston Market tasting tour: Friday, 7th June and Saturday, 8th June, both 9.30-11.30am; Darebin Intercultural Centre, Preston.

What: Eat your way around Preston Market! Discover the history of the market while chatting to traders who will share their foodie tips.
Cost: $10.
Bookings: their website.

Homemade marketplace: Saturday, 8th June, midday-4pm; Northcote Town Hall.

What: This market will showcase craft beer brewers, alongside wine and spirits curated by Thornbury’s Carwyn Cellars. Enjoy coffee and music while you wander around the marketplace, which will feature a carefully selected range of boutique food and produce stalls.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.

Meet the makers: Saturday, 8th June, 1-4pm; Northcote Town Hall.

What: Chat with Darebin’s local home wine and beer makers, sample the results of years of expertise and vote for your favourite.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.

New events – not cooking

Ramadan Iftar dinner: Friday, 10th May, 4.30-6.30pm; Heidelberg West.

What: Break the fast together and learn more about Victoria’s diverse cultural and faith traditions. Buffet halal meal at sundown (vegetarian options also provided).
Cost: free.
Bookings: TryBooking.

Composting workshop: Saturday, 11th May, 9.30-11am; Brunswick Neighbourhood House Community Garden.

What: Facilitated by Anna Sonogan. Brunswick Neighbourhood House Community Garden has upgraded its composting facilities. In this workshop, you will learn: how composting works, including the difference between hot and cold compost; how to balance your compost with the correct ratios of carbon and nitrogen; all about the improvements made to the BNH Community Garden composting system; and handy tips for composting at home.
Cost: free.
Bookings: by phone (9386 9418) or email.

Behind the bar – Suburban Gin / Imbue Distillery: Friday, 17th May, 5.30-7.30pm; Nillumbik Cellars, Diamond Creek.

What: Imbue Distillery are a new maker of gin and are based in Eltham. Nillumbik Cellars have been trading for over 30 years and are based in Diamond Creek. This is your chance to try some of Imbue Distillery’s gins for yourself – free to attend, free to taste, and no bookings required.
Cost: free.
Bookings: just turn up.

New events – cooking

Knockout gnocchi: Saturday, 18th May, 10-11.30am; Kitchen Warehouse, Box Hill.

What: Time to broaden your culinary expertise and meet pasta’s famous pillowy brother: gnocchi! They will show you how to make gnocchi at home through simple ingredients. From traditional potato to creamy ricotta and spinach, learn every nook and cranny that makes this classic Italian dish a favourite.
Cost: $30.
Bookings: their website.

Handmade pasta workshop: Saturday, 18th May, midday-1.30pm; Kitchen Warehouse, Box Hill.

What:They will show you how to make pasta dough by hand and turn it into a variety of pasta types. They may even throw in sauce-making secrets for good measure.
Cost: $30.
Bookings: their website.

Foolproof french macarons: Sunday, 19th May, 11am-12.30pm; Kitchen Warehouse, Box Hill.

What: These delicate patisserie cookies have a reputation for being finicky. But worry not – they will help you to get the technique down pat, from the fundamental techniques to creating flavour combinations to troubleshooting.
Cost: $30.
Bookings: their website.

Olive curing 101: Sunday, 19th May, 11am-12.30pm; Kitchen Warehouse, Preston.

What: Learn how to cure olives from scratch. Gain the know-how of matching different olive varieties with the right curing method and brine.
Cost: $30.
Bookings: their website.

Cheese class: Thursday, 23rd May, 7-9pm; Organic Fix, Eltham.

What: Learn how to make bocconcini, mozarella, ricotta, haloumi and mascarpone. Vegan walnut cheese tasting. Includes a $40 cheese making kit so that you can get started as soon as you are home.
Cost: $70 (includes a $40 cheese making kit).
Bookings: by phone (9424 1861) or by person at Organic Fix.

Basic bakes: Saturday, 25th May, 10-11.30am; Kitchen Warehouse, Preston.

What: Learn how to get the consistent results you’ve always dreamed of! They will share with you the tips and tricks behind a successful bake, from monitoring oven temperatures to choosing the ideal equipment. They will also show you how versatile butter cake can be by turning it into a apple-flavoured dessert and a chocolate marble creation.
Cost: $30.
Bookings: their website.

Petit gateaux: Saturday, 25th May, 12.15-1.45pm; Kitchen Warehouse, Preston.

What: Level up your pastry skills and learn how to assemble little French cakes using mousses and cremeux. Learn show to put a brownie base, raspberry gel insert, chocolate mousse, and glaze together.
Cost: $30.
Bookings: their website.

Summary of upcoming events – not cooking

Over the next week
Over the next month

Summary of upcoming events – cooking

Over the next week
Over the next month

View the complete calendar of upcoming events.