Home' South Gippsland Sentinel-Times : February 14, 2017 Edition Contents THE SOUTH GIPPSLAND SENTINEL-TIMES, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2017 - PAGE 27
WHETHER you’re a foodie, gardener, farmer
or simply love good music, you’ll find plenty
to entertain and educate you at the inaugural
Meeniyan Garlic Festival, the first of its kind in
Victoria, on Saturday, February 18.
Or you might simply enjoy a hedonistic jour-
ney through the taste sensations available on
the day to keep you fed and watered, such as
smoked garlic beer and garlic ice cream!
Peruvian cooking sensation Alejandro Sara-
via (ex-Heston Blumethal’s ‘The Fat Duck UK’
and now executive chef at Melbourne hot spot
Pastuso) will lead a panel of distinguished chefs
cooking up a storm throughout the day.
Leading Melbourne Spanish restaurant Mov-
ida will be sending their chef down, supported
by local chefs Tamsin Carvan, Maria Stuart and
Naturally they will all be showcasing the al-
chemy of garlic in their presentations.
Celebrity chef and food writer Stephanie Alex-
ander is also coming down and hoping to sign
books at the festival.
Melbourne food writer, author and garlic
champion Richard Cornish, along with wine
aficionado Rob Hicks (Grape Expectations)
and Marty Thomas from Moos of Meeniyan will
host the Festival Kitchen which will alternate its
half hour shows with live music on the Festival
Ex ‘Men at Work’ guitarist John Rees has
organised a fantastic line up of easy listening
music to keep you mellow throughout the day.
Popular local group ‘Beggs to differ’ will be
there and a special performance by the Aria
award winning Choir of Hard Knocks, conduct-
ed by founder Dr Jonathan Welch, is expected
to draw a large crowd at 12.30pm.
Principal artist with Opera Australia, Nicho -
las Jones, will perform hits from music theatre,
with a touch of swing, just a day before head-
ing to the Sydney to perform in Carmen at the
If you’re interested in growing garlic on a do-
mestic or commercial scale, garlic guru Penny
Woodward and experienced growers will be
conducting workshops and talks at the Garlic
Institute in the Meeniyan Hall.
Learn about the various cultivars, how to
grow garlic, preserve it, infuse it ...whatever
takes your fancy!
Watch too for local legend Ron Smith speak-
ing on the use of garlic to support herd health.
Not enough for you? Lots of fabulous stalls
selling tantalising tucker, deli treats, arts and
craft... and of course beautiful ropes of local
garlic and garlic products to take home.
There’ll be old fashioned games and activities
for the kids including billy cart races, garlic
and spoon races plus displays of historic cars
and tractors to admire, so there’s something
for everyone. Watch for wonderful Art in Garlic
in the main street too!
The brainchild of Mirboo garlic farmers Kirst-
en and David Jones who also own the Meeniyan
Store run by their daughter Flick, the festival
is being hosted by the Meeniyan Tourism and
Traders Association Inc.
“The whole town has been captured by the
festival concept and we are thrilled with the en-
thusiasm of the volunteers who have come on
board to help,” said David.
“We’ve also attracted significant media cov-
erage in the city so we are expecting a good
While the festival formally ends at 4pm, lo-
cal eateries are preparing to cater for dinner
crowds and booking is recommended.
The Brunswick Women’s Choir and local
‘Acoustic Kitchen’ will perform in the hall at
8pm and tickets can be booked on www.try-
Supplementary parking will be available at
Stony Creek Racecourse, with shuttle buses
linking with town. There is also parking provi-
sion at the Racecourse for people with a dis-
Tickets can be purchased at the Meeniyan
Reserve gate and at the Meeniyan Hall: $10 for
adults and children under 16 free.
For more information on the festival, visit
Like the event on Facebook and help spread
the word... it’s a great excuse to invite friends
down from the city!
A festival of new experiences!
Celebrate the wonders of garlic in Meeniyan on Saturday, 18.
PERUVIAN is the latest Latin American cui-
sine to excite Australian palates, and that’s
music to Alejandro Saravia’s ears.
Executive chef for Melbourne dining hot
spot Pastuso, Alejandro will headline a panel
of distinguished chefs demonstrating their cu-
linary skills at the inaugural Meeniyan Garlic
Festival on Saturday, February 18, courtesy of
His experience gained working at Les Am-
bassadeurs in Paris and Heston Blumenthal’s
‘The Fat Duck’ in the UK hint at the rare
treat that festival goers will witness as Ale-
jandro blends the magical flavour of South
Gippsland garlic into his Peruvian dishes on
the festival stage at noon.
“Peruvian food is so unique in terms of
flavours and ingredients that if I tried to do
traditional food here, it wouldn’t be truthful
to the cuisine – so it is modern Peruvian, to
encourage you to go to South America to try
the real thing!”
Peruvian cuisine combines Pre-Inca and
Inca staples and food with the Spanish,
Basque, African, Asian, French, Italian and
British cuisine which immigrants brought
Next to foreign influences and ethnic diversi-
ty the Peruvian cuisine is also characterised by
Peru’s unique climates and landscapes which
produce almost 4000 varieties of potatoes!
The traditional staples are corn, potatoes
and other tubers, Amaranthaceaes (Quinoa,
Kañiwa and kiwicha) and legumes (beans and
Staples brought by the Spanish included
rice, wheat and beef, pork and chicken.
Seafood also features strongly on Peruvian
menus, often with surprising accompani-
ments such as prawns lightly poached in aji
mirasol and white ponzu, smoked caviar and
purple kohlrabi, or salmon with a sour or-
ange dressing, Amazonian chillies and plan-
For further information on the festival, go to
Pastuso’s executive chef Alejandro Saravia will be in action at the Meeniyan Garlic Festival.
to cook at festival
RECENTLY retired organic dairy farming
legend Ron Smith will speak on managing the
health of your herds at the inaugural Meeniyan
Garlic Festival on Saturday, February 18.
If you’ve heard of Ron’s work, you won’t be
surprised to learn that garlic was an integral
part of his animal health program, particularly
during the conversion to organics.
Ron and his wife Bev were the first organic
dairy farmers to be certified in Australia with
National Association of Sustainable Agriculture
Australia (NASAA) and have been organic for
over 30 years, converting a challenging tract of
land at Fish Creek into a profitable biodynamic
Ron will speak of his experiences using natu-
ral remedies including garlic and supplements.
He will also go into the need to have a healthy
soil in which to grow plants, a little of how the
soil life operates in different conditions and
why it is important to have a balance all the
way from the soil to the plate.
The Smiths now mentor on these subjects for
farmers and gardeners.
“Once the soil was balanced, the herd health
naturally improved and so we now use less gar-
lic but it was extremely important in the con-
version stages of the farm.
“It is a natural anti-inflammatory and so it is
useful for mastitis and lameness for example,”
“When you begin to see the benefits of work-
ing with the principles of nature, it is extremely
satisfying on so many levels.
“Nature has its own medicine cabinet and we
just need to learn the alchemy of its resources
to heal our lives and our environment.”
Ron’s talk at 1pm is part of a series of edu-
cational talks throughout the day at the ‘Garlic
Institute’ in the Meeniyan Hall.
Home gardeners or those considering grow-
ing garlic commercially will find this is the per-
fect place to be.
Experienced growers and experts will be on
hand to present talks, explain the many cul-
tivars and answer your questions. Books and
garlic stock will also be on sale.
Check the Festival program to ensure that
you don’t miss a talk that might be relevant to
Entry to the festival is $10 for adults (chil-
dren free) and tickets can be purchased at the
There’s plenty more happening at the festi-
val on the Meeniyan Recreation Reserve – live
music, cooking demonstrations, stalls, historic
cars and tractors, billy cart races, garlic and
spoon races... something for all the family!
Go to www.meeniyangarlicfestival.com.au for
Heal the herd with garlic
We love garlic in Meeniyan
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