The Flemington Grazing Trail & Cellar Door is part of the autumn racing season’s “Super Saturday” and is held in conjunction with the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival. I was invited to the preview lunch to sample some of the food on offer at the event, which was held in a pop up up marquee at Flemington’s Lindsay Park Racing Stables.
Wine on the day was a selection of tasty drops from Wolf Blass. I was a big fan of the White Label Chardonnay, which reminded me of a French Chablis.
The menu, which was designed to share, was put together and cooked by Argentinean chef Mauro Callegari (of Gembrook’s recently opened “The Independent“) and was Argentinean food with Calegari’s own modern twists.
The first dish being a medley of chicken, smoked eggplant, sweet corn, capsicum and palm heart. The crispy coating on the chicken was especially irresistible, and made the chicken one of my favourite things on the menu.
The impressive hunks of beef short rib were super tender and very easily fell straight off the bone. In true Argentinean style the beef was served with chimichurri and salsa criolla.
Moving distinctly into the “modern twist” end of the menu was this freekeh, zucchini and labneh salad. There were also carrots with smoked syrup, coriander, chilli and peanuts which were particularly tasty – so much so that there wasn’t an untouched plate by the time I realised I hadn’t taken a photo. Trust me, they looked as good as they sound.
The most experimental of the dishes was this sweet corn, pumpkin and beef ragout topped with meringue. This dish certainly raised more than a few eyebrows when it appeared on the table and we realised that it wasn’t dessert. It was tasty, but a quite sweet.
Moving onto the dessert proper was this stand out dish. Chocolate, marquise, dust, fruit, caramel and meringue. There were a lot of flavours and textures going on here and it was one of those dishes where you could eat the different components in any combination that you wanted and get a different, but still very tasty bite each time. Really enjoyable.
No tasting menu would be complete without, of course, cheese.
Everybody in attendance got to bring home one of these plates, which are hand made in Victoria and painted by chef Callegari’s father with assorted Argentinean imagery.
Super Saturday is one of the biggest days on the Autumn racing calendar and, after the meal, guests had the opportunity to learn about some of the horses that will be competing on the day thanks to legendary trainer David Hayes.
Along with the racing and food, the event will also feature cooking demonstrations from Melbourne chefs, including Jake Kellie (Estelle Bistro), Stephen Burke (Melbourne Pub Group), Nicky Riemer (Union Dining), Andrew Logan (Mamasita) and, of course, Mauro Callegari.
If the food at the preview is anything to go by then the Flemington Grazing Trail & Cellar Door should be a great day for lovers of horse racing and good food alike. Check out the official website for full details.
Flemington Grazing Trail & Cellar Door
When: 14 March 2015, 11:30am to 5:30pm
Entry: Included with the $25.00 Super Saturday Race Day Ticket
Where: Front Lawn, Flemington Racecourse, 448 Epsom Road, Flemington