Peninsula Picnic Returns In 2016

MORNINGTON | After a sold out inaugural event earlier this year, the Mornington Peninsula’s most extensive food, wine and music gathering, The Peninsula Picnic, is returning this March 2016 with a bigger line-up of music, food, wines, and quality artisan wares, showcasing the best that the Mornington Peninsula has to offer.

The festival aims to create a family friendly “country harvest atmosphere” that encompasses all that is great about this region of Victoria, making the most of the leafy and sea-salted surrounds of Mornington Racecourse. This year, the music will be headlined by multiple ARIA award winning artist Missy Higgins, with other artists including Powderfinger’s Darren Middleton, Kim Churchill, Timberwolf and Ruby Whiting.

On the food and drinks side of things, you can expect to see the fresh produce of the Mornington Peninsula used in a variety of ways. Popular restaurants from last year that will be returning to the event include Montalto, Terminus at The Flinders Hotel, The Long Table, Dee’s Kitchen, Max’s at Red Hill Estate, DOC Mornington, Pope Joan and Ian Curley. New additions include The Green Olive, Cook and Norman Trattoria, Merricks General Wine Store and Paringa Estate.

Here are more details on the music artists and food providers who will be keeping the festivities rolling throughout the day.

Missy Higgins

Over the last decade Missy Higgins has become one of our most beloved singer/songwriters. Her first three albums, The Sound of White, On a Clear Night and The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle, have sold more than a million copies. They’ve each gone to #1 on the Australian charts and each has also been recognised with ARIA Awards.

In September 2014, Missy released her fourth studio album OZ, an eclectic mix of Aussie cover versions also accompanied by a quirky book of related essays. The album received rave reviews on release and in the accompanying OZ book, Missy uses each of the recordings as the starting point for a sprawling series of essays; reflecting on life, love, music and much more.

Kim Churchill

Kim has already accomplished impressive feats in his short time as a professional musician. He is recognised as much internationally as he is in his homeland, having performed headline shows, festivals and supports alike all over the planet. In recent years he has opened for Billy Bragg and Michael Franti, and performed at many notable festivals such as Montreal Jazz, Glastonbury, Cornwall Boardmasters, Victorious, Womad, Beautiful Days, Telluride Blues, SXSW, Winnipeg Folk Festival, Byron Bay Blues Festival and many more.

Kim Churchill matches his lyrical artistry with fierce vocals; he is a sonic architect, using his instruments to create landscapes to animate his lyrics. Live, he is a true virtuoso.

Darren Middleton

Darren Middleton is best known for his contributions to the legacy of Australian music as the guitarist in iconic Brisbane band Powderfinger who took the nation by storm dominating the Australian charts from their humble beginnings in 1992, right up until their disbanding in 2010. Now, Middleton steps out solo once again, announcing release of his upcoming album ‘Splinters’, a follow up to his 2013 full length debut solo album ‘Translations.’

With each new song, Darren sheds a splinter of his soul, carving unique stories that join together in creating a solid body of work that has as much depth as the strongest of heartwood.


Rising Australian Indie / Folk Artist Timberwolf is the moniker for Christopher Panousakis, a 24 year-old singer/songwriter from Adelaide. With strong roots in 60’s/70’s blues and rock, his take on modern folk music emulates soulful but cryptic songwriting, complimented by a melodic blend of guitars and vocals.

Ruby Whiting

Ruby’s love of music started at a young age, dabbling in a variety of instruments such as cello and piano, and now settling with guitar and voice as her musical vehicle. After completing high school she took a few years off and found herself writing and playing music increasingly often, developing her own sound and spending time with fellow musicians. Growing up in the sleepy beach town of Shoreham on the Mornington Peninsula, she once felt most comfortable in the slow and the quiet. A decision to study at RMIT took her to Melbourne’s northern suburbs, where she now calls home. In the last year she has been playing alongside friend Harrison Storm in his own project, occasionally in his 6 piece band and more commonly in a trio along with Justin Lewis.

Cook and Norman Trattoria

Opening in April this year in the calm watered surrounds of Flinders, owned and operated by Rowan and Janine Herrald (also behind Terre), the Trattoria focuses on handmade pasta and Italian wines. With an ever changing menu of specials that have garnered their own fan base, it is no uncommon to have weekly phone calls from customers inquiring ‘if the garfish is on’!


Montalto love food; growing it and making it! They’ll be bringing along their fresh home grown and locally sourced produce to create a truly memorable dining experience, honouring exceptional produce in a beautiful environment. Acclaimed Head Chef Barry Davis has been at the helm of the restaurant since 2005. His menu is inspired by regional France, but anchored in the fresh, seasonal produce of Montalto’s estate and surrounds.

Terminus at The Flinders Hotel

You’ll be able to indulge your culinary senses for a truly memorable experience on the Mornington Peninsula with the Executive Chef from the Terminus, Pierre Khodja, who will be producing a sophisticated melangé of French and Mediterranean cuisine with subtle, aromatic undertones from his North African heritage.

Pope Joan

Matt Wilkinson is chef and co-owner of Brunswick neighbourhood eatery Pope Joan, much-loved for its homely dishes – led by locally grown, seasonal produce – with a distinctly British twist. In 2013, Matt and business partner Ben Foster opened Hams & Bacon, Pope Joan’s produce store where customers can purchase many of the beautiful, local ingredients featured on Pope Joan’s seasonal menus. Matt will be sharing his love of the freshest, top-quality ingredients with a classic, retro-inspired menu.

The Long Table

Andrew and Samantha, founders of The Long Table Restaurant will create a unique food experience, offering passionately produced food reflective of their own personalities and their love for wine, food and art. Head Chef, Daniel Whelan’s move to the Mornington Peninsula has delighted patrons of The Long Table old and new. His classic yet simple inspired European fare is matched with a locally focused and eclectic cellar of wine, beer and cider.

Dee’s Kitchen

Dee’s Kitchen will be bringing their sense of celebration, diversity and culture, through their multicultural menu. It is about much more than just a meal; it’s a celebration of food, heritage, culture, and of course being social, within the relaxed environment of a beachside community. Dee’s menu is largely influenced by an Israeli and Mediterranean heritage. They’ll be serving healthy, simple flavours that everyone can enjoy including a Middle Eastern inspired sweet dish. They believe in keeping the dishes simple and honest to their origins, with fresh flavours.

Ian Curley

Executive Chef of The European Group venues and owner of Kirk’s Wine Bar, Ian Curley must be one of the busiest Chefs in Melbourne. With ten venues, 12 kitchens and multiple menus to oversee, his work is never done. He has even been known to be spotted polishing glasses in the bar if that’s where he is needed! He consults to Caulfield Racecourse and feeds the masses there to great acclaim. He also consults to Craig’s Royal Hotel in Ballarat, just for something else to do!

Max’s at Red Hill Estate

Established 20 years ago, Max’s at Red Hill Estate was the first winery restaurant on the Peninsula and today continues to delight guests with a seasonal, produce driven menu, combining the best the Peninsula has to offer with modern culinary techniques in a relaxed and welcoming environment. Their picnic menu created by the man himself, Max Paganoni, will feature fresh, flavourful food perfectly suited for a relaxed yet refined afternoon of revelry.

DOC Mornington

DOC will be exhibiting their real Italian eating and age-old simplicity refreshed with contemporary flair. A celebration of heritage. A joy in sharing. Authentic, exuberant… and outrageously Italian.

The Green Olive

Food for the heart and soul, Green Olive is situated on sustainable farm and grow their own olives, grapes, herbs and veggies, raise sheep and chooks and turn amazing produce from local farmers into a range of goodies you’ll love.

Merricks General Wine Store

The long history of hospitality at Merricks General Wine Store established in 1924, continues with their modern French inspired country cuisine. The very best seasonal ingredients in the hands of the newly appointed head chef Patrice Repellin and his brigade. They serve Classic country food in generous portions served at our Cellar Door bistro.

Paringa Estate

In October 2014, Paringa won the best “Restaurant in a Winery” category in Australia, at the National Restaurant & Catering awards. This is on top of the Age Good Food Guide 2014, 2015 and 2016 chefs’ hats. Their menu evolves with the seasons, and as new produce becomes available. Head Chef Julian Hills whole experience stems from reputable Melbourne restaurants, including The European, Middle Brighton Baths and The Courthouse, has planted a garden on the estate, and the herbs, flowers and vegetables feature in many of the dishes.

For full details and tickets, visit the Peninsula Picnic website.


Peninsula Picnic

When: Sunday 20 March 2016

Entry: Adults (includes wine glass), $77.00. Children, $19.00

Where: Mornington Racecourse, Mornington



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