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This Week in Food: Happy Ham-sters and a festival in a Melbourne suburb you’ve probably never heard of

THIS WEEK IN FOOD

THE INCIDE WORD – Proud of its fiercely independent format of local, interstate & international brewers and cider-makers, the Beer InCider experience has spent 6 years in Brissie and is coming to the Melbourne Showgrounds on Saturday March 2. Each year they reveal a special range of exclu-brews, and for 2019 it’s a “Miracle Cure” collaboration between Australian rockers Something for Kate and Mornington Peninsula Brewery. There’ll be plenty of food trucks and pop-up restaurants, and even a “Little Smith Street Precinct”. More info www.beerincider.com

SOUTH WHERE? – Fair to say most people don’t know the suburb of South Kingsville even exists, let alone where it is, so worth giving the Vernon Street Festival a little plug. It’s happening on Sunday 24th Feb in this one way, bustling little shopping strip from 11am – 3pm. There’ll be activities for the kids, a “bretzel twisting” demonstration, pizza flipping comps and plenty of opportunities to discover this hidden gem’s wealth of eateries and traders. All the details – https://www.facebook.com/vernonstreet3015/

EVOLVING ESTELLE – The Estelle has been a favourite of mine since it first opened as a charming, retro-diner. There have been a few changes since, and the evolution continues. Fine-diner Estelle by Scott Pickett (ESP) is no more, the new Northcote venue sees the old bistro become a bar, and the old ESP transform into a restaurant … and it all comes under the original banner of “Estelle”. It’s open seven days for dinner, and Friday to Sunday for lunch, the bar menu boasts a Wagyu bolognese & kimchi toastie; or in the restaurant you can try the very Australian kangaroo with blood plum, endive & macadamia. https://www.theestelle.com.au/

HAPPY HAMSTERS – Make your own Jamon, prosciutto or other smallgoods? Test your mettle by entering the “Hamster of Lara” amateur comp at the Lara Food and Wine Festival! The main prize is a perpetual trophy honouring the memory of local artisan producer Angel Cardoso, and competition is fierce for the cash prizes on offer. You’ve got until 3pm on March 12 to get your entry in, the festival itself is on Sunday March 24. More info – www.larafoodandwinefestival.com.au

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