Lunch with the winemakers19th Jul, 2017
Lunch with the winemakers
Fascinated by the skill and beauty of wine making? Ever wondered what daily life is really like for a successful winemaker? Then join us for the first of our intimate winemakers’ lunches at Cumulus Up. Dine with Barney Flanders from Garagiste and Neil Hawkins from The Wine Farm over a 5 course family-style lunch featuring oysters, smoked mussels, charcuterie, Dry Aged O’Connor rib eye and ‘Bay of Fires’ cheddar matched to a special selection of Barney and Neil’s wines.
Ask Barney about his wine science degree, working in Italy, California and France or what it took to establish Garagiste on the Mornington Peninsula. Or find out from Neil what it was like leaving the corporate world behind to create his own little world in South Gippsland. A place where he grows his own wine and much of his own food, where his kids can get muddy and his dog can howl without upsetting the neighbours.
Saturday August 12
$75 pp incl. lunch and wine
Seats are limited so please call or email us to book your place.
03 9650 1445
Recently we chatted with Neil from The Wine Farm to find out a bit about why he makes wine in Gippsland and what it is about this magical region that delivers such interesting wine…
Q & A with Neil Hawkins – The Wine Farm
Q. What attracted you to the Gippsland region in the first place?
A. It was cold. I’m in South Gippsland. It’s a proper cool climate down here. It’s all well and good to have cold winters but what we have that’s important is cooler temperatures in February. I like my wines to have a good balance of freshness and ripeness, and those cooler temperatures around ripening mean that we have longer hang time on the vine without sugar levels jumping up too much and therefore greater balance.
Q. In your opinion, what characteristics does the Gippsland region have that other regions don’t?
A. Gippsland is massive; South Gippsland has this very old volcanic soil. Sometimes Pinot from Mornington or Yarra or Macedon can be a bit fruity, whereas Gippsland reds tend to have a darker fruit character and an earthiness that I don’t see in other Victorian regions.
Q. For newcomers looking from the outside in, how do you explain your wine growing/making philosophy?
A. Energy of youth and organic principals. I come at wine from a slightly different slant than some. Acidity and freshness are very important to me.
Q. What can we expect to see from you at the winemakers’ lunch?
A. I’ll be showing the sparkling. I’ll show wines that might be a little bit of a surprise. The Cabernet Sauvignon is one. I think people have a very clear picture in their heads of what Cabernet should be and hopefully mine challenges that convention a little.
Q. What’s the grape you believe suits South Gippsland really well?
A. Riesling works so well here; it’s those cooler temperatures I spoke about earlier. Great ripeness alongside great acidity.
Cumulus Inc Crosses the Ditch for Wellington on a Plate14th Jul, 2017
Cumulus Inc. Take Over @ Egmont St. Eatery
August 5th – 27th, Wellington NZ
The Wellington on a Plate festival is set to take over next months’ foodie calendar across the ditch in beautiful New Zealand. Wellington on a Plate is NZ’s most talked about culinary highlight – it’s a region-wide epicurean takeover with Wellington’s restaurants, venues, laneways and carparks playing host to wild celebrations of food and beverage through exclusive set menus, burgers, cocktails, unforgettable events and pop ups from August 5th -27th.
Cumulus Inc. is excited to be a part of the 2017 festival and will be taking over the popular Egmont St. Eatery for 2 days of serious Cumulus Inc. indulgence. Head Chef, Dean Little along with Allan Eccles (Cutler & Co.) and Josh Fry (Marion) will be flying the Cumulus Inc. flag and are set to show the Kiwi’s a thing or two about Lamb Shoulder (!). Represent, chef’s!
Cumulus Inc. @ Egmont St. Eatery takes place Saturday & Sunday August 12th & 13th, for more info head to www.visawoap.com
Cumulus Inc. Head Chef, Dean Little
Winter Warmer Recipes21st Jun, 2017
Roast spatchcock, Jerusalem artichokes, garlic & parsley puree
Our Spatchcock with Jerusalem artichokes and garlic and parsley puree is a real winter favourite among staff and guests. Tender roast chicken matched with sweet, crispy artichokes, balances wonderfully with the earthy tones from the garlic and parsley puree.
We purchase our spatchcock from specialty butchers Meatsmith on Smith Street, Fitzroy. They’re happy little free-range chickens from a farm in northern NSW near Byron Bay. Ask Troy the butcher or one of his team to butterfly the spatchcock for you and bring a piece of Cumulus Inc. home with you.
Spatchcock and brine
1 spatchcock, butterflied
1 litre water
25g caster sugar
2 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
2 tsp all spice
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 cinnamon quill
8 large Jerusalem artichokes
300g rock salt
Vegetable oil for frying
Salt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
Garlic and parsley puree
7 cloves garlic, peeled
3 Tbsp chicken stock
1 large handful flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
In a large pot, combine all the ingredients for the brine and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Submerge the bird in the brine and leave it for one hour in the fridge. This process not only seasons the meat, but keeps it moist during the cooking process.
For the artichokes, on a heavy-based roasting tray, spread rock salt in an even layer. Place washed artichokes on top of the salt then roast at 170C for 30-40 minutes or until spongy in texture. The salt will be extremely hot at this stage and will retain heat. Leave artichokes to cool on top of rock salt for 20 minutes while you prepare the garlic and parsley puree.
Cover the garlic in cold water in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, then drain. Repeat this process twice more. Return the blanched garlic to the pan and add the stock. Bring to a simmer and cook gently until the stock has reduced by half. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Add the parsley to the garlic mixture and puree together, season with salt and pepper.
For the roast chicken, pre-heat oven to 220C . Remove the bird from the brine solution after one hour. Pat the skin dry with paper towel to remove excess moisture. A quick and easy way to get a crispy finish on the skin is to treat the chicken almost like you would when roasting a piece of beef or pork.
Heat a heavy-based frying pan for 10 minutes over a gas burner. Add the vegetable oil noting that it should show signs of smoking. Place the chicken skin-side-down in the pan and begin to fry for a few minutes. This will kick start the roasted skin without overcooking the breast. Transfer the pan into an oven and cook for 8-10 minutes. Remove from the pan and rest the meat in a warm spot for another 10 minutes.
To finish the artichokes, remove them from the salt and slice them in half. Heat another heavy-based pan for a few minutes and pour enough vegetable oil in the pan to shallow fry (roughly 1cm). Fry the artichokes on a medium heat until nicely golden brown.
To serve, carve spatchcock in half along the breastbone or into quarters, if preferred. Spoon a generous amount of the puree onto a warmed plate, followed by the artichokes, and then the chicken. Ladle over any cooking juices that have left the chicken while roasting.
– from Mark Williams, Cumulus Inc. wine buyer
2013 Vinea Marson Pinot Bianco blend ‘Grazi’, Alpine Valley, Australia
This textural white made up of Italian varieties is a perfect match with the baby chicken. It carries enough richness to accompany the artichokes featured in the dish. White stone fruit and pear lift the aromatics of this wine and the medium to full body with crunchy acidity keeps the wine focused and fresh.
2014 Provenance Pinot Gris, Tarrington, Australia
This Pinot Gris from western Victoria has a nice bit of body to be able to match up with the chicken. Not one of these whimsy light Gris, it displays some nuances of Alsace in France. Aromatics on this wine such as pink grapefruit and green herbs intertwine with pot-roasted pears. More body than the run-of-the-mill aromatic whites going around.