Cheese lovers, rejoice! After a break last year, the Fromage à Trois Cheese Festival is returning to Werribee Park, Victoria, on 8 April. “It’s the ultimate cheese picnic,” says a spokesperson for the event. “It’s a chance to discover and meet cheesemakers and cheesemongers while enjoying live music.”
Matthieu Megard from L’Artisan Cheese invites the public to come have a chat and try his new cheeses – perhaps taste the Marcel first, a Saint-Marcellin/Saint-Félicien-type cheese, or his new Gruyère. “We’ve been making Gruyère for a long time, but this is a new recipe, very fruity and sweet, with a nice finish and a bit of a wild plant taste,” he tells SBS Food. (See his recipe, below.)
Once you’ve sampled a few cheeses, go build your own picnic at the Richmond Hill Café and Larder pavilion. Of course, you’ll find cheese, but also charcuterie, bread, quince paste, olives and everything you need for the perfect lunch.
If you’re keen to learn, head to the demonstration stage to see Giorgio Linguanti from That’s Amore Cheese make mozzarella, Shannon Martinez from Smith & Daughters prepare a dish with vegan cheese or TV presenter Emma Dean explain how to cook the perfect goat’s cheese soufflé.
Don’t miss Anthony Femia from Maker & Monger explaining how to master a classic. “My demonstration will involve how to cook the perfect cheese toastie at home,” he says. “As everyone has their favourite way, I’m hoping to demonstrate a few tricks and techniques that will improve the flavour and texture of everyone’s favourite snack!” You’ll be able to taste Femia’s famous toasties at the Maker & Monger stall, as well as his Swiss raclette with heritage potatoes and shiitake mushrooms.
There will be loads of other cheesy dishes from around the world, like Bolognese arancini from Arancini Art, chilaquiles from Poncho Mexican Street Food Truck and fresh gnocchi from Little Pasta Lab. If you’re looking for something different, you can’t miss the Parmesan ice cream from Billy Van Creamy.
To wash it all down, there will be a range of drinks, with a special focus on cider and craft beer. “It’s great that, for once, a festival doesn’t immediately associate cheese with wine. Some cheese and cider or beer matches can be more interesting than the usual wine matches,” says Megard.
Get your ticket here and grab your shopping bag, the cheesemakers and mongers are waiting for you. Femia says he’s counting down the days. “The pure joy you see on someone’s face when they take their first bite of a piece of Comté, or the way their eyes light up at a gooey unctuous triple-cream brie, is priceless.”
Fromage à Trois Cheese Festival
Sunday 8 April
11 am – 6 pm
Werribee Park, Victoria
The $47.59 second release tickets include cheese samples and a festival glass to keep.