Food, wine, music, blue sky and sunshine. The first ever Peninsula Picnic this weekend ticked all the boxes for a most excellent Sunday afternoon.
Tickets sold out thanks to some great acts (The Waifs and Paul Dempsey) and the promise of top local food and wine. It certainly wasn’t your average festival hot chips and hot dogs. The standout dish for me was the dukkah crusted scotch eggs ($15) from Max’s at Red Hill Estate. The eggs were served warm encased in spicy sausage meat and teamed with a fig, celery and walnut salad.
Other picnic food included slow cooked short rib of beef from Ian Curley at The European. It was so tender that it fell apart with one nudge of the wooden picnic cutlery set.
Montalto served up salmon ($16) which was grilled on the BBQ while you waited and teamed with slices of the winery’s own apples, fennel and marinated goats fetta. The tart salad was a great foil to the smoky fish.
There were also food stores not strictly from the Mornington Peninsula. But there were no complaints from me at the addition of Pope Joan’s famous soft serve machine serving up smoked yoghurt ice-cream ($5) topped with crushed freeze dried raspberries and pistachio crumbs.
While the food, drinks and music could not be faulted the only problem with the Peninsula Picnic was its sheer popularity. The space inside the venue was very cramped with many of the food stalls selling out of dishes by around 4pm (the picnic continued until 7.30pm). Hopefully next year the organisers will either allocate a bigger space to the festival or cap the number of tickets for sale more stringently.
Gourmet Chick received a media pass to the Peninsula Picnic. All food and drinks paid for personally.
Details: Peninsula Picnic, Mornington Peninsula Racecourse.
Damage: Pricey. Entry tickets were $74.