I’ve always wanted to go to the World’s Longest Lunch and this year I got to tick one off the bucket list with an invite to attend the lunch last week. For the first time ever the lunch was held along the Albert Park Grand Prix race track. A huge team of chefs lead by Guy Grossi worked away in the pits building while the lucky attendees enjoyed the sunshine along the racing straight.
The sheer scale of the World’s Longest Lunch is hard to take in. I was seat number 804 and walked for about 10 minutes to get to my seat which was about halfway down the table with a total of 1,600 attendees.
Those pit crews at the Grand Prix can probably pick up a few tips about speed from the World’s Longest Lunch crew as each course arrived with perfect timing despite the scale of the event. We started with what was my favourite dish of the meal – pumpkin tortellini with a rich buttery sauce flecked with sage. Each dish was accompanied by a different Chalmers wine from Heathcote and I really enjoyed the crisp 2013 Fiano which cut through the richness of the tortellini.
My thoughts go out to the kitchen team which deboned 1,600 individual roast chickens for the World’s Longest Lunch. We all got our own beautifully burnished chicken stuffed with rice and mushrooms and sitting on a crisp kale leaf. On the side there were platters of heirloom carrots dolloped with whipped ricotta.
To finish Grossi’s celebration of milk in all its forms a “latte”. This wasn’t a coffee but instead a buttermilk panna cotta with streaks of white chocolate and caramel topped with a wafer made from milk crisp. It was smooth and cooling for a steaming hot day. The coffee came in the form of bottles of cold brew coffee cleverly delivered by bicycle for that compulsory caffeine hit at the end of a long, lazy lunch.
The World’s Longest Lunch was such a fun communal dining experience to be a part of. I recommend everyone tick it off their list as well.
Here are my picks for the best events of this year’s Food and Wine Festival.
Gourmet Chick was a guest of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.
Details: World’s Longest Lunch, Melbourne Food and Wine Festival
Damage: Budget breaking at $165 a ticket but on this occasion I did not pay.