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Food, Inside Story

Australian Grand Dairy Awards Evening at Pop Up Patch

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The best of Australian Dairy was showcased in style recently at The Australian Grand Dairy Awards in a secret garden setting at the Pop Up Patch space in Melbourne. With Alice in Frames (Alice Zavlavsky) an exuberant host, the Melbourne weather rising to the occasion, and top Melbourne chef Jake Kellie (ex Estelle) creating masterpieces for the event; this was a highly enjoyable evening.

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An innovative awards night included sampling dairy winning products at various "stations" throughout the Pop Up Patch. This was a "who's who" of the Australian Dairy Industry with media and foodie luminaries present.

The World Loves Melbourne was invited along to imbibe and we loved the format of the evening; allowing us to engage with producers and award winners, and to sample world class dairy products. We were already aware of many of the brands, but were also introduced to new tastes, and we appreciated hearing some of the "back story" by award winners.

This is a sponsored post. Brought to you by Nuffnang and Australian Grand Dairy Awards.

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The Australian Grand Dairy Awards are Australia’s most prestigious national dairy awards and the highest accolade for a dairy producer in Australia.

A highlight was the crowning of the "Grand Champion Dairy Product", taken out by Bulla Dairy Food's Crème Fraiche (pictured below). The judges were enthused about this product that won over 300 contenders; with this crème fraiche a sour cream product able to be used in both sweet and savoury dishes. Bulla was the first to introduce crème fraiche into our supermarkets.

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The Australian Grand Dairy Awards celebrate quality and excellence in Australian dairy produce. Held annually (now in its 17th year) these awards the grand final of dairy competitions in Australia and recognise the finest dairy and cheese products from around Australia. The competition is keen and 20 experienced judges have a difficult task to select winners.

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The World Loves Melbourne is right into all things dairy, and we can relate to all the categories up for awards; of cheese, yoghurt, ice cream, milk, butter, and dip. Bring it on!

Alice in Frames was a superb host as usual, and her personality and command of all things foodie enhanced the awards evening.

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Jake Kellie created a sensational Harvey Fresh Milk Mousse with honeycomb, viola and sour berries. Hailing from WA this Harvey Fresh Free Range Full Cream Milk is fresh, clean and sweet, just how milk should be. We also celebrated the Pauls Smarter White Milk with a creamy mouthful; and the sensational Norco Real Iced Chocolate Ultimate. Speaking with Robert from Norco, I was then able to sample this serious product for chocolate lovers, with Robert sourcing the best chocolate he can find for his product.

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The main thing that struck The World Loves Melbourne is that the judges told us that Australian Dairy is world class and can compete with the best globally; and this comes from a position of many of the judges being involved in judging internationally.

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Here are the winners:

Bulla Dairy Bulla Crème Fraiche (Grand Champion)
Cow and the Moon

Cow and the Moon Pannacotta with Strawberry

and Balsamic Ripple

Dooley's Ice Cream Dooley's Premium Chocolate Ice Cream
Floridia Cheese Floridia Ricotta
Fonterra Western Star Original Butter
Fowlers Cheese Bay of Fires Cloth Bound Cheddar
Green Valley Dairy Green Valley Dairy Yoghurt Cheese Balls in Oil
Harvey Fresh Harvey Fresh Free Range Full Cream Milk
Lion Dairy & Drinks Heidi Farm Gruyere (Grand Champion)
Lion Dairy & Drinks South Cape Parmesan
Lion Dairy & Drinks King Island Dairy Black Label Blue Triple Cream
Lion Dairy & Drinks King Island Dairy Stormy
Meredith Dairy Meredith Dairy Chevre
Mundella Foods Mundella Greek Natural Yoghurt
Norco Foods Norco Real Iced Chocolate Ultimate
Paradise Beach Purveyors Paradise Beach Purveyors Smoked Trout & Chives
Parmalat Australia Pauls Smarter White Milk
The Fabulous Fresh Bros. Ruby and Roy's Yoghurt Divine Vanilla Bean
Unicorn Cheese Flinders Estate Ash Brie
Congrats to all!
We enjoyed the Paradise Beach Purveyors Smoked Trout and Chives Dip in a composed dish at one of the stations. Hot smoked trout, sour cream, and tang! Along with Western Star Original Butter (pure flavours and right balance of salt) in the pastry base of the seasonal tartlettes. Also celebrated was the Florida Ricotta with it's almost fluffy texture in the Fresh Unripened category.

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Station 3 was extraordinary with a bevvy of spectacular cheeses. We got chatting with the guys from Meredith Dairy Chèvre; silky smooth texture, served also as part of a stunning Chèvre macaron! Guests also raved about the Bay of Fires Cloth Bound Cheddar with its buttery flavour and slightly sweet, earthy flavours on the mid-palate. The Flinders Estate Ash Brie had a ripe, gooey texture and with the centre ash line and buttery texture, made for a perfect example of White Mould cheese.

The Green Valley Dairy Yoghurt Cheese Balls in Chilli Oil were also devoured by The World Loves Melbourne; a lusciously addictive labne cheese.

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We adjourned inside for Station 4 and more awards; with the King Island group taking out several awards for their cheese (we can't go past the King Island Dairy Black Label Triple Cream Blue). We enjoyed the imaginative pairings of whisky and cider with top cheeses. Congrats to Heidi Farm Gruyere for taking out the Grand Champion Cheese Award! What a cracking world class cheese with assertive flavour and pleasant extended sweet and nutty notes on the mid-palate.

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Another highlight was the oozy Gruyere Cheese toasties being served from Melbourne’s renowned cheesemonger, Anthony Femia from Maker & Monger. How good were these toasties!

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The last station celebrated the Ruby & Roy's Yoghurt Divine Vanilla Bean as a Flavoured Yoghurt winner; as well as the Gelato award to Cow and the Moon Panna cotta with Strawberry and Balsamic Ripple Gelato; and Ice Cream to Dooley's Premium Chocolate Ice cream. Not to mention the full body Greek smooth Natural Yoghurt of Mundella Greek Natural Yoghurt. We were able to add stunning toppings to our dessert dishes.

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Thanks to Keep Left and Dairy Australia for an informative, stylish and celebratory evening. Check out the Legendairy site.

The Australian Dairy Industry is innovative and world class in all dairy categories. The good news is that you can source nearly all these products at your local supermarket. Look out for the blue and gold medal on packs to know you’re buying the best of the best product Australia has to offer. Support local Australian producers.