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Food

Epic Pep Events Spring Seafood Spectacular at Taxi Kitchen

The World Loves Melbourne is still on a high after the most recent Pep Event, the Spring Seafood Spectacular at Taxi KitchenPep Events, creators of imaginative and personalised experiences in some of Melbourne’s best dining rooms, eateries and bars, hit another pinnacle with their Spring event a Spring Seafood Spectacular in conjunction with Taxi Kitchen and Fishtales. The event brought together Pep Events founder and host, noted journalist and food writer, Hilary McNevin, with Transport complex General Manager and Executive Chef, Tony Twitchett, and founder and owner of Fishtales, John Susman. A match made in heaven.

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The World Loves Melbourne attended the event with Wesley Holmes a noted photographer from Vancouver Island Canada. Imbibing the best of Australian seafood and technique in how to treat seafood, the event was a four-course spectacular, where sustainable seafood was the focus. Notwithstanding we were enjoying lunch at one of Melbourne's most notable locations Taxi Kitchen immersed in the heart of Melbourne with iconic views including the Yarra River and Fed Square.

Both Fishtales and Taxi Kitchen commit to a sustainable business ethos and with Susman’s knowledge and Taxi’s use of contemporary Asian influences combined with European techniques, guests experienced a real treat.

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Canapes were a strong start to proceedings with Kinkwooka Boston Bay Mussels, tempura, nori salt. Image: Wesley Holmes.

Natural Merrimbula Rock oysters, pear and ginger sorbet, wasabi.

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None better wine to wash down the mussels and oysters than 2017 Pizzini Prosecco. Image: Wesley Holmes.

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I'm happy already! Let alone the first course of Mount Cook Alpine salmon, gin cured, Yarra Valley Caviar. Image: Wesley Holmes.

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A highlight was the Pacific Reef North Queensland Cobia, ponzu jelly, shiso. All paired with 2015 De Bortoli A7 Single Vineyard Riesling and a stunning 2016 Fowles "Are you Game" Sauvignon Blanc. Image: Wesley Holmes.

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Second course was also two pronged with Cloudy Bay Diamond clams, Taxi XO sauce, Chinese doughnuts. A spectacular dish with loads of flavour and a textural triumph.

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Spectacular was the theme of the meal and spectacular was what we got - including the Skull Island King prawns, confit black beans, Szechuan salt. We were told the whole prawn was edible. Again the wines were stunning with 2016 Leura Park Estate d'Gris and 2017 Medhurst Rose.

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Does it get any better for a slow lunch Sunday afternoon? Image: Wesley Holmes.

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Stunning Skull Island King Prawns! Images: Wesley Holmes.

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Chefs with big fish. Tony Twitchett provided much flair, even genius, with his crack team. This event came together in a major way.

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Again we get back to the theme of spectacular. When the Third Course came out there was a reaction, such was the magnificence of the Crispy Fried Murray Cod, sesame scorched greens, black garlic, chilli bean salt. The chefs posed with the dish. This was akin to fish modeling. And we celebrated the rock star status of the Murray Cod. The river flavours are exceptional and caused me to wonder why Murray Cod received such a bad rap in my childhood. Paired with 2015 Helens Hill Chardonnay it was a tour de force (and how good is that Chardonnay!). Images: Wesley Holmes.

When they said "crispy skin" they weren't kidding; delightfully crispy across the whole skin. A small bowl of black garlic sauce was given to each diner; and this set off the fish wonderfully.

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Hilary McNevin of Pep events, said of the lunch. “We really wanted to highlight how simple it is to choose sustainable species, and how easy it is to create spectacular dishes from these choices."

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Hilary moderated a Q & A after the lunch, allowing John and Tony to really delve in to the subject of sustainability and what it means to the industry and for the consumer. A fascination for The World Loves Melbourne was how the previously humble Murray Cod was elevated to rock star status, bringing its full river taste and charm through the cooking prowess of Tony Twitchett.  

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Says Tony Twitchett, “We love local seafood here at Taxi Kitchen and we always work with species in season, in plentiful supply and as local as possible.  Having an opportunity to work with Hilary and John has allowed us the chance to have some fun with the menu, and showcase our commitment to sustainability and simplicity.”

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Dessert was also a triumph; Lemon Meringue Pie featuring a delightful texture twist as frozen like Nan's inside. Paired with 2016 Michelton"Blackwood Park" Botrytis Riesling. Images: Wesley Holmes.

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Sitting next to founder and owner of Fishtales John Susman was a highlight; taking Australian seafood to the world, parties with Usher and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and rocking out in Port Lincoln with a hospitality supergroup.

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I was blessed to get a copy of John Susmans book - ultimate and definitive kitchen companion. Image: Wesley Holmes.

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Best food events in Melbourne? If you're a diehard foodie then you should book for Pep Events with Hilary McNevin, set to start up again in 2018. This event was truly spectacular and lived up to it's name with kudos to all invloved including Hilary McNevin, Tony Twitchett and John Susman. Then again, all Pep Events are spectacular. Watch this space in 2018!

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