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Farmer's Daughters x Starward Whisky Graze + Grains

Starward Whisky is a stunning local whisky producer who has collaborated with exciting Farmer's Daughters concept that brings the best of East Gippsland for a series of events not to be missed. The World Loves Melbourne was invited along for a preview and we were super impressed.

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Whisky cocktails from Starward on arrival at our preview event. Starward Two-Fold and Tonic with lemon slice.

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Food lovers can experience a taste of East Gippsland as Alejandro Saravia (above) brings his Farmer’s Daughters farm-to-table cooking concept to Starward Whisky Distillery with a campfire feast, regional produce market and tasty whisky cocktails and drink tastings.

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Farmer’s Daughters has teamed up with Starward Whisky to bring some of regional Victoria’s finest producers to Melbourne. Taking place at Starward’s Port Melbourne based distillery - three times over three months, Graze + Grains features a produce market and campfire feast, along with plenty of food, whisky tastings, craft beer and wine. Entry to all three events is free.

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After being served top notch canapes including Lakes Entrance School Whiting and a Trapped octopus canape, Alejandro Saravia shared his passion for Graze + Grains. Long table at the preview event featured attractive table decorations including sea urchins.

Graze + Grains event is presented in collaboration with East Gippsland  and features stunning produce from the East Gippsland region. This fertile area of eastern Victoria is home to a rich abundance of fresh produce, famous for its beef, seafood and plentiful supply of fresh fruit and vegetables. The area is also home to an ever-growing craft drinks and wine scene.

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Starward Nova and Mediterranean Tonic as well as Lightfoot & Sons Myrtle Point Chardonnay.

Attendees will be able to taste gourmet goods while they sample Starward Whiskies and sip on wines from Nicholson River Winery and craft beer from Sailor’s Grave Brewery. A range of Gippsland produce will also be available to purchase.

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Gippsland grilled pine mushrooms at preview event were sensational in terms of texture (meaty) and taste, with delicious cured Forge Creek egg yolk, and crispy saltbush.

Chef Alejandro Saravia will cook-up an East Gippsland inspired menu over a campfire featuring ingredients from the region. Menu items include Starward Whisky cured pastrami using O’Connor’s Beef from Gippsland and Lakes Entrance School Whiting cooked over charcoal served with a winter herb salad.

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What a dish! Mallacoota hand-dived Sea Urchin cream (wanted to lick the plate), Snowy River Station sea grass, roast potato dumplings. Sea urchin is delightful in a creamy sauce and the potato dumplings with sea grass hits the high notes.

Alejandro brilliantly showcases ingredients from the East Gippsland region such as Mallacoota Sea Urchins, Snowy River Black Garlic, Gippsland Pearls Mushrooms, Tambo Valley Honey and an assortment of other fresh vegetables. 

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Extraordinary Starward Nova, Amaro Montenegro, apple juice, house made blackberry jam, Gippsland Pinot Noir.

Starward is serving up four bespoke cocktails at Graze + Grains, which have specifically been designed to showcase the best of East Gippsland flavours and to tantalise the tastebuds. Without spoiling the surprise, there will be an aperitif style cocktail highlighting the coastal flavours of East Gippsland, a wine infused cocktail with wines of the region, a fat washed honey buttered whisky using local honey and butter and highly awarded Starward Single Malt whisky as well as a specially paired cocktail to accompany Alejandro’s hero dish of the day for each event. 

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Good times at Graze + Grains preview event.

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Whole lamb cooked campfire-style over charcoal with a delicious Starward Whisky pepper sauce.

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Alejandro has always seen the treasure that is Gippsland and these events bring the best of the region's produce and beverages to "Melburnians".

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Roast root vegetables were perfect with the tender lamb, as was the Nicholson River Winery Montview Syrah.

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Maffra cheeses served with Tambo Valley honey and roasted apple.

Rounding out the offering is a special batch of Sailor’s Grave Law of the Tongue Oyster Stout (below), which has been aged in a Starward Whisky barrel.  This dark, smoky brew is available exclusively at Graze + Grains.  

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Starward Solera Whisky (below).

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Everyone near me at the table commented on the pairing of the Tambo Valley honey that set off the cheese.

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According to Saravia, partnering with Starward Whisky was a natural fit for Farmer’s Daughters. “Starward Whisky has a very similar philosophy to Farmer’s Daughters: Starward is a whisky brand that is born and bred in Melbourne and sources all of their ingredients from within a day’s drive of Melbourne, championing regional Victorian produce.”

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“We are excited to be working with the farmer’s and producers of the natural food bowl that is East Gippsland, and to give people a little taste of what’s to come when we open our permanent Farmer’s Daughters venue at 80 Collins Street early next year.”

Founder of Starward, David Vitale says, “Starward started with a simple vision; to offer the world a distinctly Australian whisky unshackled from tradition. Being Melbourne born and bred, food is at the heart of our whisky. We are thrilled to be able to open our distillery to host the very first Graze + Grains experience in collaboration with Farmer’s Daughters, celebrating the Gippsland region bringing local food, whisky and people together.”

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East Gippsland’s involvement in this event is possible thanks to East Gippsland Marketing and funding from the Australian Government’s Building Better Regions Fund, which was established to create jobs, drive economic growth and build stronger regional communities into the future.

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Mountain Pepper ice-cream and coffee from Coffee cart.

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Two additional Graze + Grains events (the first one was on July 27) are set to take place on Saturday 24 August and Saturday 21 of September. Both events will also have a focus on regional food producers. Entry to all Graze + Grains events is free. Get on it.