News from Australia and New Zealand

The evening market at Melbourne’s beloved Queen Vic Market is back this month on Wednesdays 5-10pm from 7 to 28 April! The tongue-in-cheek, COVID-inspired theme is Spaced Out and the offerings are delicious with food trucks and regular stall holders dishing up everything from lobster rolls and traditional paella to truffle fries and crisp, creamy cannoli. There are space-themed cocktails at the Infinity & Beyond Bar plus some wild live entertainment including Guru Dudu’s silent disco. Details here.

In more market news, Opera Kitchen, the promenade of eats and drinks alongside Sydney’s iconic Opera House, is morphing into a market food hall overseen by chef Matt Moran. With Single O coffee and fresh-from-the-oven croissants, muffins and Basque cheesecake for breakfast; lunchtime panini, ramen and poke bowls; and an evening menu ranging from plates of traditional pasta to Korean fried chicken burgers – they have your pre-, post- (or instead of) show eats covered with some of Sydney’s finest views included.

Ombra Salumi Bar, by son and father team Carlo and Guy Grossi, is as fine a place to graze as Melbourne offers. Now we get to recreate some of their traditional Italian cicchetti (snacks to have with drinks) in our own kitchens thanks to Carlo’s new book: Ombra. Simple, easy-to-follow recipes full of the flavour of Italian food and culture sit alongside lessons on everything from Lambrusco to salumi-making, family stories and beautiful, bright fun photos from Mark Chew. This is food you’re going to want to cook, eat – and in true Italian style – share!

The Country Women’s Association (CWA) was founded in Australia in the 1920s with a mission to improve the lives of women and families living in rural (often remote) communities. Not surprisingly, many of their activities and events centred around food and, long before The Australian Women’s Weekly cookbook series and Stephanie Alexander’s The Cook’s Companion, dog-eared, food-stained CWA cookbooks were many people’s kitchen bibles. So it’s exciting to see the upcoming publication of From Our Kitchen to Yours by the CWA of Victoria which, along with great recipes, includes a moving overview of the importance the CWA played, and still plays, in the lives of rural women.

Billed as the city’s food event of the year, the Christchurch Food Show is on this weekend (9-11 April) at Christchurch Arena. There are live cooking demonstrations from leading New Zealand chefs including Annabelle White and Nadia Lim; exhibitors offering tastings of artisanal local produce; the healthy hub kitchen; brewers lane featuring NZ craft beers; and street food alley with snacks from fried chicken to dumplings and healthy meal boxes -there’s something for every taste and so much to discover and learn.

Roberta’s blog Food Wine Travel with Roberta is indexed on EYB. You can also follow her on Instagram.

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