Paul West’s guide to Darebin’s Homemade Festival

Paul WestRiver Cottage Australia’s Paul West has moved back to town.

Television’s chef-turned-farmer has moved to Thornbury with his family – a big change from their River Cottage life on the land in Northern Tasmania.

But Paul continues his nose-to-tail and root-to-stem lifestyle, and will share his tips as an ambassador at this year’s Darebin Homemade Food and Wine Festival.

The festival runs from May 26 to June 3, celebrating Darebin’s many different cultures and their sustainable food philosophies, with awards for the best homemade wine, passata and preserves.

Paul will present a cooking demonstration (with a focus on his nose-to-tail and root-to-leaf techniques on May 31 from 6.30pm-8pm at Preston’s Melbourne Polytechnic demo kitchen  ($10, book here).

You might also find Paul at these events, his five favourites from the festival program.

  1. Salami making

    1. Salami
    2. Saturday, May 26, 1:15pm, Northcote Town Hall
    3. Salami making in the early weeks of winter is such a fantastic food tradition, and we’re very fortunate that many Darebin residents are well versed in this age-old practice. There are few things better than getting some friends together, sourcing some high quality pork and making your own salami. The joy of the anticipation as the meat cures is matched only by the eventual tasting. This salami session is part of the Meet The Makers afternoon at the Northcote Town Hall. It’s a free event.

  2. Local beer tasting

    1. Beer tasting
    2. Friday, June 1 (sessions at 6pm, 7pm & 8pm) at Tallboy & Moose, 270 Raglan St, Preston
    3. Do you really need me to tell you why? It’s a beer tasting at Darebin’s own brewing gem Tallboy & Moose. The 6pm slot works for me because I can get a tasting in and still get the kids home into bed at a reasonable hour.

  3. Finding Retrosuburbia

    1. Retrosuburbia
    2. Saturday, June 2, 10am at the Reservoir Community and Learning Centre, $10
    3. Come and listen to the co-originator of permaculture, David Holmgren, speak about how we can take what we have in our suburbs and use intelligence and ingenuity to create a sustainable, people friendly, food producing paradise.

  4. Olives, Mediterranean style

    1. Darebin Homemade Festival Olive Preserving
    2. Saturday, June 2, 2-4pm, Community Kitchen, 59a Roseberry Ave Preston. Tickets $30.
    3. Have you ever eaten an olive straight off the tree? They are disgusting! Learn the art of turning the bitter fruit into the salty delicacy that is possibly the world’s best snack.

  5. Kulin Nation Market

    1. Darebin Homemade Bush tucker chef, Zach Green
    2. Sunday, June 2 & 3 from 4-8pm
    3. Australia is blessed with a food culture that stretches back to the dawn of time. Come and celebrate the intersection of food, art and music from the Kulin Nation, the land on which we’re all privileged to live.


Paul West’s guide to Darebin’s Homemade Festival