After a whirlwind two days in Bright involving some of the most sensational regional produce in Australia, I have officially made the descent into domestic reality. Somehow a megaphone that auto-tunes a small child’s voice into 80 decibels of T-Pain has entered my house and I am possibly developing a nose bleed, but that’s okay. I’ll be fine. Really.
There’s definitely a buzz surrounding food and wine in the north-east region of Victoria. I happily ate ham. I never eat ham? I had the greatest white wine of my life. I don’t drink white wine? So many delicious things assaulting my eyes and my hips.
The fresh alpine air in Bright is home to such a diverse array of seasonal produce – berries, chestnuts, olives and 33 different grape varieties resulting in a vibrant variety of wines, I barely skimmed the surface. This particular part of Victoria, and I would argue many regional areas of Australia, has such a rich Italian migrant history that I can’t do it all justice in one post but the first planting of chestnut trees, viticulture, tobacco, market gardening and the importation of olive oil and other Italian goods are just a small sample of their contributions.
I had such an inspired experience in Patrizia Simone’s cooking class. We talk a lot about sustainable living and Italian cooking is the original. They are the hipsters of sustainable cooking – they did it before it was cool. It can be tricky, not to mention expensive, buying locally sourced produce all the time but Italians cottoned onto that one a long time ago by growing their own stuff.
Patrizia’s class involved frying freshly picked zucchini flowers, making our own gnocchi with gorgonzola sauce and we were even fortunate enough to get an old-school lesson in taglietelle from Nonna. My life will never be the same. Even my Italian mother-in-law was excited for me when I got home, she has now promised to tell me stories from the old country. My husband wryly asked “did you tell her you’re not a bibliographer?” I have my notebook(s) ready!
Thank you to Patrizia and her family for providing me with such a memorable experience, to all the other businesses/people involved over the course of ‘Bright Delight’ and especially Kim from 365 Things to do in Bright. She worked extremely hard and it paid off. My family has a Daylesford default setting when it comes to short stays and that will be changing. With so many child-friendly activities in the area – bike riding and walking trails, winery and brewery tours, swimming, cafes and cooking classes – there is no reason not to visit.
If you’re interested in Patrizia Simone’s restaurant or classes you can read about that here:
We stayed at Chapter 11 in Bright courtesy of Alpine Getaways. You can find out more about that here: