Sunday Herald Sun - Escape

Mornington Peninsula, Vic

Alice Zaslavsky, cook, author and Click for Vic ambassador, brings us the best of her home state’s favourite playground


The Mornington Peninsula is a one-hour dash south of Melbourne, but when you get there things slow right down. You can spend lazy days at the beautiful beaches, get lost in hedge mazes or find a new favourite pinot noir. Food writer and presenter Alice Zaslavsky moved there from Melbourne and is the ideal ambassador for the state’s Click for Vic campaign to help Covid-struck businesses.


We love to get Lil’s Yolky Dokey eggs from the Dromana market. We grab some fresh spring produce, like asparagus or snow peas, and we make our own avo smash at home.


We get a vegie farm box from here every Saturday and that informs what we cook for the week. They have absolutely sublime green leafy vegies and it’s a mystery box of treasures. mossywillo­


I highly recommend the Cape Schanck Resort restaurant. Chef Josh Pelham used to work in Melbourne under Scott Pickett and George Calombaris, and he’s very produce-centric. We had a little food editors’ roadtrip to regional restaurant­s and one of them was to Cape Schanck before we moved here. Josh did a truffled risoni that I still think about, so come here during truffle season.


There’s a glut of fantastic winery restaurant­s – Rare Hare at Jackalope, Ten Minutes by Tractor – and the thing that Mornington Peninsula does so well is the wineries try to make a name for their restaurant as well as their wine. For wine, I highly recommend Quealy and Ocean Eight and what I love about this is no matter where you are in Victoria you can order this produce, so do!


The best place for lunch on the peninsula – the food Phil Wood puts up is fantastic. If you want a really fancy meal, book at Laura, but for me the bistro is kick-arse. The attention to detail is sublime and a lot of the producers he uses are from the area, so the carrots he uses are super-sweet because they’ve just come out of the ground. It gets very busy on weekends so try to go midweek. ptleoestat­


We love to go for a walk at Bushranger­s Bay and Cape Schanck Lighthouse, and in mushroom season you can see people stopped on the side of the road picking pine mushrooms and slippery Jacks. You can also pick the coastal natives like beach banana and saltbush. Also we have the climate for truffles down here so check out Redhill Truffles. redhilltru­


Hawkes Farm food truck does the best hot chips in Victoria, hands down. It’s worth travelling to just for them. It’s a potato farm and has fresh potatoes, but the best chips come from older potatoes. They’re triple-cooked – the sort of chips you’d expect to get from Dinner by Heston, not at a farm gate out of a Winnebago. We grab a couple of boxes of those chips and we poach some Yolky Dokey eggs, or fry them, and pop them on the chips.


I’m very passionate about our state. I’m very proud that people come to Victoria to eat, drink and be merry, and for that to continue after all the restrictio­ns we need to support people now. The lockdown was an opportunit­y for us to reconnect with these producers and restaurant­s, makers and creators – they could just send stuff to our doorstop. I’ve never cooked so many ready meals as I have this year, but they’re gourmet ready meals. visitvicto­

Alice’s book In Praise of Veg: A Modern Kitchen Companion (Murdoch Books, $59.99) is available now.

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