THE INAUGURAL PORT PHILLIP MUSSEL FESTIVAL will be held at the South Melbourne Market, Cecil Street, South Melbourne over the weekend Saturday and Sunday, 8 and 9 March from 12 noon to 11.00 pm.
The reason for listing this festival on Jazz Ramble is that, not only will it be a seafood extravaganza with special emphasis on our luscious local mussels, but there will be music played throughout both days – much of it jazz. Gil Askey, Margie Lou Dyer, The Shuffle Club and the Paul Williamson Hammond combo are only a few of the musos who will be on offer during the Festival.
South Melbourne restauranteur Renan Goksin and his seafood venue Claypots Evening Star (corner of York and Cecil Streets where Peter Baylor’s Ultrafox plays on Tuesday evenings from 7.30pm – 10.00pm), and The South Melbourne Market, along with other South Melbourne Market restaurants, are hosting the Festival as part of this year’s Melbourne Food and Wine Festival
Iain Hewitson will be doing free mussel cooking demonstrations at 3 pm each day at the Market’s LG Kitchen. Paco y Lola, Koy, Simply Spanish and Salvatore Malatesta’s Clement Café are also part of the Festival and will remain open across its hours, plus there will be many pop-up food stalls and wine bars.
If you love mussels – as I do, since those uncomplicated teenage summers when mussels came fresh-plucked from the pier, and then cooked on a piece of tin over a driftwood fire on the beach – then this sounds like heaven. If you don’t, there’ll be plenty of other gastronomic treats and free non-stop music.
‘It’s going to be a two-day party of non-stop live music and buckets and buckets of mussels from our local waters,’ says Goksin, who is ordering in thousands of Australian blue mussels for the event from Bay Sea Farms Mt Martha.
‘The idea is to come and dance, with the family and friends, and eat and drink. I am hoping thousands of people come each day to enjoy the market and our feast of mussels.’