|Phillippa's hot cross buns and candied orange peel|
15 Howey Place
Melbourne VIC 3000
Last night I attended an evening event at Phillipa's CBD store in Howey Place, showcasing her well-regarded breads and Easter treats.
As you will know, I love entertaining and cooking for friends, (really Sarah, really?), and one of my favourite aspects of attending these bloggery/media events - apart from tasting new foods, of course - is seeing a party come together, and being inspired by the little touches that go towards making an event special and unique.
The table was set up in a rustic fashion, complete with wooden boards and charmingly mis-matched crockery, old-fashioned tea towels, vibrantly purple irises, tealights and beeswax candles. I loved the bounteousness of the spread - whole boules and loaves of bread; a giant hunk of gorgonzola; big pyramids of bread and butter, all cut up and ready to be eaten; and piles of hot cross buns and chocolate truffles.
These rather gigantic round loaves (boules), inspired by the loaves at Poilâne in Paris, take longer to rise than a smaller loaf, which, according to Phillippa, means the finished product has more complex flavours.
Soft Paris Creek butter with organic sourdough boule? Don't mind if I do!
I must admit that prior to this event, I wasn't too familiar with Phillippa's breads, and appreciated the opportunity to try out the range. When I was younger I often ate the green olive pane Toscano (a rustic white loaf studded with green olives), but seem to have stopped eating it over the years as I developed a taste for darker, more toothsome, hearty breads.
The boules were delicious, as was the 100% rye sourdough, which got the "It-tastes-like-real-bread" tick of approval from German Sandra. I also liked the fig and anise sourdough, which, whilst a little too intense for me to eat on its own, would be great on a cheese platter.
As it was an evening event, drinks were on hand, poured by Bress' winemaker Adam Marks.
Now that I'm a cider afficionado (hee-hee), I couldn't pass up the opportunity to try a new one, and I really enjoyed the refreshing Harcourt Valley Cider Brut. Phillippa partnered with Bress for the evening because they share a similar outlook and philosophy on food and winemaking - focusing on traditional, age-old methods.
Some delicious canapes were on offer that night, each one using a different bread from the Phillipa's range as a crostini-style base. I thought this was a rather elegant way of showcasing the breads - letting everyone try the different varieties, without filling up on bread, as it were!
|Vinefruit & Rosemary bread - duck rillettes, cornichons & apple chutney|
|Olive Toscano bread - steak tartare & fried baby capers|
|Organic Sourdough - scallop ceviche, roast pear & red endive|
|Wheatmeal Bread - salt cod brandade, preserved lemon & fried basil|
|Fig & Anise Sourdough - whipped goat's fetta, fig, orange & mint|
|Pane Francese Naturale - truffled cannellini beans, shimeji mushrooms & fried sage|
|Pane Francese Rye - crab spiced hummus, bacon crumbs & rock chives|
|Mini Phillippa's Hot Cross Bun puddings|
Here's that hunk of gorgonzola I mentioned earlier, to be slathered on the pain d'épices (gingerbread) and drizzled with gorgeous chestnut honey. (It was also pretty delicious spread generously with that Paris Creek butter!)
|Pain d'épices, gorgonzola, chestnut honey|
|Honey Bunny biscuits|
Below we have the very passionate and dedicated Phillippa Grogan herself, speaking about the Easter range and the Phillippa's philosophy. She was really lovely in person, and a great host - making time to talk to everyone, making introductions, and ensuring sure we were all well fed. (And as you can see from the above pictures, we definitely were!)
Incidentally, I found a interesting interview with Phillippa and her husband Andrew on breadmaster Dan Lepard's website, which gives some insight into the trials and tribulations that Phillippa and Andrew have faced in growing and developing the business - a great read.
Thanks to Phillippa and the team for putting on a great night!
Sarah attended Phillipa's Easter event as a guest.