South Melbourne Market flexes its mussels with fifth annual seafood street party
Victorians will eat their way through up to six tonnes of mussels as the annual Port Phillip Mussel & Jazz Festival celebrates its fifth birthday in style, with a two-day party and mollusc feast on the streets around South Melbourne Market on Saturday March 10 and Sunday March 11.
Designed to showcase the humble mussel, harvested from structures in the waters of Port Phillip Bay, the festival is a vibrant celebration of local food and culture and is one of Melbourne’s must-do foodie events.
Fresh seafood, hot jazz and the cool market environment make this annual street party a favourite for locals and visitors alike. Both sides of Cecil Street will be closed between Coventry and York streets to allow plenty of room for festival-goers to relax and enjoy the atmosphere. “The Port Phillip Mussel & Jazz Festival embodies everything the Market represents – a vibrant celebration of local food, culture and community,” City of Port Phillip Mayor Cr Bernadene Voss said.
Throughout the weekend, people will be entertained by some of the city’s best jazz musicians including The Shuffle Club, Horns of Leroy and The Pearly Shells, giving the event a New Orleans flavour. Organisers have also secured a performance by the Melbourne Singers of Gospel, a 100-voice ensemble resident in City of Port Phillip. For the kids, the Bouncing Beach Patrol duo on stilts, featuring Sandy Crack and Terry Towelling, will provide lots of laughs.
Mussels, however, remain the festival’s star attraction with South Melbourne Market favourites Claypots Evening Star, Köy, Paco y Lola, Simply Spanish and Bambu joining other Melbourne restaurant pop-ups to cook and serve mussels in every way imaginable. The Aptus Classic Seafood Bar and Aptus Oyster Bar will be slinging oysters, scallops, lobster and prawns and the South Melbourne Seafoods golden calamari in a cone with mayo will be hard to resist.
Visiting pop-up food stalls include chef Geoff Lindsay’s Dandelion serving modern Vietnamese mussel dishes, Fozzy & Co created by chef Luca Fazzari (Grossi Florentino, Atlantic Group) dishing up Italian street food, Pedocci Mussels doing chilli, tomato and garlic Portarlington Blue Mussels, and Lekker Lekker with their handmade Dutch street food including pommes frites and jalapeno poppers. Festival goers can accompany their seafood selection with local wines, craft beer, cider and sangria along with refreshing drinks from Those Girls Iced Tea and finish with ice-cream, fresh fruit salad, fudge puppies and doughnuts.
Continue the mussel party at home by picking up the suite of recipe cards from South Melbourne chef, regular market-goer and festival ambassador Nicky Riemer (Bellota). Nicky has created four delicious mussel recipes including mussels with cider and baked mussels Rockerfeller which are great for the home cook who likes to try something a little different.
This year for the first time, South Melbourne Market and The Nature Conservancy have teamed up on a Shuck Don’t Chuck initiative that aims to recycle as many mollusc shells from the festival as possible, and use these to rebuild the lost shellfish reefs of Port Phillip Bay. Customers are simply asked to recycle their shells into the large black bins on site. From here, the shells will be taken to a site on the Bellarine Peninsula where they will be left to cure for six months. Once cured, they will then be mixed with limestone rubble and spread across the sea floor at two sites in Port Phillip Bay to form bases for new Angasi oyster (Ostrea angasi) and new blue mussel (Mytilus edulis) reefs.
When: Sat 10 & Sun 11 March 2018
Where: Cecil Street, South Melbourne Market
Cost: Free entry & entertainment
For media enquiries contact Greta Donaldson Publicity or 0427 658 638