Food & Drink Magazine

Le Jazz Hot

By Patinoz

Last time we visited the Mornington Peninsula we promised ourselves we would return to eat at Green Olive. On Sunday it was time to make good.

We were greeted by one of the resident kelpies who stretched out waiting for a tummy rub then fetched a chunk of stick for a game. This is a working dog, I believe, whose duties include keeping an eye on the hens free ranging round the property.

It was definitely worth the visit. Their fare includes a number of farm-to-fork tasting plates featuring their own produce such as lamb meatballs, lamb sausages, trio of cold cured lamb  including lambchetta and salt-cured lamb backstrap.

Their beautiful olives are served in various permutations and there are some fine dishes from their herb and vegetable gardens featuring beetroot, pumpkin, tomatoes and salads plus some lovely chutneys and relishes on the side.

Fine cheeses from their neighbour’s farm and Green Olive’s own Kelpie Bridge wines marry well with the dishes.

The rhubarb patch at the door was looking mighty healthy in the late autumn light and there was rhubarb tart on the dessert menu.

I’d already stocked my larder with their olive oils both plain and infused and have made plenty of chutney and relish lately, but I couldn’t leave without a dozen of their chooks’ eggs.

We could see a lot of work had been done in the garden since our last visit in March and this is an interesting place to spend a couple of hours. For the more adventurous there was even a vineyard horse trek.

On the return journey to Melbourne, we decided to check out the action at the Red Hill Baker’s Balnarring shop. Every Sunday afternoon from 1-4 baker Ray Johns and his ensemble get together for a jazz session. When we arrived the five musicians were in full flight, inspired by “arrangements by Sauvignon Blanc”, he quipped.

The place was packed with people lining up for soup and savoury fare, coffee and cake, a wine or two and some hot jazz. If you’re ever there, request the band’s take on that glorious Woody Herman hit, The Golden Wedding. It was an amazing performance, particularly the licorice stick solo.


I got my camera out and started clicking and as soon as the musos broke for  inspirational “arrangements”, the clarinet player Denis Ball made a beeline for our table with a bag and said “Wait till you see what I have here.” He pulled out a brand new Nikon D800E and asked me if I would mind taking a few photos of them in action.

I am still trying to master my Canon EOS 50D but figured as long as his recently acquired dream camera was in “point, focus and click” mode, I could probably cope. I shuttled between the two using mine for the close-ups, and so ended my first (and probably only) gig as photographer for a band.

And the cakes were pretty good, too. For a trumpet player, Ray Johns is quite a baker…

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