George Calombaris’ Oh My Greek Week returns, bringing some of the best chefs and mixologists from across Australia and Greece to the foodie capital
Delicious Greek food made by some of the world’s best chefs with cocktails to match, by sought-after Athenian mixologists? You guessed it, Oh My Greek (OMG) Week is back. Set to return next month, if you liked what you saw (and tasted) last year, then you’re in for a real treat in 2016.
A true celebration of Hellenic culture, cuisine and community, the six-day event, spearheaded by George Calombaris, will once again see the highest calibre of Greek chefs from across Australia and around the world come together in Melbourne in a cross-collaboration that will embrace the many styles and traditions of Greek cuisine.
Kicking off on Monday 21 November, the event will commence with a progressive dinner across George Calombaris’ Flinders Street suite of restaurants, starting off at Gazi. Guests will be welcomed with cocktails prepared by renowned mixologist Chris Houseas, accompanied by mezethes created by Athenian young-gun chef Polychronis Damalas.
The main course will follow at the The Press Club, created by famed chefs Alex Tsiotinis and Gikas Xenakis, and the final stop will see dessert taken to the next level with star pastry chef Stelios Parliaros (Sweet Alchemy) at Press Club – Projects, with perfectly-matched cocktails made by Athens’ finest.
The following evening, some of Greece’s top chefs, including Georgianna Haliakaki and Nick Roussos from two-Michelin-star restaurant Funky Gourmet, will take over The Press Club kitchen to recreate Athens’ acclaimed contemporary dining and cocktail scene.
If you’re interested in learning more about the roots of the Greek kitchen, you’ll have the chance on Wednesday 23 November in a feast inspired by ancient Greece, prepared by the foremost experts in Hellenic culinary traditions − Yiannis Baxevanis, David Tsirekas and Maria Loi. Guests will then have the chance to complete their culinary journey with a private tour of a collection of rare items at the Hellenic Museum on loan from Athens’ Benaki Museum.
The OMG week gala dinner will take place midweek, where attendees will have the chance to mingle with all special guest chefs. Hosted at the Peninsula, Atlantic Group, Docklands, as expected, there’ll be a feast of epic proportions, along with an exclusive and intimate performance from Cypriot musician Michalis Hatzigiannis.
On Friday, the day’s program will start off elegantly with a high tea at the Hotel Lindrum, where Parliaros and chef Christoforos Peskias will join forces to deliver diners an unforgettable experience.
In the evening, the attention will turn to cocktails at Press Club-Projects, with a masterclass by bartenders Vasilis Kyritsis and Nikos Bakoulis from The Clumsies, one of the world’s best bars. Renowned for their bold experimentation in the ‘alcoholic arts’, taste their signature cocktails paired with a menu by Peskias.
And for those with a sweet tooth, you haven’t been forgotten. On Saturday 26 November, Parliaros,also known as the ‘wizard of pastry’, will conduct a cooking demonstration and share his tips of the trade. Guests will then enjoy a three-course lunch at Odysseus + Penelope in Kew, with a dessert designed by Parliaros himself.
What better way to draw the week to a close than by paying homage to the classics. Calombaris will be joined by Baxevanis, Damalas, and Loi to prepare a four-course feast that pays tribute to the traditional Hellenic style of dining in Kew.
And if that wasn’t enough, Federation Square will also get a taste of OMG Week, with Calombaris’ pop-up eatery, Greek, open for the entire duration of the event, from 21-26 November. Oh the choices!