Food – Northland Cultural Academy

Northland Shopping Centre
2-50 Murray Road
East Preston Vic 3072

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Recently, I was very lucky to attend the first cultural academy run by Northland Shopping Centre. A new initiative to connect leading chefs with locals in the northern suburbs, Northland will be running a number of these sessions over the next year with different chefs focusing on their area of speciality, be that Mexican, Spanish or Greek to name a few.

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Northland has long been an institution in the inner northern suburbs ( only last week I was at a wedding of a couple who had their first date at the centre) and given the changing demographic in the area, they have been quick to identify that demand for high quality food and produce is greater than ever.

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Running for approximately 90 minutes, each session provides an intimate opportunity to learn how to make a number of cultural dishes from some of the best in the business. Given the small group size, you can directly interact with the chefs, ask as many questions as you’d like and even get copies of their recipes to take home. As an added bonus, Northland also put together take home goodie bags for attendees including an apron,  voucher for future use in the centre, cooking tools and food samples.

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The session I attended was the Mexican Cantina run by former masterchef contestant and mexican food officionado, Ben Milbourne. In a group of no more than 12 people, Ben took us through his first hand food experiences whilst travelling through mexico and showed us how to recreate some of these traditional dishes on our own. Covering everything from making tortilla dough from scratch to restaurant quality plating, by the end of the session, even a novice like me was able to recreate some of his amazing dishes at home.

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In keeping with the mexican theme, included in our session was tequila tasting thanks to Tequila Corralejo, who not only provided us with a number of samples, but also gave us some great tips on how to pick a good quality tequila.

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I have it on good authority that Northland have lined up some very high profile chefs for the next few sessions, so if you haven’t already, I highly recommend you sign up to their mailing list to be kept informed about the next session. I’ve already put my name down and can’t wait to see what the next session brings.

I was invited as a guest of Northland Shopping Centre, however all opinions are definitely my own.

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