Renowned King Valley baker Thomas Moritz and partner Gabbi have just opened The Oven at Cheshunt in Victoria’s King Valley, and to celebrate, and as a part of the region’s Feast High Country Festival, they have teamed up with the valley’s best food producers to present Bona Fide Valley Brunch: a twin session Austrian and Italian-inspired dining extravaganza, and plus on site fresh food farmer’s market, all happening next Sunday, May 5.
Victoria’s King Valley features some of the state’s most picturesque scenery, with lush rolling pastures, wooded hilltops and gorgeous vineyards with plantings that flow in lines rolling across undulating landscape. At the valley’s heart is the gin-clear waters of the King River. After decent autumn rainfall it now flows with determination, sharing its nutrient rich waters with the vineyards and farms that call the valley home.
Autumn in the valley often presents with a first dusting of snow on the nearby Victorian Alps that tower above the deep valley hamlets. Golden leaves falling from the European poplar trees frame the farm driveways and the vineyards display a mix of warm tones from rich reds through to rusty golds. Deep in the valley is Cheshunt, a small hamlet that comprises just a hall, general store and now, Thomas’ new bakery. The business features two stone mills – complete with sifting machines – that turn the wholewheat and rye grains into flour to be graded and sorted for sourdough bread making. Visitors can watch the milling process through the glass viewing window.
Next Sunday May 5th, the venue will present the Bona Fide Valley Brunch – a luxurious brunch featuring organic Chakra coffee (roasted just down the road in Myrtleford), King Valley grown Redbank Prosecco, and one choice of three main food courses: Palatschinken (Austrian style crêpes); Sourdough Pita Pocket with Breakfast Goat sausage made with meat from Myrrhee Premium Boer Goats, free-range, nitrate-free bacon from Gamze Smokehouse (Milawa) and flavoured with real Canadian maple syrup; or a Sourdough and Wholegrain Pizza with locally grown mushrooms and capsicum. Guests can also indulge in one of two desserts: either a house-baked cheesecake with fresh berries or one of the bakery’s special poppyseed (hazelnut or apple) strudels.
Essentials dropped in last week for a sampling of the Palatschinken which are served with a wonderfully silk-textured yoghurt and walnut purée. Added to this are locally grown blueberries and softly spiced poached nashi slices and cream. The palatschinken are made using wholegrain wheat flour, plus milk, water and eggs. The Austrian recipe differs from French crêpes as only a small amount of milk is used, resulting in a lighter end product. The wholegrain wheat also produces a crêpe with a beautifully textured, more robust earthy flavour. It is a wonderful match to the poached and fresh fruits that have been harvested from Thomas’ Upper Rose River property Boonderoo Farm.
Thomas and Gabi, who relocated to the King Valley from Austria, source Victorian-grown bio-dynamic grains, and of course mill the grains onsite. As a wonderful permanent fixture, The Oven at Cheshunt is a substantial and much needed addition to the Upper King Valley. The quality of bread and pastries produced is well worth the drive; and during the autumn and winter months we guess it’ll become a bustling hub for both tourists and locals alike.
Bona Fide Valley Brunch offers two seatings, one for the early-birds at 8:30am and the second for the late-risers at 10:30am. Tickets cost $31.65 adults and $20.00 children under 12 years.
Date: Sunday, May 5, 2019
Call The Oven at Cheshunt after booking if you have any specific dietary requirements. Tickets available through Eventbrite: https://tinyurl.com/y5ztuybj
For more festival information, visit www.feasthighcountry.com.au
Picture (top): King River Estate, one of the King Valley’s most notable vineyards, planted by founder (former owner) Trevor Knaggs. The cellar door and vineyard remains in operation.
The Oven at Cheshunt
451 King Valley Road,
Tel 0409 663 207