Festivale fever comes to town

INNER-CITY eatery Pierre's was gripped by Festivale fever yesterday as diners joined juggernaut chef Guy Grossi for a lavish, long lunch.

A guest of Festivale, Grossi has been joined by daughter Loredana and Grossi Grill head chef Matteo Tine to soak up the weekend's festivities.

They were joined by about 80 people at yesterday's flagship Festivale lunch.

Guests were treated to a sumptuous selection of local food and wine over several hours.

Grossi took to the stage during the lunch for an informal question-and-answer session.

He spoke about his passion for cooking and pure ingredients, as well as experience and knowledge gained from traversing the globe on a food journey.

Grossi said he was happy to be among people with passion for the region's food and wine.

``You're spruiking to a great market - they're already converted,'' he said.

``If they get excited about it they're only going to spread the word further.''

Grossi said he was delighted to be part of this year's Festivale celebrations.

``The fact so many people have come across for it, and I've noticed some international people here as well, is very exciting from a chef's point of view,'' he said.

``It reaffirms the fact food and wine have such a warm place in people's hearts.''

The prolific Melbourne chef and restaurateur said he was looking forward to surrounding himself with fresh produce over the weekend.

``As a chef from Victoria we've had wonderful Tasmanian produce at our fingertips for many years,'' he said.

``We are lucky to have - virtually in our backyard - some of the greatest produce the country is producing.''

Grossi will present a summer barbecue master class with an Italian twist at Harvest Launceston this morning.

Expect to see him grilling calamari and rustic meat skewers with gusto.

``We're going to look at some really beautiful local produce,'' Grossi said.

``We'll be cooking it in the simplest way we can to accentuate the lovely freshness.''

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