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Feb 26, 2012

We'll bet you didn't know that the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival is about to turn 20... CEO Natalie O'Brien knows that, and pretty much everything else about the festival that she's run for ten years. Some of the highlights of this year's event include the annual import of "big name" chefs (Rene Redzepi is bringing an entourage of fellow Danish chefs this year), a look at some emerging food cultures (Israeli food, anyone?), and a continued focus on including the various regions of Victoria. And yes, there will be pop-ups aplenty.

It's always great to have nutritionist Rosemary Stanton on the show, and today we discussed the slightly odd concept of food extremism. For example, ex-lawyer David Gillespie has released a book called Sweet Poison; the premise being that you should exclude all sugar (including natural sugars such as fructose) from your diet. Nonsense, we say! A balanced diet is paramount, including an appropriate intake of the fun stuff. Rosemary has just released a book called The Choice Guide to Food, designed to make your trip around the supermarket a tad easier.

Lastly good friend and wine guru Glen Gordon took time out from running his Blackhearts and Sparrows wine outlets to discuss New Zealand wine. Obviously the NZ folks have absolutely defined the Savignon Blanc varietal, but has that variety also absolutely defined them? The industry could be in trouble if world wine trends move on to other tipples. As well as their other famed export Otago Pinot Noir, Guy reckons you should check out their Gewurztraminer (BRILLIANT with spicy asian food) and Hawkes Bay Syrah.