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The Mediterranean comes to the historic Bendigo Pottery over two days in March 2008 with the inaugural Bendigo Olive Fiesta.

Showcasing the best in Central Victorian produce, the Fiesta brings together olivegrowers and experts, and people who simply enjoy fine food and wine, said Terry Dalwood, Chairman of the organising committee.

“Central Victoria’s Mediterranean-type temperate climate makes it one of Australia’s best locations for growing high quality olives and other fine produce,” Dalwood said.
“The Fiesta is a chance to celebrate the unique environment that makes Central Victoria such an enticing place to visit, live and do business in.”

Saturday focuses on the olive industry including a competition for the best table olives and best olive oil. That first day culminates with the announcement of the winners at a gala dinner hosted by celebrity chef, Stefano de Pieri.

“The best produce deserves the finest palates as judges and we are lucky to have two nationally renowned experts for the competition,” Dalwood said.

“Richard Gawel teaches wine and olive oil appreciation and Jim Smythe is an experienced olive industry consultant.”

Sunday is open to the general public in a celebration of the simple joys of life – great food, wine, music and company. People can sample olives, olive oil and other olive products, local wines and Mediterranean foods. They can also find out how to grow, cook and pickle olives.

There will also be a chance to take a tour of the Bendigo Pottery olive press and the sporting-minded can try their luck in the pip-spitting contest or at boccé.

For those who are inspired by olives they may even be able to take home their own olive tree.

The Fiesta is being organised by the Rotary Club of Bendigo South, in conjunction with the Central Victorian Olive Growers Association. It aims to raise funds for local charities, showcase local businesses and promote Bendigo as a tourist destination.

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