Join Andrew Mackie and Mathew Stokes on a virtual culinary tour of Central Geelong. 

Former players and premiership duo Andrew Mackie and Mathew Stokes recently visited three restaurants in support of the Tastes of Central Geelong Festival which is running from 1 to 31 July.

The pair’s AFL experience now sees them working behind the scenes for the Geelong Football Club. Mathew Stokes’ extensive career consisted of 189 games for the Geelong Cats Football Club, kicking 203 goals and playing in two premiership games in 2007 and 2011. Former team mate, Andrew Mackie played 280 games between 2004 and 2017 for Geelong, after being drafted at pick No. 7 in 2002. Mackie played alongside Stokes in the 2007 premiership team which saw the Geelong Cats defeat Port Adelaide.

To celebrate Tastes of Central Geelong, a month-long festival of food, flavours and fun, the former players visited three Central Geelong restaurants for a three-part video series.

First stop was Mavs Greek Restaurant located at 73B Lt Malop Street, Geelong. Owner and head chef, Milton Mavromoustakos took Mackie and Stokes through making Spanakopitas, the traditional Greek spinach pie and a new feta dish created by Milton himself. Mavs Greek Restaurant specialise in authentic traditional Greek cuisine. For the Tastes festival Mavs are offering a Dine at Home Greek banquet for two, an art and food experience with Pinot and Picasso and they are a stop on the Pick & Mix – Little bigger self-guided tastings experience. 

Next up, was BB Chicken & Pub, located at 116 Moorabool Street Geelong, specialising in Korean fried chicken and craft beer. Owner Michael Bong took the former Geelong Cats players through a craft beer tasting, showcasing some of his personal favourites. You can experience the best of BB Chicken & Pub during Tastes with their BB Sharing Feast available to dine in or at home. 

Finally, Mackie and Stokes dropped into Black Bull Tapas Bar & Restaurant to have a go at making tacos with owner and head chef, Daniel Brehaut. Black Bull is located at 48 Moorabool Street, Geelong and specialise in Spanish tapas and cuisine. You can sample this popular restaurant during Tastes with the Pick & Mix tastings experience or try their dessert entry for the Central Geelong Dessert Wars. You can vote for your favourite dessert in the Central Geelong Dessert Wars for your chance to win a $200 voucher – for more Dessert Wars information and terms and conditions visit centralgeelong.com.au/tastes

The three-part video series to celebrate and support Central Geelong eateries during the Tastes of Central Geelong has been released on Love Central Geelong and Geelong Cats Facebook pages over the past week.  

Make sure you experience the fantastic food on offer in Central Geelong this July with the Tastes of Central Geelong. You can enjoy Tastes from the comfort of your own home and learn tricks of the trade from local chefs, try exclusive recipes, dine at home and build your own menu items. Or make your way into Central Geelong to sample gourmet food and drink, participate in food themed activities and offers from restaurants and cafes who need your support.

“Central Geelong Marketing has created a flexible digital program which can continue to evolve as restrictions ease,” Central Geelong Marketing Committee Chair, Cr Peter Murrihy said.

“The program features virtual events, activities and offers that the community can enjoy from the comfort of their own homes while also providing activities hosted in a number of Central Geelong venues with limited capacity.”

Although this year’s program is a ‘lite’ version of Tastes, Murrihy expects to see great numbers of participation from businesses and the community.

“Each year has seen the event grow with more and more businesses coming on board to offer a food event or special offer into the festival program.”

“We have also built on the offering of the events delivered by Central Geelong Marketing including on street activities and guided tours. The number of participants has continued to grow as the program keeps evolving with current food trends and new unique events.

“It’s fantastic to see many Central Geelong businesses jumping onboard the Tastes program and the community response has been great so far with many excited to see a full month of activity on offer in Central Geelong to support local restaurants and cafes.”

It’s more important than ever to support local restaurants and cafes in Central Geelong if you are able. There are lots of ways you can show your support – from participating in a Tastes event or offer, booking ahead of time, always giving plenty of notice if you need to cancel bookings, adding something extra to your meal – like entrée or dessert, following your favourites on social media and leaving your review. Plus, making sure you are following social distancing guidelines and hygiene requirements when required so everyone can stay say.

To find out more and to download the Tastes of Central Geelong 2020 program visit https://www.centralgeelong.com.au/tastes