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Two Fat Blokes Gourmet Tours – Hunter Valley

Two Fat Blokes  Gourmet Tours pretty much says it all really when looking for a tour option in  the Hunter Valley.  As the saying goes, a  great chef always likes to try his quality, and if these guys were so called  “fat”, I assume they have also tried the best the Hunter Valley has to offer.

Little did I know I  would actually end the tour with my jeans just that little bit tighter, which  was hard not to, considering the high level quality and most tastefully  delicious meals I have ever had had been consumed on this progressive lunch tour.

The culmination of a  dream of two friends who have had a lifelong passion for great food and great  wines, Two Fat Blokes Gourmet Tours are the perfect mix of excellent  restaurant, meal and wine choice mixed with expert but entertaining touring of Australia’s  premier wine region, the beautiful Hunter Valley.

My tour was the  ‘Progressive Winemakers Lunch’ which began at 11am that morning with our guide  for the day, Fat Bloke 2, or as we called him, Jan.  Hoping into the luxury air-conditioned van, I  was greeted with a glass of champagne which I sipped on while Jan welcomed the  tour and gave the days itinerary.

As we began our  culinary journey into the Hunter Valley, Jan began his story of how Two Fat  Blokes came about.

After a career in  hotel management, specialising in food & beverage, Jan moved to the Hunter  Valley in 1998, where he had for the past ten years been publishing the local  Dining Out and Cellar doors magazines.   In 2010, Jan sold the business and focused on the very tours he operates  today, which you can see is a love and he is very passionate about.

Fat Bloke number one  we are told, is a retired dentist who made a new life for himself in the  vineyards area some 25 years ago and together with his wife Ros operated one of  the region’s first boutique hotels. The most entertaining part to his story  however, is his nickname, with most locals calling him ‘Sir Lunchalot’. For  those not familiar with his nickname, call him Peter however his car has  personalised number plates that say: LUNCH, summing up his favourite past time.

Upon completion of  this story, we collect another couple that are joining the tour for the day,  and head off to our first stop.  As the  tours operate with small groups of people (maximum 10), it made it a very cosy  and intimate tour, and within moments we were well acquainted with the new tour  members.

The itinerary for  the day included:

Canapes The Verandah Restaurant at Calais Estate           Chef/Owner: Matt  Dillow – Winemaker: Adrian Sheridan

Entree’s Wandin Valley Bar & Grill at Wandin Valley Estate           Chef: Michael Bright  – Winemaker: Daniel Binet

Main Course Muse Restaurant at Hungerford Hill Wines           Chef/Owner: Troy  Rhoades-Brown – Winemaker: Michael Hartcher
Dessert &  Tea/Coffee Esca Restaurant at Bimbadgen Estate           Chef: Ebonnie Newby  – Winemaker: Michael Degaris

The promise of exquisite food and wine matching experience was  fulfilled, as the day’s journey got me acquainted to dishes from some of the  Hunter Valley’s best restaurants matched by wines made by some of the Hunter  Valley’s most talented wine makers.

Overall it was simply some of the best food I have ever tasted,  fantastic wine (which mind you came home with me in a few cheeky purchases) but  what appealed to me most was the very fun and light-hearted approach to the  tour, which made me feel comfortable and relaxed.

More details on Two Fat Blokes Gourmet Tours, including the other tours  offered, can be found at www.twofatblokes.com.au.

If  you have any dietary requirements, please mention them at the time of booking,  mine however was a full glass of wine that never gets empty.