Welcome to the first gourmet emporium grazing blog post brought to you by epicurean adventurers Peninsula Gourmet Emporium/Hamper Yourself in downtown Dromana where the ‘mountain meets the sea’.

Home to the best of the Mornington Peninsula’s finest food artisans and interior enhancers, Peninsula Gourmet Emporium/Hamper Yourself brings local discerning flavours and forms to your tasting table with a big dollop of dramatically different gifting selections to boot! Read for free all about Peninsula Gourmet Emporium/Hamper Yourself stockists and producers, on-trend flavours setting the scene and tips to get you started on your gourmet grazing gustation.

Interviews, reviews, local foodie news and recipes are just for starters!

Cape Schanck Olive Estate delivers sustainable farming

Sui and Stephen Tham had little understanding of how much work it would take to make their high-grade deliciously different extra virgin olive oil when they planted 2,000 saplings at Cape Schanck in 2006. Five varieties of olives including three Italian, one French and one Spanish later, this original flower turned sustainable farm has developed into something bigger and more flavourful than ever.

gourmet emporium grazing chatted with multiple olive oil medal winner Sui about what makes a great olive oil and how Cape Schanck Olive Estate delivers some of the freshest olive oil around. (SBS Food Safaris’ Maeve O’Meara’s has checked it out!) We also talked about why supplying local produce to Peninsula people through Peninsula Gourmet Emporium/Hamper Yourself is important.

Your passion for premium extra virgin olive oil is palpable. How long did it take for your olive trees to fruit?

It took about four years for the grove to establish itself and begin fruiting. In 2010 we had an over-abundance of fruit and that’s when we ploughed more capital into the business. We bought an olive press. The first pressing is always the highest quality.

Who tends to the grove and presses the olives?

We do! My husband Stephen finds working in the olive grove de-stressing. Almost like mediation. He is very passionate about it. We also have a fortuitous farmer who has helped us since 2008.

You’re a member of the Australian Olive Oil Association, MP Produce and an annual judge at the Royal Melbourne Show. Why?

It was important for me to understand the flavours of EVOO – extra virgin olive oil – to produce the best quality we could. You have to know what the best tastes like to produce the best quality don’t you? As a judge I drink olive oil raw because it is only with a taste or chemical test you can confirm the oil’s classification. Extra virgin olive oil by definition is the highest standard of olive oil. There is no heat applied. Buyers should beware. Make sure you trust the label and look for a certification and provenance stamp.

Because we grow our own olives and press onsite, we know our olive oil is as authentic as it gets. As a member of the Australian Olive Oil Association we are held up to stringent standards, and as a member of MP Produce, our extra virgin olive oil is a guaranteed Mornington Peninsula product.

What’s the best way to enjoy Cape Schanck Olive Estate olive oil?

I use olive oil in all my cooking now. For salads, bread dipping. Everything. Never leave your olive oil in the sun as the quality will deteriorate – and never top up a bottle once used. Throw that bottle away and start again. It is important to retain the integrity of the oil to enjoy the best flavour. Heat makes the quality inferior and once the fatty acid chain breaks, the quality diminishes.

And finally, how long have you been supplying Peninsula Gourmet Emporium/Hamper Yourself with your olive oil?

Owner Kym has been stocking our oils for five years now. Ours is a Mornington Peninsula product and Peninsula Gourmet Emporium supports premium local produce.

Drop by Peninsula Gourmet Emporium to taste the flavours of the world which are grown, bottled and stored just around your corner – and enjoy.