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Victoria weather: Rain puts brakes on bike ride, causing parmigiana overload at Gippsland hotel

By Laura Poole and Robert French, Saturday December 2, 2017 - 16:53 EDT
ABC image
Glengarry Hotel chef Emma Farley led a team who hand-crumbed 200 kilograms of chicken breast. - ABC

Victoria's east is still preparing for the worst of the flooding, but there is an oversupply of a different kind facing the central Gippsland community of Glengarry.

The town was prepared to host and feed more than 3,000 cyclists participating in the Great Victorian Bike Ride.

The , meaning the town's weeks of preparation were for nothing.

Or were they?

Community members put a call out on social media asking Gippsland residents to come into town and eat the hundreds of kilograms of prepared food so it did not go to waste.

Glengarry Hotel hand crumbed 200 kilograms of chicken, creating about 600 schnitzels to make into parmigianas.

The publican's daughter Jacqui Barnes said the response had been overwhelming

"The chefs have been cooking nonstop for hours and hours on end," she said.

"We are very lucky we live in Glengarry, it's a very, very close-knit community.

"It's amazing to think at 5:30am we were standing here wondering if anyone was going to come or is it going to be a flop. But the support has been amazing."

At lunch time the main street of Glengarry was filled with vehicles, as was the gravel car park near the start of the Gippsland Plains Rail Trail.

"The bistro is full to the brim and the phones just don't stop ringing," Ms Barnes said.

Great Victorian Bike Ride participant John Collins, from Emerald, was taking part in the washed out event.

He did not cycle to Glengarry, but still stopped in town on his drive home.

Despite not exerting the same amount of physical energy in the transport method to Glengarry, Mr Collins still had a large enough appetite to tackle a parma.

With a plump parma sitting in front of him, Mr Collins said he was happy to have paid a visit to Glengarry.

"We thought it would be good to come here, because we'd heard that all the locals had done a fantastic job in preparing to welcome us but not many have actually arrived," he said.

It is not just the parmas that required mass consumption in Glengarry.

There was also the 100 kilograms of steak still to get through and thousands of pies at the local bakery.

The bakery had spent long nights preparing many different flavours of pies for the riders, and thought they would not be able to sell them all once the ride got cancelled.

They offered the community a two-for-one special, in a bid to try and sell them all.

They sold out by 10:30am.

Bakery owner Trevor Ewert said they had made more than 3,500 pastries in preparation for the cyclists arriving.

"It's been a community effort. We've worked between all of us, we've basically worked day and night, to make as much product as we can," he said.

"We came up with the crazy idea last night to offer buy one get one free. There's been a steady steam of customers and now we've completely sold out.

"Now we're finished up here we'll be down the pub getting a pot and parma into us in no time. I've done an eating competition before — I reckon I could smash three or four no problem at all.

"You can't be angry can you? Who controls the weather? If the Government controlled the weather you'd understand. We've succeeded, we've done what we need to do, now let's go to the pub."


© ABC 2017

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