Celebrating all that’s delicious about Victoria!
Every Melbourne gourmand worth their organic finishing salt knows that the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival is the highlight of the foodie calendar, and 2020’s line up proves once again that Victoria produces some of the finest food and wine in the country. This year’s line up brings back favourites from previous years, while also showcasing some new and exciting dining and workshop experiences. This year’s festival will also give diners a chance to show their support and give back to bushfire ravaged parts of the state.
Spread over ten mouth watering days, MFWF 2020 will give festival goers a chance to sample local Victorian produce, take part in dining experiences, and pick up a new skill or two with focused workshops and classes hosted by a who’s who of industry insiders.
This year, those looking to get a little buzzed can delve into the Magical World of Honey to learn all about the integral role of the honey bee in our environment and its critical role in the State’s produce industry, as well as the versatile uses of an ingredient steeped in history and mythology. Diners will be served up an amazing three-course meal showcasing honey, with each meal paired with a Victorian gin cocktail infused with honey.
For plant based diners wanting to take a deep dive into oceanic wonders – or omnivores looking to expand their palates – the Vegan Catch Of The Day will show how the often overlooked plant-powered marine delicacies such as seaweed, saltbush, and other plants that have been foraged from the Australian marine landscape can be utilised to give dishes a seafood punch without any fishing involved. This animal-free feast will change the tide of how we view seafood and introduce diners to a new kind of fine dining.
This year, the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival also shines a light on the rich cultural diversity of Melbourne’s suburbs. Add a little sunshine to your day with Sunshine Food Fever – a three course, progressive dinner that highlights one of Melbourne’s most culturally and gastronomically diverse suburbs, with diners taking a tour through Sunshine’s laneways and experiencing traditional Ethiopian, North Indian, and Vietnamese cuisine, as well as multicultural entertainment.
Speaking of the amazing contributions by migrant communities to Melbourne’s food and wine scene, it wouldn’t be the Melbourne Food And Wine Festival without a little al dente delight. The Big Spaghetti brings together more than ten of Melbourne’s best Italian restaurants to do what they do best: serve up some amazing pasta dishes. Festival goers will see Queen Victoria Market’s Shed X transformed into a family friendly busting Italian street fair, with pasta, wine, and plenty of music for an unforgettable Italian experience.
Matt Preston and Sam Pang will also be on hand for a live cooking demonstration, as Matt whips up his famed Bolognese sauce in real time. Entry to The Big Spaghetti is free, with food and drinks available for purchase. If you’d rather get your hands dirty and make your own pasta, Pasta Making with Scott Pickett will give you all the tips, tricks, and insider secrets to whip up your own authentic home-made pasta. Hosted at Scott’s Chadstone restaurant Pastore, you’ll also get to indulge in a four course lunch with wine.
For those who love their food to come with a side of history, An Edible History: From Gold Rush to Lunch Rush will give diners a chance to really take a bite out of Victoria’s history books. The event will take festival goers on a time traveling journey through the history of the venue – Ascot Vale’s Old Man Drew – from it’s humble beginnings as a grocery store servicing travelling gold miners in the 1860s, through to it’s time as an Italian wine bar in the 1930s. Diners will be served up a four course meal featuring native ingredients such as lemon myrtle and macadamia, and get to sample wines in the building’s original blue stone cellar. Another participant making history at the festival is iconic Melbourne restaurant, Vue De Monde, who celebrate their 20th Birthday this year with an amazing birthday bash featuring a set menu of favourite dishes from the venue’s last two decades.
As The Melbourne Food And Wine Festival celebrates all the best of Victoria’s food and wine producers, it’s undeniable that many of the festival’s most loved participants have been affected by the devastating bushfires that tore across Victoria and New South Wales. MFWF have paired up with Yarra Valley darling, Innocent Bystander, to raise funds for bushfire relief by auctioning off tickets to dining and theatre event, Innocence Lost – a sit down dinner paired with wine and a decadent and otherwordly performance by Circus Oz at the historic Spiegeltent. Innocence Lost is a feast for all of the senses, and isn’t to be missed.
The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival runs from March 19-29 at venues across Melbourne. The full program, and booking information, can be found at their website here.
A festival dedicated to hot chips will also make an appearance at the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.