In 2021, Melbourne Food & Wine Festival presents a blockbuster calendar of not one but three festivals. The newly expanded festival year kicks off with a suite of signature and new events in March. Then in winter, presented are two weeks of the core festival programming people know and love, all around Melbourne. Come spring, the food and drink of regional Victoria will have a festival all its own - a first for MFWF. Running from Fri 19 to Mon 29 March 2021 find the full program here. Some events have already sold out!
Two of the most popular events at the Festival has to be Bank of Melbourne World's Longest Brunch (Sat 13 Mar) and World's Longest Lunch (Fri 12 Mar). Get in early, follow the links and book your tickets. Both events are held at the Treasury Gardens. After the LUNCH event, you can continue all the fun with a drink or two at one of the following Melbourne bars nearby. For suggested venues for the Lunch Afterparty , see here.
On board for BRUNCH are two remarkable talents getting together a sumptuous meal that celebrates our city's love of café culture. Kicking off this epic tribute to the city's favourite meal are café king Nathan Toleman of the Mulberry Group and Lune Croissanterie's pastry queen Kate Reid. The LUNCH is in the hands of three chefs who shaped Melbourne dining and helped create the enviable food scene our city enjoys today. Chow down with Stephanie Alexander, Jacques Reymond and Philippe Mouchel. Limited tickets and the popularity of the events screams get me now!
We all know about the gorgeous Chinese Yum Cha, well, roll over, here comes The best of Italian Yum Cha. Prepare yourself for nine dishes of Italian favourites served in yum cha-style. From suckling pig croquettes to vitello tonnato, gnocchi with brown butter and sage, prawn tortelli and more, it's a mash-up that's delicious and oh-so-Melbourne. Coming in for your attention is a Suckling Pig Feast. A very Italian event featuring food cooked with love and served in great company, from tail to snout, all parts of the suckling pig will be used in 10 courses that feature top Victorian produce. YUM!
If you want to do a little more than dining and wining and learn from the masters, there's the Extraordinary Turkish Cooking Class and Feast. Confident cook or just starting out, with clear explanatory recipes and expert guidance, you'll be able to leave the dining table with the confidence to easily recreate the dishes in your own kitchen. Sounds like a lot but they do say it's for the novice as well, as this hands-on class will culminate in a feast of 10 dishes, with five paired wines plus themed music in a fun and social atmosphere.
If pasta is something you've always wanted to learn how to make, this is your opportunity for Pasta Making with Scott Pickett. Become a pasta master at this hands-on class where the reward is in the eating. If you'd rather just watch others do the work, The Great Italian Cook-off could be the one. Staging a battle for the tastebuds, northern Italy is going up against the south in a delicious clash, and a fight for the title of best Italian cuisine. Four courses, each paired with a regional Italian wine; 8 dishes, 8 wines, just 1 winner and at the end of the night, you decide who it is!
For something different, a Kew Progressive Dinner may be just what the chef ordered. Forget flares and pot roast, this is 2021. Get ready for Japanese favourites, Sicilian cooking, Spanish flavours and more, all within the streets of Kew. If you prefer a kitchen on the streets, the Seddon Laneway Party is the one for you. Soak up the relaxed community atmosphere along with live music and entertainment. Want to learn how to have a successful hāngi that's a key part of Māori culture when you're 100s of kms away from a place to dig a pit for a hāngi ? Find out how at Urban Hāngi.
In our current climate, the best way to travel to the streets of Buenos Aires is to have an Argentinian Adventure with Jacques Reymond. Over five courses, you'll see one of Melbourne's masters of French cuisine in a whole new light. With stories of travel, food and cultural traditions thrown in the mix, this is set to be a memorable evening for food lovers of all stripes. However, if you're thinking of going Japanese, convenience store classics style, head to Conveniently Tokyo. On for 2 nights only, Tokyo Tina delivers an elevated interpretation of Japanese convenience store classics.
Over a four-course dinner, try a luxed-up egg salad sando with spanner crab and yuzu kosho; a rock 'n' roll version of onigiri, dipped in trout and salmon roe; and treats from the kara-age hotbox, filled to the brim with all manner of hot and fried goods. Plus guests can also choose sparkling sake or a line-up of Japanese tinnies straight from the fridge. Dinner will be backed by a soundtrack to match.
Be sure to check the full program for many other exciting food events, and special events to titillate your palate. Last but not least, play safe, keep safe, and keep others safe so we can all head out and enjoy the month of March together, immersed in events that showcase the best of Victorian produce.