Food and wine lovers rejoice! One of Australia’s most celebrated festivals, the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, is back and ready to fill our calendars with it’s culinary goodness. Kicking off on Friday 27 February for the 22nd year running, the festival will host over 200 events. The festival is literally packed with hundreds of events to choose from, so we’ve picked out our favourites to help you out!
WORLDS TASTIEST GAME OF HIDE AND SEEK
Truffle enthusiasts will celebrate at this event, with Vue de Monde restaurateur Shannon Bennet’s Piggery Café hosting part of the worlds tastiest game of hide and seek. The Sherbrooke café will host a lively garden party, with guests invited to indulge in truffle themed canapé’s and cocktails whilst basking in the 500-tree truffle farm. Did we mention there will be games of lawn bowls, croquet and bocce on offer? And that’s only the start. Attendee’s will then be treated to a three-course meal created by well-known Vue Group Chef, Chris Bonello, accompanied by wine (naturally) and enjoyed on the lawns of the sprawling modern mansion. Tickets are $150 per person with limited availability, so get in quick!
Location: Sherbrooke, VIC
Date: Friday March 13th 2015
Bookings contact: Vue de Monde on (03)96913888
More information: www.trufflemelbourne.com
RESTAURANT EXPRESS SIGNATURE SERIES
One of the Festival’s most popular series is back for another instalment, with the Restaurant Express Signature Series making a comeback in 2015. Over 80 of the most popular restaurants in Victoria will be offering their signature dishes up over lunchtime. Only available at lunch, each establishment will serve up two courses- including their signature dish- and a specially matched beverage for only $40. Some of our favourites offering the deal include Nobu, Gingerboy, San Telmo, Mamasita, GAZI and Dandelion. Be sure to check the list of restaurants carefully though, as some are only offering this deal on weekdays.
Location: various restaurants across Melbourne and Victoria
Date: Friday 27th February-Sunday 15th March, 12.00pm-3.00pm daily
Price: $40/head (includes 2 courses and matching beverage)
Sprawling from South Wharf all the way to Birrarung Marr, Open Kitchen is one of many events that will kick off the Festival’s opening weekend. Over ten unique events will be held along the banks of the Yarra as part of Open Kitchen, including pop-up kitchens, outdoor bars and live cooking demonstrations. Stalls include Crown’s Alfresco Kitchen, a Food Truck Jam, a Pirate and Pimm’s fiesta and a fiesta at Southgate. There’ll also be the usual pop-up stallholders, including Sweet Alley, a laneway full of edible entertainment. Keen to find out more? So are we!
Location: Banks of the Yarra
Date: Saturday 28th February & Sunday 1st March, 12.00pm-5.00pm
More information: http://www.melbournefoodandwine.com.au/event-calendar/open-kitchen-5704
RIVERSIDE POP-UP PICNIC
Melbourne loves a pop-up, and what better way to do so than by offering a seafood picnic by the water? Cue Riverside Pop-up Picnic. The Wharf Hotel will be hosting an epic weekend-long picnic of seafood, cheese, champagne and beer, and all you have to do is book a picnic basket! Each basket includes a fresh homemade bread roll, a seasonal vegetable salad and cutlery, as well as three tokens to choose your own seafood, cheese and champagne. So order a basket, bring a blanket and enjoy the last of Melbourne’s warm weather by the Yarra River with a group of friends.
Location: The Wharf Hotel and WTC Wharf
Date: Saturday 28th February and Sunday 1st March, 12.00pm-5.00pm
BREAKFAST AT THE TAN
We‘re all for any event that helps a cause, which is why we love the Breakfast at the Tan. The event is essentially one big walkathon around the Tan (aka Royal Botanical Gardens), which includes a “breakfast-on-the-move” whilst raising money for Diabetes Australia. Participants are invited to take a relaxing walk around the Tan and stop at 5 designated breakfast stations offering nutritious breakfast foods to fill up as they go. Activities for all ages will be offered prior to and after the walk takes place, including yoga and lifestyle sessions. Melbourne Food and Wine will donate 5% of the ticket price to Diabetes Australia. Lets get moving people!
Location: Royal Botanical Gardens Southern Cross Observatory Precinct
Date: Sunday 15th March, 7.30am-12.00pm
Cost: General Admission Adult- $35, General Admission Child 16yrs and under- $15, Family Ticket (2 Adults, 2 Children)- $80
WINDSOR BLOCK PARTY
Indulge in a Sunday session on 1 March in Windsor and listen to Melbourne’s best party tunes whilst enjoying the best local urban street food. With street art, circus acts and pop culture pop ups, Windsor is the place to be for the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival event.
Windsor will come alive with fresh hawker-inspired street food from local favourites including Mr Miyagi, who are serving up their famous MFC (Miyagi Fried Chicken), Kuku Mama, Basque who are providing a Spanish twist to the event, Parlour Diner and Massive Wieners who are providing some of Melbourne’s favourite hotdogs.
Location: Artistis Lane, Windsor
Date: Sunday 1st March 1pm until 8pm
A COASTAL CULINARY TRAIL WITH ARBORY BAR & EATERY
Arbory Bar & Eatery has created a Coastal Trail showcasing the finest in Australian seafood. Experience the diversity found along our Eastern Seaboard at stalls set up on the deck. Each station will feature a unique dish complemented by a glass of Pinot Grigio or Cabernet Savignon from DOC. Wander along the trail, soak up the relaxed atmosphere and enjoy Chef Nick Bennett’s special MFWF menu.
Location: Arbory Bar & Eatery, Flinders Walk
Date: Saturday 28th February and Sunday 1st March 11am until 4pm
Cost: Tasting plates from $15
For more information on the many events happening during Melbourne Food & Wine Festival visit www.melbournefoodandwine.com.au Happy eating Melbourne!
Images courtesy of MFWF, Diabetes Australia, Truffle Melbourne.