Mel­bourne Food & Wine Fes­ti­val

Lovers of fine food and wine are truly in their el­e­ment this month with the stag­ing of the 25th Mel­bourne Food and Wine Fes­ti­val. By Jenny Burns.

Where Melbourne - - Contents - For more in­for­ma­tion on the fes­ti­val and to buy tick­ets visit mel­bourne­foodand­

THIS YEAR’S MEL­BOURNE Food and Wine Fes­ti­val (MFWF), on un­til 9 April, fea­tures over 300 events both around Mel­bourne and in coun­try Vic­to­ria which high­light the State’s world renowned food and wine.

Many of this year’s events take ad­van­tage of the in­ter­na­tional chefs in Mel­bourne for The World’s 50 Best Restau­rants 2017 awards (4 to 6 April).

The se­ries “Mas­ter­class” (1 and 2 April), for ex­am­ple, fea­tures eight chefs whose restau­rants have fea­tured on the best restau­rant list.

Sev­eral in­ter­na­tional chefs are also join­ing forces with Mel­bourne’s own home­grown culi­nary leg­ends to of­fer never-to-be-re­peated din­ing ex­pe­ri­ences in the MFWF In­ter­na­tional Chef Col­lab­o­ra­tions pro­gram.

A num­ber of the fes­ti­val’s ac­tiv­i­ties are based at the pur­pose built House of Food and Wine.

Tucked down a laneway off Lit­tle Lons­dale Street in the heart of the CBD, the house is the venue for cre­ative col­lab­o­ra­tions and cu­rated food and wine ex­pe­ri­ences. It’s re­flec­tive of a true home, com­plete with a din­ing room (event space), a lounge room (the house bar), a gar­den (laneway) and even a gallery.

The house’s bar is open from noon and is of­fer­ing Vic­to­rian wines from ar­ti­san pro­duc­ers and small plates in­spired by chefs from past fes­ti­vals. Two of Pa­trick Sul­li­van’s min­i­ma­l­in­ter­ven­tion wines, made es­pe­cially for MFWF 2017, are avail­able on tap.

Events at the house in­clude “Fine Din­ing Lovers Present A Cel­e­bra­tion of Mas­ter Class” (1 April), “The Break­fast Club” (2 April), “Fire 2.0” (2 April), “Root­stock Syd­ney x MFWF” (7 April) and “Mak­ers & Muses”(8 and 9 April) and the “Burger Block Party” (9 April).

Other fes­ti­val high­lights in­clude “Crawl’n’bite” which of­fers 13 bar, restau­rant and neigh­bour­hood crawls. Each ‘crawl’ takes in three of the city’s finest venues in one night for a sig­na­ture dish and matched drink. The Smith and John­ston Street Fitzroy and Colling­wood crawl, for ex­am­ple, takes in the stylish French-in­spired Hell of the North, ‘70s-in­spired taque­ria’ Ho­tel Je­sus and re­vamped gas­tropub Fitzroy Town Hall Ho­tel.

“Restau­rant Ex­press” of­fers the chance to en­joy a two-course ex­press lunch with match­ing Vic­to­rian bev­er­age for $40 at restau­rants all over Mel­bourne and across the state.

While most of the tick­eted events of the fes­ti­val sell out very quickly, there are also a num­ber of free non-tick­eted ac­tiv­i­ties on of­fer.

Th­ese in­clude River Graze (1 and 2 April) which sees the Yarra River trans­formed into a culi­nary play­ground for both big and lit­tle food­ies alike. Pro­duc­ers, wine­mak­ers, chefs and food trucks abound while there’s also plenty of en­ter­tain­ment on of­fer.

The Dan­de­nong World Fare (2 April) hosted by Dan­de­nong Mar­ket fea­tures 40 mul­ti­cul­tural food trucks and street stalls cel­e­brat­ing the flavours of Asia, Africa, the Amer­i­cas, Europe and the Mid­dle East.

The South East Asia Fes­ti­val (8 April) fea­tures com­mu­nity projects in­volv­ing ASEAN com­mu­ni­ties around Vic­to­ria. Au­then­tic foods from Mel­bourne restau­rants are on of­fer while dance and tra­di­tional mu­sic per­for­mances are other high­lights.

River Graze. Photo: Mia Macdon­ald.

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