he Melbourne Food and Wine Festival is now in full swing. Everywhere you turn there are saliva-inducing lunches, dinners, movies and art. But if you haven’t had time to check out the guide, or don’t really know what it’s all about, don’t panic. You haven’t missed out yet and we’ve got some suggestions to keep you covered and help you get a taste of what’s on.
Here’s our list of last minute ideas that there’s still time to catch.
Breadmaking Workshop at the Convent:
Love the smell of freshly baked bread? Ever wanted to learn how to bake your own from the people that know the secrets? Then get thee to The Convent for breadmaking workshops that include instruction from the head baker, recipes and tips for DIY, beginners’ sourdough and a side order of history with lunch and a tour of the historic convent grounds thrown in. And it’s all baked in The Convent’s historic wood-fired ovens.
When: March 20 & 21, 8am–3pm
Where: Convent Bakery, 1 St Heliers Street, Abbotsford
Bookings: (03) 9419 9426 or www.conventbakery.com
Cellar Door at Southgate:
This is a chance to taste wines from 60 of Victoria’s boutique winemakers. It’s all wine-and-dine in the sun, right on the banks of the Yarra with the city as a backdrop. Your favourite varietals will be covered, but don’t by shy to try more unusual styles while there’s experts on hand to help you out. It’s the ideal opportunity to explore and expand when you don’t even have to leave the city to do so. And with the Providore Market on hand, your tummy will be covered too.
When: March 20 & 21, 12pm–5pm
Where: Southgate Promenade
Bookings: Ticketmaster 136 100
Salt: a culinary exploration:
From food preservation to unexpected pairings and new directions for salt, this is a degustation dinner that takes you right into the heart of those sharp little crystals. Taste specialty salts matched to food, be sprinkled with the history and traditions of salt and learn about new techniques such as salt-slab cooking. Want to know what the difference between Himalayan pink salt and Murray River salt is? Here’s the chance to find out, taste and take the tricks and tips of salt home with you.
When: March 22, 3pm–6pm
Where: Kobe Jones, Level 1, 427 Docklands Drive, Docklands
Cost: $60 including workshop, food, drink, gift bag and book.
Bookings: (02) 9437 0438 or www.greatgrandfamous.com
Dinner with April Bloomfield:
For a touch of the international, British born April Bloomfield of the highly acclaimed Spotted Pig in NYC is bringing her culinary creativity to Breezes at Crown. It’s a chance to taste her Michelin starred food, focused on Italian and British influences and local ingredients.
The Spotted Pig restaurant might not take bookings in NYC, but you won’t have to queue for a seat if you’re having dinner with Bloomfield in Melbourne.
Bloomfield’s menu will be available at Breezes until March 23rd.
When: 21st March, 6:30PM - 11:00PM
Where: Breezes, Lvl 3 Crown Towers, Crown Entertainment Complex, Southbank
Bookings: (03) 9292 6896
Front of House All Stars Dinner:
And finally, let’s not forget that the the level of service can be the difference between a good dining experience and a really great one. So what happens when you get the best of Melbourne’s front of house together for one meal? Magic on the floor we guess, from handpicked wines and signature dishes to personal flair and style. And that’s just what the Front of House All Stars dinner is all about. This year’s team includes Adam Cash from Cutler & Co, Sam Christie from Longrain and Simon Denton from Verge and Izakaya Den, as well as other front of house stars. The proceeds go to StreetSmart, supporting Melbourne’s homeless. Good food, great service and a side of social conscience.
When: March 21, 7pm–11pm
Where: Mezzo Bar & Grill, 35 Little Bourke St, Melbourne
Bookings: (03) 9650 0988 or www.streetsmartaustralia.org
So grab your loosest pants and get going, because there’s still plenty of food and wine happenings. Just because you haven’t had a chance to look, doesn’t mean you’ve missed the good stuff. Quite the contrary, in fact.