Dedicated to discovering and sharing stories of cultural diversity in Australia, the team at the Immigration Museum knows a thing or two about feasting on culture. From January to June, alongside its exhibition offering, it will present North South Feast West, a series that includes one-day food festivals focusing on chocolate, chilli and coffee, with local operators serving a variety of dishes.
“North South Feast West is an interpretation of the idea that migrants come from all over the globe to Melbourne, as do their cultural traditions and cuisines,” says the museum’s program manager, Eleni Kaponis.
The inaugural series of events launches on January 18 with a festival dedicated to chocolate from all over the globe. There will be stalls by chocolate peddlers such as 2Pocket Fair Trade, Los Amates serving traditional molé and Mörk Chocolate. There will also be a bar by Mildura Brewery, which makes a chocolate beer with nibs sourced from Fiji. Chocoholics Tours will present a talk exploring locally operated cocoa and sugar cane plantations in the Daintree. Music will come courtesy of DJs including CC:DISCO and Oscar Jiminez Trio.
A feature of North South Feast West will be Courtyard Cantina on Friday nights in February. Presented in association with PBS FM, the cantina includes a self-sustaining garden put together by The Projects (which built Testing Grounds) and a bar and food pop-up in the museum’s courtyard, in addition to a line-up of DJs including: CC:DISCO, Edd Fisher, Rainbow Connection and Miss Goldie. There’ll be stalls by Señor BBQ, Bretzel Biz, La Tortilleria, Boss Man Food, El Alamo, Koba, Trailer Made and pop up bars by Shebeen and Kumo/Izakaya Chuji.
In April, the Museum heats up with a day-long feast dedicated to chilli, at which some of the city’s best street-food vendors will bring their hottest dishes. Then in June, visitors can explore the origins of coffee around the world through workshops and talks by representatives from various cultural backgrounds. The festival will also be supported by a series of workshops, including sake, whiskey and tequila tastings, and a collaboration throughout the series with The Social Studio.
“This is a chance for us to open up collaborations with social enterprise and different migrant cultures, which is at the core of what we do at the museum,” says Kaponis. “Food is a great way to bring this all together.”
North South Feast West
Chocolate Fest: January 18, 11am–4pm, tickets $15
Courtyard Cantina: February 6, 13, 20, 27, 5pm–9pm, free entry to courtyard, standard museum admission $12
Chilli Fest: April 19, 11am–4pm, tickets $15
Coffee Fest: June 14, 11am–4pm, tickets $15
Tickets can be purchased here and include museum entry.