It’s true – many events at this year’s Melbourne Food and Wine Festival are already sold out. But there is still so much left to explore, if you know where to look. Running from March 16 to 25, here’s our guide to a handful of events you still have a chance to get to.
Dinner at Our House – Regional Stars
Friday March 16
Some of the state’s best restaurants are regional. So when they pop-up in the city during the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, it’s an experience not to be missed. Hosted at this year’s House of Food and Wine Hotel at Hotel Lindrum, Dinner at Our House features a five-course meal prepared by three notable out-of-towners: sous chef Damien Neylon from Birregurra’s award-winning Brae; Phil Wood, culinary director of the newly opened Pt. Leo Estate (previously Rockpool, Sydney), and chef Matt Germanchis, co-owner of the Great Ocean Road’s must-do pit stop Captain Moonlite in Anglesea.
Each chef’s dish is served with a specially paired drink.
Peggy Chan at Ramblr
Tuesday March 20
Chef Peggy Chan trained at the Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa Culinary Arts Institute in Canada and has worked at award-winning establishments such as the Peninsula Hotel in Tokyo. Most notably she’s a plant-based cooking pioneer and the founder of Grassroots Pantry, a progressive Hong Kong eatery.
During the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, Chan is one of the festival's international collaborators. She will host a five-course dinner at Ramblr in South Yarra, along with a yet-to-be-named guest chef. Diners can expect a menu featuring locally sourced ingredients reflecting Chan’s philosophy of nutrient-driven, sustainable cooking. Side note: you can also catch her speaking at the Theatre of Ideas – Sustainability event on Saturday March 17.
Organic and Wild Food Tour at Queen Vic Market
Friday March 16
With a labyrinth of fresh fruit, vegetables, spices, cheeses, meats and fish stalls to navigate at the Queen Vic Market, it can be overwhelming. This guided tour will unearth the organic, biodynamic and wild food available at the market and reveal lesser-known local fare.
Led by a bread-making, pickling and fermenting expert, guests will be introduced to on-site providores and sample their homegrown goods. You’ll leave armed with a market selection and the insider knowledge to decipher the best of the bunch.
Thai Street Food Live by David Thompson
Hosted by Thai food master David Thompson of Long Chim and multi-award winning Bangkok restaurant Nahm, Thai Street Food Live offers an inside look at the methods, traditions and true flavours of the cuisine. The free event runs across Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 12pm to 10pm, with Bangkok street-style food stalls, bars and live entertainment.
This is a free event. Event information.
The Best Butter Chicken Pop Up
The butter chicken by internationally acclaimed Indian Chef Saransh Goila is famous. The Press Club will host Goila and his signature dish, pairing him with Greek bartenders from The Clumsies, a bar in Athens regularly voted one of the world’s best. There will be plenty of opportunities to embrace the pairing, with four sessions running every night of the 10-day festival.
Collingwood Community All You Can Eat and Drink Weekend Brunch
March 17, 18, 24 and 25
New Orleans-inspired Collingwood bar and smokehouse Le Bon Ton will pay tribute to the meal of brunch with a four-hour buffet showcasing a range of Collingwood’s locals.
Beginning at 12.15pm, guests will dine on seafood from fishmonger Oceanmade and pastries from social enterprise STREAT. There will also be coffee from Proud Mary, beer from Stomping Ground, and the bar’s own bottomless breakfast cocktails.
Here are six more late picks to keep your eye on.
Theatre of Ideas Community and Sustainability talks
Hear from some of the most forwarding-thinking advocates in the industry on sustainability and community in the food industry.
Victoria and the World Tasting Room
Taste a variety of cheeses and wines from artisans both local and international.
Chinese Laundry Yum Cha with Riesling
Inspired by chef Tony Tan’s book Hong Kong Food City, this traditional dim sum lunch will be prepared by masters and matched with riesling.
In partnership with OpenTable, book a $40 two-course meal with matched wine, at one of more than 80 participating establishments across the state.
As part of the popular Crawl ‘n’ Bite series, get a taste for intimacy with dishes at Sezar, Philippe and Bar Lourinha over the course of a single evening.
Moritz y Movida Laneway Party
Hosier Lane’s all-day Spanish street party featuring lamb pinchos, beer and live entertainment.
House of Food and Wine Hotel
Check into this year’s House of Food and Wine Hotel at Hotel Lindrum, or drop by for a drink prepared by sommeliers and cocktail masters.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.