Every year, the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival feels a little like the season finale of summer – one last hurrah in the sun before the down jackets get dusted off. And over the last couple of years the festival’s regional edition, which typically kicks off in mid-to-late spring, has acted like something of a season premiere – banishing winter’s dreary vibes and auguring the good times to come.
The line-up for this year’s Melbourne Food & Wine Festival Regional Edition, which runs from November 10 to 19, has just dropped, and it’s an absolute cracker.
“We’re thrilled to be back in regional Victoria,” said Anthea Loucas Bosha, CEO of Food & Drink Victoria, in a statement. “This program highlights the extraordinary experiences that make Victoria the best place in the world to eat and drink.”
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This year the festival’s signature event, the World’s Longest Lunch, has become the World’s Longest Lunches – two meals occurring simultaneously in both the Yarra Valley and Ballarat. The Village Feast, which sees top chefs work their magic on Gippsland’s best produce, is back again this year, too. It’s part of a broader event called the Gippsland Seaside Weekender – a coastal bash in the beautiful setting of Inverloch.
The Cook Up’s Adam Liaw, newly inducted MFWF hall-of-famer Thi Le (Ca Com, Jeow and Paul Carmichael of Momofuku Seiobo esteem are some of the stars lending culinary firepower to the weekend. They’ll be joined by legends such as Little Picket’s Jo Barrett, Clayton Wells of Sydney’s Mod Dining, and Masterchef winner Emelia Jackson. Raph Rashid, Sydney’s Ricos Tacos and Leonardo’s Pizza Palace will also be on hand.
There’ll also be seven festival bars run by some of regional Victoria’s best wineries, breweries and distilleries, plus talks hosted by food writer Sofia Levin, market stalls, live music and more.
Other highlights over the 10-day festival include a cherry-picking session hosted by Cherry Hill Orchards and Coldstream Brewery, followed by a limited edition cherry beer and pizza; a star-studded Yarra Valley wine party featuring Mac Forbes, Jayden Ong, Payten & Jones, Gembrook Hill and more; and even a three-course feast deep in the mines at Ballarat’s Sovereign Hill.
Tickets go on sale to the general public on Thursday September 7. The full program is live now.