Melbourne Food & Wine Festival (MFWF) is gearing up for a triumphant return on March 25 – to celebrate its 30th anniversary. And the team behind it has pulled together a bumper line-up of chefs and food personalities, many from overseas and interstate, to mark the milestone. We asked some of them – including headline guest (and serial midnight-snacker) Nigella Lawson, as well as American comedian Eric Wareheim, Sichuan expert Fuchsia Dunlop, and Netflix star Lennox Hastie – where they’ll be eating and drinking while they’re in Melbourne for the festival.

Nigella Lawson, inimitable English TV presenter and food writer
“It’s hard to know where to begin with restaurants in Melbourne: the choice is quite dizzying! I can't wait to go to Anchovy and I'm very excited about Gimlet as well. And of course, an ice-cream at Pidapipo gelateria! I’ve also heard such great things about the pork-belly banh mi at Ca Com and am desperate to try it.”

Fuchsia Dunlop, English cook and food writer specialising in Chinese cuisine
Attica, because I've heard so much about it for so many years. And, of course, because of the use of ingredients that are found in Australia and nowhere else. I really don't know what to expect and I'm incredibly excited!”

Eric Wareheim, American comedian (from Tim & Eric), food writer and winemaker
“As soon as I land in Melbourne I’m running, not walking, over to Tipo 00. That pasta paradise moved me last time I dined there three years ago. And I’ve been craving its authenticity and freshness and all-around killer vibes.”

Morgan McGlone, Belles Hot Chicken founder
“As soon as I land, I’ll be hitting Calere for my favourite coffee – Alicia, one of the owners, is an awesome barista. Then I’ll walk down to my favourite breakfast at Cibi; I love the Japanese breakfast there. I’ll then head over to Lune Croissanterie in the city. I’ll probably grab some dumplings at Shandong Mama. I will hit up Embla for an afternoon bottle and then will have a nice dinner at France-Soir. Next day head to Napier Quarter and Flower Drum.”

Matt Moran, Sydney’s Aria, Chiswick and more
“I can’t wait to get back to Siglo for a drink at night. They have an incredible wine list and an even better atmosphere. And I also always look forward to visiting Embla; it features some amazing dishes, stunning decor and friendly staff. Both are always at the top of my list when visiting Melbourne.”

Lennox Hastie, Sydney’s Firedoor
“It’s been so long since I was last down in Melbourne – I’m really excited to visit for MFWF and see some talented friends! I’m doing an event at Anchovy with Thi [Le], and I’m so looking forward to finally have one of her epic banh mis at Ca Com. I’m also excited to get to Gimlet, somewhere I’ve been wanting to go since they opened up.”

Arabella Douglas, Minyunbal food activist and educator
Higher Ground for breakfast, Market Lane for coffee, Tipo 00 pasta bar for lunch, Supernormal for dinner and Romeo Lane for cocktails. I am also finally getting to experience Attica; I enjoyed Ben Shewry and Adam Briggs’s lockdown [antics]), and my cousin Amarlee Kelly is a Thorpe and Briggs, so connecting the family line [and] enhancing food trade routes with a native-food ambassador will be a thrill. I have missed Naarm and can’t wait to give my love to the city.”

Emiko Davies, Australian-Japanese cookbook author
“I have a long list, but what I’m most looking forward to when I arrive in Melbourne is having a Japanese breakfast with my sister, who I haven’t seen in nearly three years, thanks to the pandemic. Our mother is Japanese and this is the food that feels like home to me and what I have missed most. Living in Tuscany, it’s impossible to come by a Japanese breakfast (unless I cook it myself) but Melbourne has so many good choices! My favourite traditional Japanese breakfast is at Ima Project Cafe. It tastes just [like] breakfasts from my grandmother’s kitchen near Tokyo: a bowl of fluffy rice, miso soup, hibachi-grilled fish, a delicious soft egg to pour over the rice, seasonal vegetables and pickles.”

Ben Devlin, NSW’s Pipit
“This trip will be a quick one for me, but I’m really excited to get to Auterra wine bar by Clinton McIver, Falco bakery and hopefully a late drink at Gimlet.”