Hospitality is hard. Thankfully, sometimes industry veterans share their wisdom.

GROW Assembly returns to Melbourne for a second year, bringing local and international food, wine and coffee luminaries together for what is also described as “HospoCon”.

Inspired by TED Talks and René Redzepi’s MAD Symposium, GROW discusses, teaches and aims to inspire. Speakers will serve up invaluable advice on how to achieve a viable hospitality career and how to maintain energy once you’re in the industry.

This year’s theme is sustainability, whether that’s mental, physical, financial or environmental, and it comes with an impressive running sheet.

London’s Alex Kratena will speak about his career journey from head bartender at Artesian at The Langham (number one in the World’s 50 Best Bar Awards for four consecutive years) to founder of P(our), a not-for-profit annual symposium for leaders in the drinks industry.

David Blackmore of Victoria’s Blackmore’s Wagyu will talk Wagyu genetics and discuss how to create a sustainable business while staying true to your ethics.

Also joining the lecture list is Brendan Carter from Adelaide’s Applewood Distillery, Tim Williams from Melbourne’s Bureaux Collective and Omar de Silva, co-founder of The Plato Project.

“These people are all legends in their field,” says GROW co-founder, Banjo Harris Plane (Bar Liberty). “We wanted a wide spectrum of everything related to the food industry and a roster of speakers we know have great stories to tell – people who will cover a broad range of topics.”

The event also includes a sit-down lunch with each course prepared by some of Melbourne’s best chefs. Charlie Carrington of Atlas Dining has been confirmed to cook, and more will be announced soon.

GROW Assembly is at the Abbotsford Convent on Sunday July 16. Tickets are $130 and includes lunch and drinks. Tickets on sale here.