Top picks of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival

Top picks of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival


The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival kicks off today, giving food and wine lovers 17 days of tantalising world-class gastronomic events. Now in its 23rd year, the festival highlights why Melbourne is one of the hottest food destinations in the world. From masterclasses with famous chefs to exclusive wine tastings, foodies will have a mind-boggling choice of over 200 events to attend.

Confused about what to pick? I have put together a short list of 10 of the best events at the festival.

Unfortunately some of the events have now sold out including the opening party at Belle’s Hot Chicken, but rest assured, there’s still plenty of events to keep your taste buds satisfied.

For some Italian home cooking try…Tastes of Italia@Home

Hosted by chef Joseph Vargetto, guests will learn how to create authentic Italian produce and cook Italian at home ‘like Nonna does’. Giorgio Linguanti from That’s Amore Cheese will show guests how to make fresh ricotta, Michael Dal Zotto from Dal Zotto wines will teach the art of making a red wine base and Frank Bovazza from Home Make it will show guests how to make a sausage necklace. The workshop will end with a shared lunch and specially selected wines from Dal Zotto. Guests will go home with an apron and a recipe book.

Address: Mister Bianco, 285 High Street, Kew.
Price: $180 per person, including apron and cookbook
Time: 10am – 3pm
Date: Sunday March 1, 10am – 3pm

For food degustation and bowls try….Saint Crispin at St Kilda Bowls Club

Saint Crispin will ‘pop-up’ for the first time at the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival to share its sure-fire culinary delights and decadent Thomas Olive cocktails, with a leisurely side of lawn bowls. Saint Crispin chefs Joe Grbac and Scott Pickett have joined forces with famed dessert chef, Pierre Roelofs, to create a spectacular five-course degustation menu singing with fresh, fun and local flavours.

The talented trio will be bowling over taste buds on the green, serving up a mix of tried and tested favourites with a few special surprises throughout the day, to showcase their unique and delicious fare.

Address: St Kilda Bowling Club – 66 Fitzroy St, St Kilda
Price: $160 per person, including five courses and matched beverages, a complimentary glass of punch and lawn bowls
Time: Lunch 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm. Dinner 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Date: Friday, 6 March 2015

For the best of artisan baking try….the Artisan Bakery

Each day a team of top local and international bakers, including baking superstars Justin Gellatly (co-founder of London’s acclaimed Bread Ahead bakery) and Éric Kayser (Maison Kayser, Paris) will prepare an ever-changing selection of baked loaves and goodies, available to eat-in or take away.

The Festival Artisan Bakery and Bar will the rustic heart of the festival and is the perfect place to meet friends, learn new skills or relax with a glass of wine. Drop by for a coffee or wine, sit down for a bite to eat, or grab freshly baked treats to go.

Daily workshops will run for both experienced and novice cooks. Roll up your sleeves and knead your dough with the best in the business, learning all the way from the basics to current international trends. Classes are limited, so browse and book online now.

Address: Queensbridge Square, 1A Queens Bridge Street, Southbank
Price: Free
Time: All Day
Date:Friday 27 February – Sunday 15 March

For the best of smoked meats try…The Smoker and the Butcher

We can’t get enough of smoked meats in Melbourne right now. Pit Master Andy Groneman, from Kansas City, USA is coming to Melbourne for the ultimate butchery and BBQ masterclass with Gary Mehigan and Master Butcher, Gary McBean from Gary’s Meats in Prahran. Enjoy a shared dinner, while watching these heavyweights demonstrate the best ways to BBQ and smoke meat and other gourmet delicacies. I am getting hungry just thinking about it.

Address: 64 Sutton Street, North Melbourne
Price: $125
Time: 7 – 11.30pm
Date:Friday 27 February and Tuesday 3 March

For the ultimate bar crawl try… Crawl n Bite Bars

For the ultimate bar crawl, try the long-time festival favourite as you crawl to hotspots, hidden gems, institutions and the undiscovered. Be prepared to sample signature flavours from an eclectic snapshot of Melbourne restaurants, bars and cocktail lounges along the way. Choose from  three crawl types including restaurant bar or wine and discover the best that Melbourne has to offer.

Address: Various locations
Price: $66
Time: Various times
Date:Tuesday 10 – Wednesday 11 March

For the best of market produce… try Taste Prahran Market

Discover Prahran Market like you have never seen it before with this exclusive grazing pass. Use your CIP pass to visit expert traders and taste delicious delicacies prepared by stallholders. With your own wooden tasting board, you will collect freshly shucked oysters, something hot from the barbecue, a selection of favourite cheeses and charcuterie, antipasti and delectable desserts. Enjoy this feast over a leisurely 2½ hours then take home your own Prahran Market shopping bag to use on your next market visit.

Address: Prahran Market Level 1, 163 Commercial Road, South Yarra
Price: $35
Time: 2 – 4.30pm
Date: Saturday 28 February

Artisan Bakery

For something free try…. Open Kitchen

Open Kitchen takes over the riverbank on the first weekend of the festival.Wander along the scenic Yarra,  River between Birrarung Marr and South Wharf as you graze pop up kitchens, enjoy tastings at outdoor bars and watch some of Melbourne’s best chefs including Shane Delia in action. There will also be a pop-up stallholders offering tastings, activities and fun for all ages.

Address: Birrarung Marr to South Wharf
Price: Free
Time: 12pm – 5pm
Date: Saturday February 28 and Sunday March 1

For wine and food pairing try…Acqua Panna Perfect match

Want to learn more about food and wine pairing? Then Acqua Panna’s perfect match event is a must. Hear from the experts in this casual and interactive affair where you will have the opportunity to pull up a chair with some of Australia’s brightest luninaries.

Address: Melbourne Town Hall
Price: $85
Time: Multiple times
Date: Various dates

For gin lovers try… Gin Masterclass

Gin lovers will be in for a treat at this exclusive masterclass at Bass and Flinders distillery. During the masterclass you will experiment with a range of botanicals from your choice of threeregions – creating and bottling a gin specifically tailored to your tastes (with your own personalised label!) You will also have a chance to tour the distillery and hear from the experts about the history of this fascinating spirit.

Address:  Bass and Flinders Distillery, 232 Red Hill Road, Red Hill
Price: $120
Time: 2 – 4pm
Date: 1 March, 8 March and 15 March.

For lovers of cheese and wine try… Celebrate French Cheese and Wine

Indulge in the very best of French wine and cheese at this very special celebration at Milk the Cow. Hear from expert cheesemongers and sommeliers about their production methods and tasting notes. Guests will also enjoy a light farmer style supper and a cocktail on arrival.

Address: Bass and Flinders Distillery, 232 Red Hill Road, Red Hill
Price: $70
Time: Various times
Date: Various dates



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