If chefs are the new rock stars, then the 2013 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival is like Woodstock for foodies.
International big names such as Magnus Nilson and Bertrand Grebaut join Australian favourites such as Karen Martini and Guillaume Brahimi to stage tastings, demonstrations, dinners and Masterclasses. For the lovers of wine, how does a dinner designed by Guy Grossi with wines matched by none other than Jancis Robinson sound? The list of over 200 events is a dazzling who’s-who of international food and wine stars.
This year’s theme is “Earth”, celebrating the source of all that nourishes us. People are invited to “grow it, make it, eat it, drink it” and with more than 50 events for $50 and under, and free activities for children, it is readily accessible for everyone.
The Urban Coffee Farm in Queensbridge Square is a great place to start, where the public can view a terraced coffee farm that follows the journey of the humble bean from seedling to cup. The nation’s top baristas will take turns at the café’s brew bar, and real enthusiasts can sample a coffee flight. This is a world-first instillation paying homage to the passionate coffee culture that Melbourne is known for.
The Festival kicks off on March 1 with the World’s Longest Lunch in leafy Fitzroy Gardens, with Stephanie Alexander and Maggie Beer designing a 3-course earth-inspired menu from local ingredients and matched with wines from Yarra stalwart Yering Station. On March15 the Regional World’s Longest Lunches take place in 19 different stunning locations around Victoria, Daylesford, Yarra Valley and Phillip Island to name a few.
Combining all the very best elements of this festival is a series of events which bring Masterclass guests together with local stars at some of the top venues in Melbourne. Hot tickets include an evening at Pei Modern with Mark Best and Mexican Enrique Olvera, who reportedly will be bringing over some of his own special ingredients including Chicatan ants to really put palates through their paces. Other star attractions include ex pro-skateboarder Virgilio Martinez presenting a Peruvian feast, Massimo Spigaroli at Mama Baba; the list is as impressive as it is long.
For the wine lovers there are myriad opportunities to compare local and international wines, explore food parings, learn more about terroir and even make your own wine. The beverage program doesn’t stop there though, incorporating events that showcase beer, cider, spirits, coffee and teas.
Be wined, dined and thoroughly entertained for 17 magnificent days when the regional restaurants and wineries, bars and cafes, parks and gardens, rooftops and laneways of Melbourne come alive with a festival of earthly delights.
For more details see melbournefoodandwine.com.au