From World’s Longest Lunches in breathtaking places to avant-garde tasting dishes from global culinary superstars, the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival has it all. Indulge the senses over 17 days as a diverse program of one-off events unfold throughout Melbourne and regional Victoria.
Reasons to attend
1. Melbourne Food and Wine Festival boasts a diverse program of unforgettable events that fill Melbourne’s network of laneways, restaurants, bars, cosy basements and rooftops, and spills into regional Victoria. The 17-day festival attracts some 250,000 visitors each year.
2. The festival is renowned for bringing the city to life with convivial outdoor celebrations. Proceedings will kick off in 2015 with the Bank of Melbourne World’s Longest Lunch on 27 February. The Festival set a record in 2014 with a 530m-long table - the longest in the Festival’s 22-year history - set along the banks of the Yarra River. A three-course lunch that included kingfish, sweet potatoes and sorrel leaves fed 1504 diners designed by three of Victoria’s top chefs.
3. Global stars collaborate with Melbourne’s leading chefs for one-off dining experiences in the city’s hottest restaurants, sharing their creations with a food-obsessed city. The who’s who of the culinary world have been hosted at MFWF including René Redzepi, Ferran Adria, Jamie Oliver, Heston Blumenthal, Nigella Lawson, Anthony Bourdain, Andoni Luis Aduriz and Thomas Keller, to name just a few.
4. The two-day Langham Melbourne MasterClass, which showcases the world’s most exciting culinary and winemaking talent, is a hallmark of the festival. At The Langham Melbourne, a luxury hotel at Southbank, visitors learn from the world’s best chefs in intimate classes and taste their signature dishes. Past taste sensations have included pure plankton rice from Aponiente’s Juan Luis Fernández (Spain), veal smoked in Chilean tepú wood from Boragó’s Rodolfo Guzmán, and cod acorn truffle celery from The Restaurant at Meadowood’s Christopher Kostow (Napa Valley).
5. With many mouth-watering regional events in the festival program, city slickers are encouraged to take a food and wine mini-breaks in the countryside. Some of the state’s most breathtaking locations have hosted Regional World’s Longest Lunches, including among the vines in the Mornington Peninsula and overlooking ocean vistas in Gippsland.
6. The festival is renowned for offering food and wine experiences you can’t do at any other time of the year. Learn secret recipes and techniques from artisan producers; dine in undiscovered city locations, from laneways to rooftops; see the best of Melbourne’s food, art and music collide at one-off cultural events; and much more.
7. March signals vintage in Victoria with winemakers across the state picking and processing their precious grapes. The Festival takes wine lovers along for the ride with behind the scenes vineyard tours and special lunches and dinners among the ageing barrels. Back in the city, take part in inspiring tastings guided by leading wine authorities at Acqua Panna Global Wine Experience.
8. Cult-favourite Crawl ‘n’ Bite takes guests on a guided tour through laneways and hidden doorways to a succession of three of the city’s hottest restaurants to enjoy a signature small plate and a cleverly matched drink. MoVida Next Door, Mamasita, Tonka and Izakaya Den have all played host to this popular event.
9. There’s something for foodies of all ages at the Festival. Families with mini budding chefs in tow can join free cooking classes at Little Foodies Corner to learn everything from pizza-making to sushi-rolling.
10. Melbourne and Victoria’s rich multicultural heritage comes to centre stage with vibrant community gatherings celebrating generations-old recipes and the talented people behind them. Jump on a rickshaw for a tour through Footscray feasting on Vietnamese classics, sit down to an Ethiopian coffee roasting ceremony, or roll your own pasta with Italian masters, among other global adventures.
What to look out for
Head to the buzzing festival hub located in the heart of Melbourne. Every year the Festival designs a new creative playground to serve up great Victorian food and wine.
How to get there
Most major airlines fly direct to Melbourne and it's a 90-minute flight from Sydney. Many of the festival’s venues and participating restaurants are located in central Melbourne, easily accessible by the City Circle Tram, a free tourist service.
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