Best events at Melbourne's Food Festival 2017

This year Melbourne becomes the first city outside London and New York to host the world’s most prestigious restaurant awards. You can meet the best chefs on earth (and savour their creations) while they’re here. Best events at Melbourne's Food Festival 2017
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World's 50 Best Restaurants will have an Australian flavour this year - here's how to taste it

This year Melbourne becomes the first city outside London and New York to host the world’s most prestigious restaurant awards. You can meet the best chefs on earth (and savour their creations) while they’re here.


By Sue Gough Henly
Published: 30 March, 2017

Melbourne is about to become only the third city on Earth to host The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards, which will be held on April 5. In the event’s first foray outside its traditional bases of New York and London, things will be done a little differently. For starters, this traditionally closed event (only industry members are invited to the ceremony), will be open to everyone who wants to watch when it’s screened live at Federation Square, a public space in Melbourne’s city centre that will be turned into a giant pop-up picnic for the occasion. There will also be dozens of World’s 50 Best activities taking place throughout the city during this year’s Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, which takes place from 31 March to 9 April, meaning everyone will get an opportunity to meet, and taste the creations of, the best culinary masterminds on earth.

TAKE A COOKING LESSON FROM A MASTERCHEF

Master Class, Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, Victoria

With or without The World’s 50 Best Restaurant awards, the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival is worth experiencing. The largest event of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s an annual landmark on Australia’s culinary calendar, featuring pop-up restaurants, edible gardens, cooking masterclasses, performances and a changing roster of activities each year.

With so many culinary masters in town this year, a delicious diversity of additional events will offer the chance to rub shoulders with a huge roll call of super chefs during the festival’s cooking masterclass series. Take a culinary tour around the globe with sessions led by chefs such as Grant Achatz from Chicago’s Alinea; Gaston Acurio, who runs a host of restaurants in Peru; Zaiyu Hasegawa from Den in Tokyo; Jorge Vallejo from Mexico City’s Quintonil; and Australia’s own David Thompson, renowned for his international stable of Thai restaurants.

SAVOUR A SERIOUSLY UNIQUE MIX OF INGREDIENTS

Melbourne’s Food and Wine Festival is also putting together some once-in-a-lifetime dining experiences, inviting some of the world’s most famous international chefs to join forces with Melbourne’s own hero chefs, restaurateurs and sommeliers in one-off collaborations at local restaurants. Find out what happens, for instance, when White Rabbit’s Russian new-wave chef Vladimir Mukhin meets Lake House’s Alla Wolf-Tasker at the White Rabbit Masterclass. Or taste the magic when chef Carlo Cracco of Milan’s Ristorante Cracco joins forces with Melbourne icon Guy Grossi to create a multi-course feast, reinventing Italian classics with regional Australian produce.

CHECK IN TO THE HOUSE OF FOOD AND WINE

House of Food and Wine, Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, Victoria

The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival serves up some local Melbourne flavours, perhaps nowhere more so than at its very heart, in a space called The House of Food and Wine. The House is the festival’s centre, and for the duration of the festival will offer curated food and wine experiences from chefs across Australia, in a space that looks and feels like a real home, complete with dining rooms, lounge rooms and even a gallery, tucked down a classic Melbourne laneway. Come for a wine tasting, sit down to a multi-course dinner or join the fun of a block party.

GRAZE YOUR WAY DOWN A RIVER

River Graze, Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, Victoria

The Yarra River runs through Melbourne, and this weekend (31 March-2 April) the city will celebrate the festival’s opening by turning an entire kilometre (0.6 miles) of the riverbanks into a food and wine lover’s playground. River Graze will feature a roster of food, drinks and entertainment including a curated collection of Melbourne’s best food trucks, a dessert-themed alleyway of pastries, gelato and chocolate, an installation called City Cellar featuring 30 Victorian wineries, cooking demonstrations, and a huge multicultural selection of cuisines to try.

COUNT DOWN TO NUMBER ONE 

With typical Australian egalitarianism, the whole world is invited to watch The World’s 50 Best Restaurant awards this year, for the first time. If you want to be part of the action, simply head to Melbourne’s Federation Square on Wednesday 5 April, and attend the free public countdown and screening of this prestigious event in a festive outdoor atmosphere. There will be plenty of attractions and entertainment, including some of the city’s best food trucks serving local produce from 5.30pm, comedians from the Melbourne International Comedy Festival from 7pm, and live music curated by Music Victoria, before the screening starts at 8.30pm.

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