19–29 March 2020
The Melbourne Food & Wine Festival paired with principal partner Bank of Melbourne will take place from 19 to 29 March 2020, with some of the most exciting local and international names in food and drink descending on the city for an unmissable 10 days.
The new program will take place exclusively in Melbourne in March, with a dedicated festival in regional Victoria set to launch in spring 2020, showcasing more of the state’s abundance of great food and drink than ever before.
Food + Wine Victoria CEO Anthea Loucas Bosha said: “This year we’re bringing the Festival fun to the Queen Victoria Market – the new home of the festival’s feature events in 2020. We’re excited for festivalgoers to join us in celebrating all that’s great about this city’s food and drink culture at Melbourne’s much-loved marketplace.
“We’ll be welcoming some of the world’s hottest talent to Melbourne, including Alison Roman, Fuchsia Dunlop, Ignacio Mattos, Helen Goh, Michael Solomonov and Lee Tiernan along with our local heroes including Josh Niland, Shannon Martinez, Ben Shewry, Andrew McConnell and Pamela Clark, just to name a few.”
Food + Wine Victoria Creative Director Pat Nourse added: “We invite you to choose your own adventure at Queen Victoria Market, whether it’s the spiciest Sichuan food outside Asia, or the city’s best plant-based eating and drinking. If pasta is your thing, bring the whole family to The Big Spaghetti, or feed your mind with talks from some of the biggest movers and shakers in the business.”
Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula said: “The Melbourne Food & Wine Festival is the best celebration of its kind in the country and one of the reasons is that the program continues to be fresh and innovative. We’re proud to be backing the festival to grow at its new home at the Queen Victoria Market in March, and look forward to the first regional festival to be held later in the year.”
The much-loved Bank of Melbourne World’s Longest Lunch returns on Friday 20 March, bringing together three of Melbourne’s culinary masters, Stephanie Alexander, Philippe Mouchel and Jacques Reymond, to deliver an outdoor feast for more than 1,600 guests in Melbourne’s Treasury Gardens, set against the backdrop of the city skyline.
Bank of Melbourne Advisory Board Chairman Elizabeth Proust AO said: “The Bank of Melbourne World’s Longest Lunch is always a highlight on the Melbourne calendar and Stephanie, Philippe and Jacques are the perfect chefs to deliver an unforgettable event that celebrates our local produce and draws guests from all over the world.”
Feature Events at Queen Victoria Market:
- The Big Spaghetti – Pasta in all its many-splendoured forms by the maestros from Tipo 00, Capitano, Rosetta, Caterina’s and more of the city’s pasta masters along with drinks from Bar Americano and Giorgio De Maria. A stand-up celebration of this city’s favourite meal and one for the whole family to get stuck into. Saturday 28 March, 11am–7pm, free entry.
- Attica Presents – A day exploring the idea of hope – Australia’s most internationally celebrated chef, Ben Shewry, leads a day of music, performance and discussion around a key issue for hospitality and the wider community: hope. Talks will be interspersed with high-energy performances, followed by the opportunity to drink, mingle and chat afterwards. Sunday 29 March, free entry.
- Welcome to the Jungle – A sprawling celebration of plants, from the indoor variety to Melbourne’s best plant-based eating and drinking experiences. With the “Queen of Green” Shannon Martinez of Smith & Daughters at the helm and special guests Matt Wilkinson (Crofter), Jerry Mai (Annam) and more, expect the unexpected and step into the jungle in the heart of the city. Friday 27 March, 5pm–10pm, tickets $25pp.
- Maximum Chips – An ode to the humble chip in all its forms, Maximum Chips is a Friday night party that’s simply irresistible. With all the chips – crinkle-cut, shoestring, French fry and maybe the sneaky wedge – this fun and casual event does exactly what it says on the tin. Friday 20 March, 5pm–10pm, tickets $35pp.
- The Mixed Grill presented by Australian Good Meat – The ultimate Middle Eastern feast cooked over fire by some of the hottest names in food including Lee Tiernan of London’s Black Axe Mangal; Israel’s most celebrated chef, Eyal Shani; Michael Solomonov of Philadelphia’s Zahav; Mat Lindsay of Sydney’s Shwarmama (and ester and poly) and Maha’s Shane Delia. Saturday 21 March, 6pm–10pm, tickets $130pp.
- Sichuan Snack Fair – Doyenne of Sichuan cooking Fuchsia Dunlop headlines a new event showcasing Chinese dishes both spicy and nuanced created by Dainty Sichuan, Spice Temple, Lee Ho Fook, Supernormal, Sun Kitchen and more. It’s a family-friendly celebration of Sichuan province’s greatest and hottest dishes with talks in both Mandarin and English. Sunday 22 March, 11am–5pm, free entry.
- Shed X – The home of Melbourne Food & Wine Festival at Queen Victoria Market, Shed X will be a hive of activity offering free talks and demonstrations. It’s SXSW meets TED meets MAD meets Melbourne’s 141-year-old produce market. Festivalgoers can mingle with industry movers, shakers and trailblazers including Alison Roman, Fuchsia Dunlop, Michael Solomonov, Pamela Clark and Josh Niland. 20, 21, 28 March, 11am–4pm, free entry.
Other program highlights include:
- Take the Cake presented by Queen Fine Foods – The year 2020 marks the 40th anniversary of the first edition of one of the nation’s most-loved cookbooks, The Australian Women’s Weekly Children’s Birthday Cake Book, and to celebrate, Melbourne Food & Wine Festival and the NGV will bring the cakes to life in a captivating exhibition at the Ian Potter Centre, NGV Australia. Wednesday 18 March–Wednesday 25 March, free entry.
- The Nothing Fancy House Party at Half Acre – Best-selling author and bona-fide sensation Alison Roman brings the style, ease and good-time Brooklyn vibe of her new book Nothing Fancy to life with an intimate party to remember. There’ll be Martinis and snacks aplenty as Alison talks about maximum impact, minimum stress food, and living for the moment. Sunday 22 March, 6pm, tickets $125pp (includes a copy of Alison’s new book, Nothing Fancy).
Highlights of the 2020 Global Dining Series presented by Singapore Airlines:
- Saint Peter at CUMULUS INC – Josh Niland changed the seafood game when he opened his restaurant Saint Peter in Sydney and now, with the publication of The Whole Fish Cookbook, he is bringing a new way of thinking about cooking to the world. Teaming up with his friend Andrew McConnell, Josh will present an inventive Sunday lunch comprising four courses with matched drinks. Sunday 22 March, 1pm, tickets $160pp.
- Helen Goh × Neil Perry at Alfred Place – Join Helen Goh – Ottolenghi chef, pastry virtuoso and co-author of the bestselling cookbook Sweet – in a culinary conversation with Neil Perry. It’s a one-off meeting of two great chefs from different food backgrounds who share a global outlook in their search for compelling and beautiful flavours. Monday 23 March, 6.30pm, tickets $150pp.
Highlights of the 2020 Crawl + Bite Program presented by Estrella Damm:
- Laneway Crawl – A meander through Melbourne’s laneways, calling in at Hazel, Marameo and MoVida Next Door. Monday 23 March, 6.00pm–8.00pm and 8.30pm–10.30pm, tickets $78pp.
- New Kids on the Block 2.0 – An opportunity to check out some of the city’s hottest new openings including Elektra, Pope Joan and Daughter in Law for some highly Instagrammable bites. Monday 23 March, 6.00pm–8.00pm and 8.30pm–10.30pm, tickets $78pp.
Tickets for the 2020 Melbourne Food & Wine Festival and Bank of Melbourne’s World’s Longest Lunch are on sale now. For the full 2020 Melbourne Food & Wine Festival program and all ticket sales please visit mfwf.com.au.
Main image: Daniel Mahon