MEDIA UPDATE  |   13 July 2021
 

THE MELBOURNE FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL WINTER EDITION PROGRAM IS HERE: 150 GREAT EVENTS OVER 10 DAYS

It’s all about great eating and drinking in Melbourne 20-29 August

Embargo: 12.01am Tuesday, 13 July 2021

The Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, served by principal partner Bank of Melbourne and destination partner Visit Victoria, has today announced its Winter Edition program. The Winter Edition will run for 10 days from 20-29 August with 150 events ranging from a family-friendly pasta feast (The Big Spaghetti) and an epic showcase of the power of hot chips

(Maximum Chips) to a rock ’n’ roll celebration of plant-based eating and drinking (Welcome to the Jungle) and a Signature Chef Series featuring some of the most compelling culinary talent in Australia. 

As part of its push to be more accessible than ever, this edition of the Festival has a new home, at the much-loved Queen Victoria Market. The market will host a range of events, workshops and demonstrations, both ticketed and free. Amongst the free events are The Remixed Grill – a day of fire-fuelled eating and drinking with 10 leading chefs, cool-climate wines and campfire stories – as well as The Big Spaghetti, a family-friendly celebration of Italy’s favourite food, and The Convenient Store, a retail pop up like no other. 

The Signature Chef Series is a festival highlight, bringing some of Australia’s most talented chefs – including Paul Carmichael, Brent Savage and mother and daughter team Farida and Durkhanai Ayubi, of Adelaide’s celebrated Afghan eatery, Parwana – to cook at some of Melbourne’s favourite eateries.

“We’re thrilled to be bringing our core Melbourne Food & Wine Festival programming to winter, and our festival home to Queen Victoria Market,” says said Anthea Loucas Bosha, CEO of Food + Drink Victoria, the not-for-profit parent company behind MFWF. “Across the Winter Edition we’ll have 150 events across 10 days and across Melbourne we’ll be serving you more than 1,500 Martinis, 8,000 bowls of pasta and 200,000 hot chips. Now that sounds like a party. We’ll follow the Winter Edition with details on our dedicated regional Victoria program for late 2021. We can’t wait.” 

“The Winter Edition is about exploring how much fun and adventure you can have at the table, and the power of hospitality to transport you,” says creative director Pat Nourse. “Take a trip to Barbados with Paul Carmichael’s fried fish sandwiches and rum punch, boil up some crawfish (or prawns at least), New Orleans-style, at Le Bon Ton, ski the Italian Alps with Marameo, join a Georgian polyphonic choir at Gray & Gray, eat and drink the Jura’s greatest hits with Jacques Reymond, or get your taste of Sicily, Tokyo, Oaxaca, Corsica, Bangkok, Kabul or Athens at restaurants and cafés, parties and workshops right across Melbourne. We’ve got incredible talent leading the conversation, whether it’s Christine Manfield, Ben Devlin, Jonathan Barthelmess, Brent Savage, or Arabella Douglas, our own Shannon Martinez, Andrew McConnell, Martin Benn and Scott Pickett, just to name a few.”

Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, The Hon. Martin Pakula MP said: “Now in its 29th year, the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival remains Australia’s leading food and drink celebration and we look forward to welcoming visitors from across the country to the food capital of Australia this winter.”

Bank of Melbourne Chief Executive Mark Melvin said: “We’re proud to support Melbourne Food & Wine Festival - now in our 10th year as principal partner. Food and wine are among our city’s greatest loves, and Bank of Melbourne is proud to support our local hospitality industry on many levels. We encourage Melbournians to get involved and support activities across the city this winter.”

City of Melbourne Lord Mayor, Sally Capp said: “Melbourne Food & Wine Festival has for nearly 30 years played a pivotal role in showcasing all there is to love about our city’s food and drink scene and 2021 will be no different. We couldn’t be more thrilled to see the festival take residence at Queen Victoria Market for the Winter Edition of the program.”

Feature Events at Queen Victoria Market:

  • Maximum Chips – An epic celebration of the hot chip, Maximum Chips is a Friday night party that’s simply irresistible. With all the chips – crinkle-cut, shoestring, French fry and maybe a sneaky potato gem – this fun and casual event does exactly what it says on the tin. Tickets include a welcome drink, entertainment and all the chips you can possibly eat. Friday 20 August, 5pm-7pm and 7:45pm-9:45pm, tickets $35.
  • The Big Spaghetti, presented by Vetta – Taking pasta back to its street-food origins in a big stand-up event that combines the bustle of hawker markets with the family-friendly and community ethos of Italian street fairs in a celebration of every strand of spaghetti, and every forkful of cacio e pepe. Throw in some live music, talks and demonstrations from guest chefs, a pasta playground for the kids and a healthy splash of wine for good measure and you’ve got a real mambo Italiano on your hands. Featuring 20 great pasta dishes across 10 stalls from the likes of: Tipo 00, Café Paci, Marameo, Massi, Trattoria Emilia and more. 11am to 8pm Saturday 28 August, and 11am to 5pm on Sunday 29 August, free entry.
  • The Convenient Store, presented by 7-Eleven – A retail offer like no other, The Convenient Store stocks a keen-eyed edit of Victorian food and drink, mixing the high and the low. Part Japanese convenience store, part Brooklyn bodega, part Berlin späti, this food-lovers’ retail space will offer a changing array of fresh snacks from leading Melbourne eateries (Andrew McConnell’s katsu-sando to go, a tribute to the Lawson egg sandwich), and stocks a killer range of cocktails from Melbourne’s favourite bars. Friday 20 – Sunday 29 August, open 8am-6pm daily.
  • Rising Stars presented by Starward Whisky – In addition to the Starward Whisky bar in the Queen Street precinct, Starward will partner with up-and-coming chefs including: Rosheen Kaul (Etta), Nabil Ansari (Sunda), Scott Lord (New Quarter) and Lorena Corso (Napier Quarter) across both weekends to create snacks paired to whisky cocktails.
  • The Remixed Grill, presented by Grampians and Pyrenees Wine Regions – Two days, 10 of Australia’s most exciting chefs, and 300 degrees of great wood-fired eating and cool-climate drinking. With food from the likes of Jerry Mai, Shane Delia, Tina Li, and Tom Sarafian on the tongs and stoking the flames, this is winter at its warmest. There’ll be campfire stories, marshmallows to toast for the kids and demonstrations and talks from guest chefs plus live music and entertainment for the bigger kids. 11am to 8pm Saturday 21 August and 11am to 5pm Sunday 22 August, 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 at the helm, food from Smith & Daughters, Fancy Hank’s, Rumi and more, plus drinks by the tiki-rocking legends from The LuWow, expect the unexpected and step into the jungle in the heart of the city. Tickets include a drink on arrival, and live music from The Tarantinos. Friday 27 August, 6pm-10pm, tickets $15.

The Winter Edition also brings together some of the most exciting food talent from around Australia to collaborate with an array of Melbourne restaurants for the Signature Chef Series, presented by Lexus.

Highlights of the Signature Chef Series, presented by Lexus, include:

Parwana at Lezzet – Mother and daughter Farida and Durkhanai Ayubi, of Australia’s most celebrated Afghan eatery, Parwana, arrive in Melbourne fresh off the success of their bestselling new book to share the flavours and stories that have made their restaurant a landmark for the food lovers of Adelaide. Collaborating with Coskun Uysal of Tulum fame at his Elwood restaurant, Lezzet, Durkhanai and Farida bring with them the spice and insight, tradition and hospitality and laughter that they have borne with them on their journey from Afghanistan to Australia. 7pm Thursday 26 August

Paul Carmichael’s Cutter Shack at Belles – After creating the world’s most talked-about Caribbean fine-diner at Momofuku Seiōbo in Sydney, Paul Carmichael zooms in tighter on memories of growing up in Barbados to pay tribute to the island’s fried fish shacks. For one night only he’ll turn his hand to fish cutters, the great Bajan beach snack, complementing them his fish cakes, icy poles and family-recipe Rum Punch in three Sunday evening sessions ringing with reggae, steel drums and good vibes. From 5pm, Sunday 29 August, $60 per ticket for food and a Rum Punch

Other program highlights include:

  • High Steaks presented by Australian Good Meat – The Friday long lunch is back with a signature lunch series celebrating one of the great joys of big-city life. High Steaks sees 10 if Melbourne’s favourite lunching spots come to the party with special menus featuring choice cuts, 3608 Nagambie Gin Martinis on arrival, plus fine wine and plenty of other great reasons to not go back to the office. Get your taste at Bar Margaux, Chancery Lane, The European at the Melbourne Supper Club and Rockpool Bar & Grill, to name a few. Friday 20 and 27 August
  • Crawl and Bite presented by Brick Lane Brewing – One of the Festival’s best-loved traditions, the Crawl and Bite tours take intimate groups of food lovers to a handful of great venues in one go, stopping for a bite, drink or taste at each. Think of them as progressive food adventures, the equivalent of a full meal with drinks spread over three or four venues. This winter they will deep-dive on the CBD, Lygon Street, South Yarra, Gertrude Street, Footscray, Flemington, Dandenong, and Oakleigh, spotlighting the hot new things and landmark venues alike.

Melbourne Food & Wine Festival is supported by Victoria’s tourism and major events company Visit Victoria and principal partner Bank of Melbourne, which has supported the Festival every year since 2011.

Tickets for the 2021 Melbourne Food & Wine Festival go on sale from 9am on Thursday 15 July. Pre-sale tickets are available for 2020 ticket holders and MFWF subscribers from 13 July.

Booking Melbourne Food & Wine Festival events in advance is essential to keep the celebrations running smoothly and safely. All Melbourne Food & Wine Festival events have COVID-safe plans in place which can be accessed at mfwf.com.au, and all partner venues are required to have their own COVID-safe plans to be part of the program.

Melbourne Food & Wine Festival’s Winter Edition runs 20-29 August; for full program details and all ticket sales please visit mfwf.com.au; follow MFWF on Instagram at @melbfoodandwine for regular updates.

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Shannon Blanchard, shannon@thecru.agency or 0432 543 377

Matthew Prince, matthew@thecru.agency or 0400 095 801