MEDIA UPDATE  |  8 March 2019


Food legend Karen Martini leads an all-female chef lineup at today’s 2019 Bank of Melbourne World’s Longest Lunch to help celebrate International Women’s Day.

Marking the start of the 2019 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival presented by Bank of Melbourne (8 to 24 March), more than 1,600 diners are gathering for a scrumptious long lunch designed by chefs Karen Martini (Mr. Wolf), Nicky Riemer (Bellota Wine Bar) and Lauren Eldridge (Van Haandel Group) and brought to life by Peter Rowland. The ever-popular event sold out in a record 32 minutes when it went on sale last year.

Just steps from Prahran’s bustling High Street, 500 metres of table run around the City of Stonnington’s charming Victoria Gardens, an historic gated park with lush, manicured gardens. Enhancing the original characteristics of Victoria Gardens, guests will be greeted by an enchanting English garden setting with a harpist on arrival and an all-female five piece jazz ensemble from the Stonnington Jazz Festival performing throughout lunch.

Food + Wine Victoria CEO Anthea Loucas Bosha said, “Bank of Melbourne World’s Longest Lunch is a landmark event on the Festival calendar and today’s event is even more special as we celebrate the achievement of women in hospitality on International Women’s Day.

“Melburnians love to come together over food, and it is wonderful to see so many people dining together around one long table in a beautiful garden, celebrating all that is great about this city.”

Bank of Melbourne Chief Executive Michelle Winzer said, “We’re thrilled to be celebrating the women of hospitality – and women everywhere – at the Bank of Melbourne World’s Longest Lunch this International Women’s Day. To be successful, businesses need to reflect the communities they serve and gender equality takes us one step closer to a truly diverse society.”

Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, Martin Pakula MP said, “Since 1993, the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival has delivered a diverse program of events that has grown to become the largest festival of its kind in the southern hemisphere. Victoria’s creative flavours, world-class produce and culinary prowess will be showcased from the city centre to the state’s regions across more than 200 events.”

Stomping Ground Brewing Co has brewed a beer especially for the Festival - 'Island Time' South Pacific Ale - which will launch at Bank of Melbourne World’s Longest Lunch today. To commemorate International Women's Day, it has been brewed by an all-female team led by Stomping Ground's Charlotte Feehan in collaboration with Pink Boots Society, with the can designed by Melbourne artist Justine McAllister.

Bank of Melbourne World's Longest Lunch key facts:
  • Over 150 Peter Rowland staff and 75 William Angliss volunteers
  • 1,200 bottles of Tahbilk wine and 600 bottles of sparkling wines
  • 1,600 litres of Sanpellegrino and Acqua Panna waters
  • 3,000 shots of Lavazza coffee
  • 100 cases of Stomping Ground 'Island Time' South Pacific Ale
  • 4,800 plates and 8,000 piece of cutlery

Elsewhere in Melbourne, The House of Food and Wine launches tonight at The Coopers Malthouse in Southbank with a party celebrating signature chicken dishes from around the world, All The Chickens supported by Hennessy, followed by three days of action in the theatre and courtyard as top local and international chefs give cooking demonstrations and tackle the hot issues in hospitality.

Melbourne Food & Wine Festival is supported by Victoria’s tourism and major events company Visit Victoria and naming rights partner Bank of Melbourne, which has supported the Festival every year since the bank was relaunched to the Victorian market in 2011.
More information at