Was that the tastiest MFWF road trip on record?
Extravagant long lunches in Ballarat and Coldstream. Traditional Georgian feasts in Korumburra. Cheese dreams brought to life in Kongwak and a feast that took a village and fed an entire region in Inverloch. We are officially wrapped on the 2023 MFWF Regional Edition, 10 days of culinary excellence plating and pouring throughout Australia’s tastiest state, and boy, was it one for the books.
We kicked things off from the old mines of the Golden City with a weekend of fine dining staged in some of Ballarat’s less-likely venues. We ate Mr Jones’ brilliant modern Thai food at Art Gallery of Ballarat, celebrated First Nations art and flavour at Mitchell Harris Wines, made fast friends with come of the country’s best gins and beers at the city’s slickest nightspots and drank and ate exceptionally well at the sun-drenched World’s Longest Lunch: Ballarat, held outside breathtaking new hospitality precinct, The Goods Shed.
Things only got tastier in the lush pastures of the Yarra Valley, where we opened the party with the region’s hottest vignerons at Jayde Ong Winery. We toasted to the marriage of cherries and beer and CherryHill Orchard, took a light movement workshop with our snacks and wine at TarraWarra Estate, and brunched hard with top fizz at Chandon, before coming together for the equally exceptional World’s Longest Lunch: Yarra Valley, held at the magnificent Hubert Estate.
On the final Saturday of the Festival, the clouds parted and made way for the punters of Inverloch and beyond to rip into the Village Feast, one of our favourite Festival moments to date. From Paul Carmichael to Emelia Jackson and Vincent Ursini, we laughed with and learnt from some of the country’s favourite chefs at the Chef Shack. We ate all manner of incredible things (looking at you Adam Liaw’s crisp venison with fries, also you Trulli smoked-beef pizza), we shopped and dang near dropped at the Village Market, we celebrated the might of Victorian drinking at the Festival bars and we got down to a stellar line-up of entertainment, going out on a huge high with four-time ARIA Award-winning Alex Lloyd, who played us out with a spirited rendition of ‘Amazing’ as the sun set over Inverloch.
It was billed as the year’s tastiest road trip and it didn’t disappoint. A massive, heartfelt thank you to everyone who ate, drank, cooked, poured, travelled and celebrated with us; we’ll see you at the next one.