12 reasons why we’re excited about The House of Food and Wine

Published on December 11 2018.

The House of Food and Wine is back for the 2019 Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, presented by Bank of Melbourne. And we couldn’t be more excited! After popping up in Melbourne’s laneways and collaborating with Hotel Lindrum, next year The House shifts to a new home at the Malthouse Theatre. Running for the first three days of the Festival, The House of Food and Wine incorporates a whole series of events running from the morning through to the night. Here are 12 reasons to keep the long weekend in March free.

1. A brand new venue
This year The House moves to Melbourne’s Malthouse Theatre. Over three days, we’ll transform the theatres and courtyard into a gourmet playground of food trucks, pop-up bars, chef demonstrations, talks, workshops and more.

2. The Joe Beef team will cook you dinner
That’s right – Montreal’s most media-shy restaurateurs are setting up shop in Melbourne for one night only to cook a Quebecois feast of epic proportions. At their restaurant Joe Beef, they serve a hedonistic style of food that’s a refreshing antidote to the wellness movement and has earned them legions of fans, Anthony Bourdain and David Chang among them. This is a place where the more is more philosophy is embraced. They’ll serve a candlelit supper on Saturday night at The House giving a rare opportunity to taste what’s so hot about Montreal right now. Kings of Quebec is supported by Destination Canada.

3. A pop-up bar that’s never been seen before
Kyoto Protocol is a completely new bar that will be created especially for The House of Food and Wine by Morgan McGlone and Christian Robertson of Belles Hot Chicken. It’s named after the climate change agreement of the same name and will be a low-waste operation. McGlone and Robertson are working on a cocktail list that will be lo-fi, fun and refreshing – a Hennessy-based riff on the Dark and Stormy is on the cards. Plus they’ll be digging into the cellar from McGlone’s former bar, Bar Clarine, to open bottles of rare European natural wine.

4. Masterclass is back – and even better value
If you’re a fan of the Festival’s Masterclass sessions, the good news is they’re happening again this year and your ticket to the House gets you entry to a full-day of these popular chef demonstrations. That means a single ticket and even better value. On the program? Matt Abergel of Hong Kong yakitori restaurant Yardbird, Rosio Sanchez from Copenhagen, Marc-Olivier Frappier from Joe Beef and more.

5. The food!
This year we’re pairing up your favourite hometown restaurants with some of our international guests to come up with brand-new dishes. Plus there’ll be food trucks in the courtyard from Belles Hot Chicken, Mamasita and Sundae School Ice-Creamery, serving classic menu items and bespoke dishes. In short: there’s plenty to keep your tastebuds tantalised. Would you expect anything less at The House of Food and Wine?

6. Peter Gilmore will be there, along with other big-name chefs
If you’ve loved Peter Gilmore ever since the Snow Egg challenge on MasterChef, now’s your chance to see him in the flesh. But that’s not all. Australian chefs like Dan Hong, Adam Liaw, Paul Carmichael and Palisa Anderson will also be making appearances. Then there are the international names: Nicolai Norregaard, Matt Abergel, Jordy Navarra and more.

The Hungry Gentlemen (Max Allen and Richard Cornish)

7. MasterQuiz is back
Whether you missed out on the coveted Golden Tongue award last year or you’re yet to experience the high-stakes competition that is MasterQuiz, be sure to mark Sunday 10 March in your diary because The Hungry Gentlemen are back with a whole new suite of sensory challenges. From cheeses to fortified wines, charcuterie and more, tastebuds will be put to the teste in this tasty twist on the trivia night. Get the gang together and BYO appetite.

8. The opening night party
To kick off festivities at The House, Morgan McGlone has gathered some of his favourite chefs to create a menu of chicken dishes from around the world. All The Chickens supported by Hennessy will bring together yakitori from Matt Abergel, fried chicken from Paul Carmichael, huli-huli chicken by McGlone and more flavour-packed dishes that are steeped in tradition and heritage.

9. There’s a focus on sustainability
If you care about the future of food, there’s plenty at The House for you. From workshops focused on how to live and cook more sustainably to panel discussions on what sustainability in restaurants actually looks like in practice, we’re taking a good hard look at what eating well means in 2018.

Assorted yakitori from Yardbird

10. You’ll learn how to make Canadian spam, cocktails suited to the end of the world and more
Want to learn some hands-on skills? Our workshop program is a great place to start, featuring the likes of Derek Dammann (McKiernan’s Luncheonette), vegetable-growing gurus Mat Pember and Jocelyn Cross and Melbourne Moonshine’s Yue Yamanaka Mead. These unique minds will share their insights, tips and tricks to make you a more creative and informed cook.

11. The amazing conversations happening at Theatre of Ideas
Not only is Sam Sifton, The New York Times' food editor, joining us as special guest moderator, but the program also includes Vicki Wild and Martin Benn of Sepia, Kate Reid of Lune Croissanterie, David McMillan and Frédéric Morin from Joe Beef and a panel discussion on the way forward for women in food. And that’s just the beginning.
12. A chance to see your local food heroes
If it’s your dream to tell Dan Hunter how you still dream about your incredible meal at Brae, hear Kate Reid talk about what it’s like to be at the head of the Lune Croissanterie empire or get up close and personal with Sharon Flynn’s infectious enthusiasm for all things fermented, this is the event for you.


How tickets to The House work

Day passes get you access to:

  • Masterclass supported by Sanpellegrino
  • Theatre of Ideas supported by The New York Times
  • Pop-up restaurants, bars and food trucks (with all food and drink available for purchase)
  • Workshops, for an additional price of $40 per workshop

Day passes are $65 for general entry and $130 for VIP entry. Buy now.

Then, for every night of The House we’ve got something special planned.