Melbourne boy Curtis Stone is coming home next month to make a special appearance at the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival on Labour Day (Monday 11 March). Cooking a classic Australian barbecue, the Los Angeles-based chef will join a jam-packed day at The House of Food and Wine, the Festival’s playground for food-lovers that brings together demonstrations, tastings, talks pop-up bars and food trucks at The Malthouse Theatre for a whole weekend.
“I’ve always wanted to do it,” Stone says. “Melbourne’s such an incredible city. The restaurant scene is still really underrated on a worldwide level so it’s great to come back and celebrate it, and shine a bit of spotlight on the restaurants here.”
South East Asian food, great coffee and steak and kidney pies are all on Stone’s hitlist whenever he gets back to his hometown.
“I think it’s the variety of stuff we have in Melbourne: good South East Asian food, good Italian, good progressive experimental restaurants. We’ve got traditional cafés that do a good job of what a café can and should be, good brasseries - there’s a broad gamut of stuff.”
That kind of diversity in Australia’s food and wine scene is what Stone hopes to celebrate with his appearance at the Festival. The chef’s LA eateries include butcher shop and grill Gwen and fine-diner Maude, which shifts focus to a new wine region each season. Currently, Western Australia is in the spotlight.
Stone will bring his expertise from a 20-plus year career, including time under Marco Pierre White, to the main stage of The Malthouse for a very special super Masterclass, the chef demonstration series supported by Sanpellegrino. Food & Wine Victoria’s new Creative Director Pat Nourse will moderate the session.
Other big names at The House of Food and Wine include Adam Liaw, Rosio Sanchez, Kirsten Tibballs and the team from Joe Beef in Montreal.
Tickets are on sale now.
Curtis Stone at The House of Food and Wine, Monday 11 March, The Coopers Malthouse Theatre, Southbank, $65.