Hot food and even hotter names were on the menu at Chin Chin Sydney today to celebrate the launch of the 2019 Melbourne Food & Wine Festival presented by Bank of Melbourne. Hong Kong chef Matt Abergel, the entire crew from Montreal’s Joe Beef, Denmark’s Nicolai Nøregaard and New York’s Nicole Ponseca are just some of the big names jetting in for the festival next March.
Over lunch at the bustling Sydney location of Chin Chin, new Food + Wine Victoria CEO Anthea Loucas Bosha brought together hospitality heavyweights, food media and key industry players to unveil the Festival’s theme, extraordinary lives here.
“Extraordinary as a nod to my hometown of Melbourne but also to the exceptional food and wine experiences that are the hallmark of the Melbourne dining landscape and the out-of-the ordinary Festival experiences people know us for,” Loucas Bosha said.
Next year’s Festival will offer Melburnians a first taste of the unique hospitality of Martin Benn and Vicki Wild, the team behind celebrated Sydney fine-diner Sepia, who are relocating to Melbourne at the end of this year. A Welcome to Melbourne residency will celebrate the duo’s arrival and give a preview of what’s to come.
The line-up also includes plenty of local talent including Dan Hunter of Brae, Oakridge Estate’s Jo Barrett and Morgan McGlone of Belles Hot Chicken, who will appear across a number of events including demonstrations at MasterClass supported by Sanpellegrino, pop-up restaurants and bars, and Theatre of Ideas in collaboration with The New York Times – both at the House of Food and Wine.
At the program launch, guests chatted over glasses of Tahbilk sparkling and Chin Chin canapés before a banquet lunch in the restaurant’s light-filled and pink-accented basement space, Chii Town. Barbecued sirloin steak, green papaya salad and other Chin Chin signatures were shared as the likes of Neil Perry, Peter Gilmore and Annabel Crabb heard from Loucas Bosha on her picks of the 2019 program.
“From a jam-packed gastronomic weekend at The House of Food and Wine, to a big-ticket experience combining the luxury of Vue de Monde and Jackalope, a pot-luck souvlaki event at Press Club – Projects or Ben Shewry throwing open his kitchen to his staff for Anarchy at Attica, there really is something for every food lover,” she said.
While the festival’s first event, the Bank of Melbourne World’s Longest Lunch, has already been a sell-out success, the regional program includes 19 World’s Longest Lunch events happening simultaneously on 15 March.
Still to come are a raft of events going on-sale on 30 January, including the Village Feast Weekend, a pop-up gourmet village in a small country town in eastern Victoria, and Sepia’s Welcome to Melbourne residency plus hundreds of extraordinary dining experiences across Melbourne and regional locations.
Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, 8-24 March 2019. Tickets available at mfwf.org.au/program