Weird and wonderful events at the 2019 Festival

You’ve done tasting flights, made your own kimchi and lunched in just about every vineyard in the state: now you’re ready to try something completely new. These unusual events happening at the 2019 Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, presented by Bank of Melbourne, fit the bill. Try eating insects, dine in the largest underground cellar in the Southern Hemisphere and more. Just leave your preconceptions at the door.

Buggin’ Delicious
It’s no secret that eating insects is a more sustainable way to eat meat. Now’s your chance to try it on for size at an interactive and educational lunch co-hosted by Junction Moama and Twisted Science. Located in a picturesque spot by the Murray River, Junction is the perfect place to get up close and personal with insects and native Australian ingredients as you taste your way through several bug-forward courses.

Pick Your Own Prosecco
Play winemaker for a day in the King Valley. Pioneering Australian prosecco winery, Dal Zotto, invites you to get amongst the vines and hand-pick grapes for prosecco before morning tea among the vines. Later you’ll enjoy an Italian feast at the winery trattoria before going home with a half-dozen bottles of the latest vintage of col fondo prosecco.

James Whetlor

The Long Cold Winter workshop at The House of Food and Wine: Day 2
Let Canadian chef Derek Dammann walk you through how to make ‘Canadian Spam’, a vital skill for surviving the long cold winters of his homeland. This event could change your ideas on canned meat forever. Workshops can be added to a House day pass for $40 each.

Try billy goat at James Whetlor’s dinner at Bomba
Did you know that male goats on dairy farms often end up euthanised shortly after they’re born? When former River Cottage chef James Whetlor discovered this, he decided to do something about it, putting it on his own menus and then selling billy goat to top restaurants across London through his company Cabrito Goat. A more sustainable meat choice, goat will be on the menu at Whetlor’s one-off dinner at Bomba, as part of the Global Dining series supported by Lavazza.

The Mornington Express Wine & Dine Train
Get a taste of old-world glamour with lunch aboard a steam train. Starting with sparkling wine and canapés on the platform at Mooroduc station, you’ll travel along the rarely used Mornington Branch Line, soaking up the Mornington Peninsula’s sea air and views. Lunch on-board will be bento boxes prepared by 100 Mile Foodie. Wine pit -tops and dessert are also part of the package.

Onboard The Mornington Express

Artist’s Picnic
Many artists have found inspiration in the rhythms of the land, from drought through to harvest. Now it’s your turn. Tap into your creative side among the vines of Helen & Joey Estate in the Yarra Valley as you snack on a picnic spread and sip wines from the estate. With rolling green hills and wide open spaces surrounding you, there’ll be no shortage of material for your masterpiece. At the end of the day, you’ll be rewarded with a wine tasting.

Moonshine’s Moment workshop at The House of Food and Wine: Day 1
Make (and taste) three cocktails that we could be drinking in a post-apocalyptic world. No power means no ice. Then there are the limited ingredients you’ll have to work with. How will you ensure your tipple tastes top-notch? Let Melbourne Moonshine show you the way. Workshops can be added to a House day pass for $40 each.

Underground cellars at Seppelt

Great Western’s Longest Underground Lunch
Sit down to a lunch to remember in the largest underground cellars in the Southern Hemisphere, located at Seppelt’s cellar door in the Grampians. These heritage-listed cellars, known as The Drives, were dug by out-of-work miners in the early years of the Victorian gold rush, with work on the wines continuing for more than 60 years. On the menu will be local produce from the region and wines from the Seppelt range. One for the history buffs, but perhaps not the claustrophobes.

The Great High Tea Party
One for the chocolate-lovers, this indulgent high tea features a couverture chocolate fountain, hot chocolate, tea and coffee to go with the tiered stands of chocolate-heavy treats prepared by the team at Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie. In a playful twist, the little ones have the chance to find a Golden Ticket a la Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and get the special treatment for the day.

Invasive species and natural selection workshop at The House of Food and Wine: Day 3
Longsong chef David Moyle will tackle the thorny issue of Australia’s invasive species, asking questions like will rabbits and other pests come out on top in a survival of the fittest? Prepare to have your horizons broadened. Workshops can be added to a House day pass for $40 each.

The Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, 8-24 March 2019, is on-sale now. More events to come on 30 January.