What is MasterQuiz?

Published on 11 March 2020

Photo: Max Allen (left) and Richard Cornish, hosts of MasterQuiz

And who are The Hungry Gentlemen anyway? We eavesdropped on the gents – wine writer Max Allen and food writer Richard Cornish – as they were putting the finishing touches on the third edition of their smash-hit event, MasterQuiz, for this year’s Melbourne Food & Wine Festival. This quiz night with a difference is set to be bigger, boozier and beefier than ever. Here’s what’s in store.

Max Allen: So, Richard, tell me why the bloody hell we’re doing this ludicrous quiz again?

Richard Cornish: There’s nothing better than seeing someone who loves food and wine realise that all those years of eating and drinking have finally paid off: watching that person bask in the adulation and respect of their peers as they nail our fiendishly food and drink questions. That ecstatic look of being deemed the best taster in Melbourne - if not the whole world - is something money just can’t buy.

MA: But what does your money get you?

RC: You mean apart from a night in our excellent company? There are four rounds of questions (and, yes, you do have to eat things and drink things to answer them), plus some amazing prizes for the winning table. Bespoke butcher Meatsmith has donated $300 worth of the finest free-range meat in the land –

MA: Now that’s what I call a meat tray.

RC: Max, there’s so much meat on offer you won’t be able to carry it to the car park.

MA: Hold on. I’m not carrying anything. I’ve still got RSI from warming up last year’s audience.

RC: The prize also features a year’s worth of bread from Phillippa’s. Just think: a beautiful hand-crafted loaf every week for 52 weeks.

MA: What about the questions? The tasting games? Are we going to give people fabulous things to eat and drink again? Some of those silky spicy smallgoods from our good friends at Savour & Grace?

RC: Sssh! Don’t give too much away. Somebody might be listening. Remember, this is the un-Googleable quiz. All the questions will be about what the audience get to taste on the night – plus a tiny bit of eating and drinking nostalgia and trivia.

MA: Are you calling me trivial?

RC: Cult winemaker Neil Prentice is supplying Holly’s Garden sparkling for the audience to enjoy on arrival.

MA: Great – but what about the surprise guests? Who have we got coming to play with us this year?

RC: You’re a journalist. If I tell you who our surprise guests are, next thing you know the Federal Police will be knocking down our doors and looking into our computers.

MA: Richard?

RC: Yes?

MA: Don’t overthink it. It’s just a wonderful, fun, food and wine quiz with loads of prizes and chances to win.

RC: Should I call Pete Smith?

MA: Just book your tickets.

MasterQuiz by The Hungry Gentlemen, 5.30pm-9.30pm, Wednesday 25 March, Shed X, Queen Victoria Market, Queen St. $95 for four rounds of questions (including food and drink), a glass of sparkling wine, live entertainment and prize giveaways. Tickets on sale now.