The Melbourne Food & Wine Festival (4-14 March) this year is shaping up to be a big one, if my experience last year is any indication. Detox starts the week afterwards. Oh yes. Seeing as it's just around the corner, I thought I'd put up a blog post asking what your festival tips are and giving a few of mine (plus it gives me the opportunity to use the nice photos I took at the festival's media launch that I was invited to when the program first came out!).
The media launch was held at Arteveneta, the kooky venue where the Pierre Roelofs/Raúl Moreno Yagüe event was held at last year's festival.
At the lunch, Adrian Richardson (La Luna) took care of the meats, Nic Poelaert (Embrasse) did the vegetables and the big cheese himself, Will Studd, picked out some very very nice cheeses. I've gotta say, it was pretty special. I was particularly pleased to master the tricky art of serving up the aligot (a delicious, elastic, cheesy potato mash), based on how I'd seen Camm serve it at Embrasse, and I did so for my whole table.
So anyway, MFWF 2011: what to choose? The program is intimidatingly big and the MFWF website difficult to navigate, but don't think it's all fancy-pants degustations (that said, *cough*, I'm very excited about the Roy Choi dinner, the Der Raum/Burch & Purchese event and the Sommeliers Australia Long Lunch!). I've tried to pick out a few of the more unusual events.
Several MFWF events are free, eg a cooking demo and film screening of 'Eat Drink Man Woman' in Fed Square, spectating at AASCA's Victorian syphon brewing competition at Auction Rooms, cooking demos in the edible garden planted by The Digger's Club (I went last year, it was impressive), dumpling-folding and bun-making in Chinatown and the West African cultural festival at the Immigration Museum (free with museum entry). And there are some interesting-sounding events for those foodies with a social conscience: a tour, talk and meal at VicRelief Food Bank (Victoria’s largest food rescue charity), a seminar on social or environmental entrepreneurship in retail food and hospitality, and of course the Front of House Allstars dinner (all proceeds of which go to StreetSmart).
I'm also curious to check out Broadsheet's temporary cafe, taste medlar and shadberry at Southpaw's Forgotten Fruits High Tea and maybe - just maybe - psych myself up to try lobster brain sashimi.
Which events are you planning on attending, or would you recommend?