Melbourne Food and Wine Festival

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Launched in 1993, the annual Melbourne Food and Wine Festival is one of Victoria’s hallmark events. Each March the festival promotes Melbourne and Victoria’s food and wine culture.

Operating on a not-for-profit basis, the festival’s charter is to promote the produce, talent and lifestyle of Melbourne and Victoria, and to promote Melbourne as the "food and wine capital of Australia". Since its beginnings with a small program of events, the festival has grown to become known for events including Langham Melbourne MasterClass, World’s Longest Lunch and Cellar Door at Southgate.

The festival is managed by a board of management and is supported by a small team who are responsible for the coordination of its events, in close collaboration with Victoria’s food and wine industry.

20th Year Celebrations 2012[edit]

The 20th Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, presented by Bank of Melbourne, celebrated its 50th year[clarification needed] over 20 days, 2 – 21 March.

A Riverside Opening Weekend saw more than 30 events staged along Melbourne’s Yarra River and Docklands. The Festival launch also saw the opening of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival Greenhouse by Joost, a temporary eco-restaurant erected solely for the 20 days of the Festival.

2012 international chefs and wine personalities included Rene Redzepi (Denmark), Brett Graham (UK), Massimo Bottura (Italy), Corey Lee (USA), Stevie Parle (UK), David Chang (USA), Telmo Rodriguez (Spain), Allen Meadows (USA) and Virginie Taupenot-Daniel (France).

2012 Australian talent included Peter Gilmore, Ben Shewry, Darren Purchese, Dan Hunter, Matt Skinner, Luke Burgess, Max Allen and James Halliday AM.


The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival commenced in 1993 with a simple program of 12 events. Since its inception it has grown annually, the Festival attracts food and wine experts from across the world, including chefs and winemakers, growers, purveyors, authors, food and wine commentators and critics to present alongside some of Australia's best.

Celebrity food critic Matt Preston was previously the festival’s sole creative director, the 2009 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival being his last.

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2011[edit]

The 19th Melbourne Food and Wine Festival attracted more than 350,000 punters across more than 250 events over 11 days.

The Festival was bookended by two hallmark events:

  • On the first day almost 4,500 gluttons sat down to 26 World’s Longest Lunches held simultaneously across Victoria. The Melbourne lunch saw 10,000 broad beans, 1,800 cherry tomatoes and more than 200 kg of veal consumed;
  • The last weekend of the Festival saw 2,600-plus food and wine lovers join more than 100 chefs and wine presenters for Langham Melbourne MasterClass.

2011 International talent included: Nigella Lawson (UK), Elena Arzak (Spain), Roy Choi(USA), Margaret Xu (Hong Kong), Pedra Miguel Schiaffino (Peru), Atul Kochhar (UK), Rachel Allen (Ireland), Telmo Rodriguez (Spain), Zakary Pelaccio (USA), Jean-Guillaume Prats (France), Chris Salans (Indonesia), Warren Gibson (NZ), Thorsten Schmidt (Denmark), Anna Hansen (UK), Brett Crittenden (UK), Bompas & Parr (UK), Angela Hartnett (UK), Alexa Johnston (NZ), Hisako Ogita (Japan)

2011 Australian talent included: Stephanie Alexander, Maggie Beer, Will Studd, Gabriel Gaté, George Calombaris, Mary Calombaris, Ben Shewry, Philippe Mouchel, Anna Gare, Jude Blereau, Paris Cutler, Cath Claringbold, Rosa Mitchell, Anthony Ross, Sally Wise, Alla Wolf–Tasker, Adrian Richardson

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2010[edit]

In 2010, the Langham Melbourne MasterClass line-up includes chefs David Chang (Momofuku, New York), Massimo Bottura (Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy) and Claude Bosi (Hibiscus, London), and winemaker Gaia Gaja (Angelo Gaja’s daughter).

Beyond Langham Melbourne MasterClass, the festival's hallmark World’s Longest Lunch celebrated Melbourne’s Chinese heritage and the return of Heat Beads Hawkers’ Market to Queen Victoria Market, featuring tasting plates from a dozen top Asian restaurants. Simultaneous to the World’s Longest Lunch in Melbourne, the community of Marysville hosted one of 19 Regional World’s Longest Lunches one year on from the Black Saturday bushfires. The event formed part of the festival’s program of more than 70 regional events.[1]

The festival also grew and installed an urban food-producing garden – ‘Metlink Edible Garden’ – in Melbourne’s City Square, exploring the food city dwellers can grow in their suburban backyards and the produce strengths of Victoria’s regional ‘backyard’.

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2009[edit]

In 2009, the Festival hosted The Fat Duck’s Heston Blumenthal (3 stars), The French Laundry’s Thomas Keller (7 stars) and Noma’s Rene Redzepi (2 stars), as well as winemakers such as the Rhone Valley’s Michel Chapoutier and Champagne’s Sophie and Pierre Larmandier.


The Festival continues to receive both local and international acclaim. Recent domestic award wins include the 2010 RACV Victorian Tourism Awards "Major Festivals and Events" (Hall of Fame), Melbourne Airport 2008 and 2009 Victorian Tourism Awards [2] in the category of ‘Major Festivals and Events’ and 2008 Melbourne Awards in the category of ‘Community Division – Contribution to Profile’; international award wins include 2008 International Festival and Events Awards Gold for ‘Best Festival Program’.


  1. ^ Official Site
  2. ^ Victorian Tourism Awards

External links[edit]