Thursday, 18 March 2010

melbourne food & wine festival

The Melbourne Food & Wine Festival launched this week and with a program guide that spans 87 pages, you can rest assured that there's plenty on the agenda for every palate, budget and interest. The agenda remains the same though: To appreciate all that Melbourne (and Victoria, really) has to offer, when it comes to the business of the banquet. From garden fork to kitchen fork, all aspects of the food journey are covered.

The ever popular masterclass sessions at The Langham, showcasing local and international chefs including NYC enfant terrible David Chang, Spain's Adoni Luis Aduriz from recently charred Mugaritz and local heroes Guy Grossi, Peter Gilmore and wunderkind Adam D'Sylva. At $590 for a weekend ticket, it ain't no snip to see these guys in action.

There are, however, plenty of other options that don't cost the earth to eat from it.

1. Crawl & Bite

If you tend to be an over eater and a post-meal constitutional is a must, then the series of restaurant crawls is perfect. For $50, you can choose a trio of hip Melbourne restaurants (mercifully) close to one another, and the idea is that you get to try a signature dish and matched drink at each venue. Guided by the passionate staff from restaurants such as Coda, Red Spice Road, Movida Next Door/aqui and Seamstress, it's a great way to sample a few restaurants in one night. Food, drink and cardio: a well-rounded combo, so you don't have to be.

More info here.

2. Metlink Edible Garden

The centre of Melbourne has been turned into an edible garden for the festival. The concept stems from the desire to educate more people about where the food on their plate comes from, The Diggers Club have transformed City Square into a consumable delight, trucking in edible flowers, plants and trees from 10 regions in Victoria.

Chefs and cooks like Stephanie Alexander will take to the stage to talk about the joys of growing your own, and best of all, the event is free.

Where: City Square, Melbourne
When: Throughout the festival

More information and image source here.

3. The Culinary Cinema

Food and film are best mates, really. But aside from going for a vegan feed at Govinda's in Sydney before kicking back and watching a film on cusions in Darlinghurst, there aren't many events that theme the cuisine and cinema together.

Selvana Chelvanaigum from The Tea Rooms and Persimmon's Terry Clarke have created food and film parings along the lines of sweets and cocktails with Like Water for Chocolate, which aired on March 13, but coming up is Terry's lunchbox creation inspired by The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and her lover which screens this weekend.

The screening is free, the food is $30 - but when you factor in going to see a movie and then grabbing dinner, it's a no brainer.

Where: NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
When: Saturday March 20 and details here.