Food and wine lovers in their hundreds and thousands each year indulge in bespoke events that fill Melbourne’s labyrinthine network of restaurants, laneways, lights-turned-down basements, dizzying rooftops as well as spilling into spectacular regional Victoria. The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2018 program boasts over 300 events, which may seem slightly overwhelming to sift through – so here’s some highlights:

Truly, Madly, Deeply Melbourne – Part Three at The Plaza Ballroom

Truly, Madly, Deeply Melbourne – Part Three is back to delight and surprise guests once more. Expect a culinary feast like no other – four contemporary courses presented by award-winning and hatted Executive Chef of the Marriner Group, David Ricardo, with matched wines from multi-award-winning Fowles Wine and beer from Two Birds Brewing. A favourite on the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival calendar, the Plaza Ballroom only opens its doors once a year to the public. A rare chance to enjoy a magnificent evening at one of Melbourne’s most iconic venues, this event sold out the last two years running – so get in quick.

Tuesday 20 March, 6.30pm, $168 for four course and matched beverages.

Pastuso meets Gippsland

Alejandro Saravia farm lunch 1

 Pastuso’s Alejandra Saravia will once again celebrate the heart of Gippsland with a six-course menu inspired by the region’s producers and wine makers, held at Pastuso. Saravia shares his personal approach incorporating the distinct flavours of the region with techniques he’s learnt over the years working in Europe together with his Latin American heritage. Enjoy delicious dishes which show Saravia’s approach to working with open fire peats and using the whole animal, including seafood sourced from Lakes Entrance. This exciting event also coincides with the reveal of a new graffiti mural in ACDC Lane, which features Gippsland produce, designed and painted by a Melbourne artist, commissioned by Pastuso.

Tuesday 20 March, 7pm. $88 for six courses, $128 for six courses plus matched wines.

Changing the perception at Atta

 Albert Park’s contemporary Indian restaurant Atta will host a special event to explore all the colour, vibrancy and flavours of India. Changing the Perception will feature eight divine courses with matched wines also available. An evolution of the Atta ethos, diners are invited to experience Indian cuisine in a way they haven’t before. Think coriander and carrot infused oil, smoked meats and liquid nitrogen. Matched wines will be supplied from the likes of Laurent Perrier, Pizzini, Medhurst and Paringa Estate.

Sunday 18, Tuesday 20 and Wednesday 21 March, 6pm. $103 for eight courses, $153 for eight courses plus matched wines.

Janet DeNeefe brings Balinese cooking to Melbourne for two nights only

Melbourne expat Janet DeNeefe and owner of Ubud’s Casa Luna, will present her famous Balinese home-style cooking for a two-night feast at Tolarno Eating House & Bar in St Kilda. Janet will dish up her Balinese favourites, Babi Guling, suckling pig, with braised leaves and crispy trimmings and Betutu ayam. Other dishes on the menu include roast chicken with snake beans and roasted coconut all served with steamed rice and lashings of sambal, and dessert includes a trio of black rice, sago pudding with pandan leaves and warm caramel banana. In between bites, Janet will also share her secrets, with images, of her favourite Warungs along with performances of traditional Indonesian music.

​Friday ​March 23 and Saturday March 24. 7.30pm. $99 per person includes welcome cocktail.

**Information & Images Courtesy of Melbourne Food and Wine Festival/ Zilla & Brook – Maddie Garratt


Connie Lambeth

The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events

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