Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2020

By Jack Hayes

The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival (MFWF) is back for 2020 with more than 140 events featuring a star-studded international and homegrown line-up. 

Running from March 19 to 29, the MFWF promises an unbridled 10-day journey through Melbourne’s rich culinary landscape.

2020 will be the first year the festival will take place exclusively in Melbourne, doubled-up 

with a dedicated festival in regional Victoria to launch in October. 

Food and Wine Victoria CEO Anthea Loucas Bosha announced a new home for the festival – one which should feel very familiar to many CBD locals.

“This year we’re bringing the Festival fun to the Queen Victoria Market (QVM) – the new home of the festival’s feature events in 2020. We’re excited for festivalgoers to join us in celebrating all that’s great about this city’s food and drink culture at Melbourne’s much-loved marketplace,” Ms Loucas Bosha said. 

“We’ll be welcoming some of the world’s hottest talent to Melbourne, including Fuchsia Dunlop, Ignacio Mattos, Michael Solomonov and Lee Tiernan along with our local heroes including Josh Niland, Shannon Martinez, Andrew McConnell and Pamela Clark.”

A feature of this year’s iteration is the abundance of affordable or free events. 

From the Take the Cake exhibit, showcasing over 40 years and 500,000 copies of The Australian Women’s Weekly Children’s Birthday Cake Book to a philosophical discussion about community, resilience and what our future looks like, with Australia’s most internationally renowned chef, Ben Shewry. All under the roof at QVM. 

To add to the smorgasbord of free events at the market, the MFWF will hold a series of Shed X Talks over two weekends.

The talks will feature names such as American food writer and author, Alison Roman; Ottolenghi pastry chef Helen Goh; and New Zealand’s Ed Verner. 

Regardless of your gastronomic predispositions, the MFWF is bound to have something to satisfy your tastebuds; a feature Food and Wine Victoria creative director Pat Nourse has been keen to publicise.

 “We invite you to choose your own adventure at Queen Victoria Market, whether it’s the spiciest Sichuan food outside Asia, or the city’s best plant-based eating and drinking. If pasta is your thing, bring the whole family to The Big Spaghetti, or feed your mind with talks from some of the biggest movers and shakers in the business,” Mr Nourse said.

To avoid breaking tradition, the much-loved Bank of Melbourne World’s Longest Lunch returns on Friday, 20 March.

The lunch will bring together three of Melbourne’s culinary masters, Stephanie Alexander, Philippe Mouchel and Jacques Reymond, to deliver an outdoor feast for more than 1600 guests in Melbourne’s Treasury Gardens, set against the backdrop of the city skyline.

With the help of Australia’s leading chefs, the MFWF has raised almost $200,000 for the Victorian Bushfire Appeal, a number that is expected to soar in the lead-up and during the festival.

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