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Gemima Cody, Time Out Melbourne

 

Goodbye Summer, Hello Food & Wine Festival

February 27, 2014

One thing we just love about Melbourne, there is always plenty going on. Today we farewell summer, technically. There’s not much you can do about the weather but you can make sure you take advantage of the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival starting this evening.

 

Every year the city reaffirms its culinary credibility with a two week + celebration of all things delicious. There are over 200 events including master classes, street parties, markets and celebrations across Melbourne and Victoria. This years theme is ‘Water,’ which seems appropriate as one of the few remaining consumables no one is really allergic to. Here’s a bunch of events we are looking forward to.

 

Hang Out to Dry @ Queens Street Rescue – An interactive class in the art of food dehydration.

 

Beerfest @ Flagstaff Gardens – Take an epic journey through the ages discovering Melbourne’s history, culture and heritage of boutique breweries. There’s going to be an INXS tribute band, tastings, masterclasses… everyone is going to be there.

 

Stompin’ at the Tram @ Tram Bar (in front of the Arts Centre) – Get ready for a stompin’ good time at Tram 69. Crush some grapes to start, taste wines on the way and find tasty treats at the end of the line. The tram doesn’t actually move but there will be loads of Yarra Valley wines to enjoy.

 

Asian Seafood Festival Graze @ Box Hill Central – Chef James Tan shows off the freshest local seafood at the Box Hill Fresh Food Market. Who doesn’t love a good ole’ graze?

 

The Martini Master Class @ The Hotel Windsor – It’s Melbourne’s oldest surviving temperance hotel so thank god it’s no longer an alcohol free establishment. Experience how a splash of water and a dash of vermouth can transform some gin into the greatest cocktail of all time.

 

Melbourne’s Fish Mongrels @ Sanford Australia – We’re beginning to sense a theme here and it is one we like. Look at where and how a large portion of Melbourne’s wild-caught seafood first hits the city from its source. Caution: this bad boy starts at 3am.

 

Wild Food Walk Along the Maribyrnong River @ Footscray – Take a tour along the beautiful Maribyrnong River, exploring the native plants, wildlife and materials used by Indigenous people for thousands of years and later the early settlers to make their food, medicine, clothing and tools.

 

Port Phillip Mussel Festival @ South Melbourne Market – Holy moly! A two day party of non-stop live music and mountains of mussels from local waters, celebrating one of Australia’s favourite seafood. There serving up buckets of mussels at $5 a pop so you may not want to miss this one.

 

Pyrenees River Festival @ Avoca – Pyrenees wines, alongside local beer, cider and gourmet food in a market setting by the Avoca River; plus guest appearances by garden and food experts. What more could you wish for?

 

Perfectly Matched: Sake & Cheese @ Milk the Cow – Milk the Cow and The Déjà vu Sake Company come together to showcase the unlikely yet heavenly combination of sake and cheese, both full of the illusive fifth savoury taste ‘umami’. We’re tipping 2014 to be the year of Sake so we’re looking forward to getting schooled.

 

And then there’s Meatopia @ The Middle Park Hotel – We went to this one a few years back and it was artery clogging epic. It’s all kinds of meat done all kinds of ways with plenty of tasty brews to wash it down. Just don’t plan to do anything the next day, you may be nursing a pretty serious meat hangover.

 

Don’t forget to check out the festival hub, The Immersery. it’s a kitchen, bar and rain garden at Queensbridge Square with plenty going on throughout the 17 days of festival frivolities.What are you looking forward to at MFWF?

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