Melbourne food festival expands in 2021
The Melbourne Food & Wine Festival returns with a blockbuster 2021 calendar across the city and regional Victoria. The newly expanded festival kicks off with a suite of signature and new events in March. This will be followed in winter by the festival’s core programming for the year – a two-week festival all about Melbourne – and then in the spring the food and drink of regional Victoria will for the first time have a festival all of its own.
March sees the return of some of the festival’s best-loved signature events, which were postponed in 2020. The Bank of Melbourne World’s Longest Lunch, one of the city’s most anticipated events, returns with an all-star line-up of culinary legends, and newcomer the Bank of Melbourne World’s Longest Brunch will celebrate the city’s renowned breakfast culture the next day. There’ll also be special events across the city, and for the first time, Melbourne’s western suburbs will be the hero of 12 Westside Crawl events.
The much-loved World’s Longest Lunch returns on Friday, March 12, bringing together three of Melbourne’s culinary masters – Stephanie Alexander, Philippe Mouchel and Jacques Reymond – to deliver an outdoor feast for more than a thousand guests in Melbourne’s Treasury Gardens, set against the backdrop of the city skyline.
In a first for the festival, Bank of Melbourne World’s Longest Brunch will take place in Treasury Gardens on Saturday, March 13. The menu at this new event is designed by Lune Croissanterie’s Kate Reid in collaboration with Melbourne’s cafe king Nathan Toleman, whose Midas touch at venues such as Three Bags Full, Two Birds One Stone, Top Paddock, Higher Ground, The Kettle Black and Liminal has shaped the way Victoria breakfasts.
The March 2021 program also includes more than 50 events designed in partnership with restaurants, bars and cafes around the city that had been set to run before the pandemic. Highlights of the 2021 special events program include:
• Black Star x Rain Room: the world’s most celebrated watermelon cake meets Melbourne’s most atmospheric immersive installation.
• Yum cha at the Flower Drum: spin the lazy Susan in style at Australia’s most celebrated Cantonese restaurant.
• Dandenong World Fare: a free, family-friendly celebration of food, culture, history and community at one of Melbourne’s largest fresh food markets in Australia’s most culturally diverse municipality.
• Adrian Richardson’s suckling pig feast: the La Luna chef’s wildly popular festival signature expands to Brunswick East.
• Lankan Lourinhã: chef O Tama Carey of Sydney’s Lankan Filling Station collaborating with Matt McConnell at Bar Lourinhã on a Sri Lankan-Portuguese spectacular.
Westside Crawls, a collaboration between Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, Eat Drink Westside and six Melbourne councils, is another addition to the program. The 12 Crawls showcase the eats of western Melbourne suburbs including West Footscray, Seddon, Moonee Ponds, Ascot Vale, Spotswood, Altona, Caroline Springs, Melton, Sunshine, St Albans, Werribee and Werribee Park. Highlights of the Westside Crawl program include:
• Sunshine Crawl: an exploration of diverse pleasures as a traditional Ethiopian coffee ritual, northern Vietnamese food and the neighbourhood’s celebrated Persian community eatery, stopping at Xuan Banh Cuon, Gojo Café, SalamaTea and NNB Dessert House.
• West Footscray Crawl: a delicious introduction to one of the city’s most exciting new eat streets, paying calls to Zymurgy, Harley and Rose and Chibog.
Tickets for the 2021 Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, World’s Longest Lunch and World’s Longest Brunch go on sale from 9am on Friday, February 12. Pre-sale tickets are available for 2020 ticket holders and MFWF subscribers. For full program details and all ticket sales head to mfwf.com.au and follow MFWF on Instagram for daily updates.