Melbourne Food & Wine Festival 2014 – Art of The Table

Melbourne Food & Wine Festival - detail by Daniel Mahon

Over the centuries humanities rhythm of life has been lived in concert with the four seasons, and from the paddock to plate it’s been a journey often showcased by ‘good farming, good cooking and good eating’.

Foraging, harvesting, cooking, learning, eating and drinking together is an important aspect of the whole experience of food, especially for those who decide to take a life long culinary delights journey.

Melbourne city, Victoria’s regional cities, as well as the many different climatic regions of Victoria offer a tourism experience second to none for those in search of marvellous food and wine.

It is a gastronomic playground, one where an abundance of fresh seasonal produce emerges to be sold in bustling food markets in both the city and country.

The Melbourne Food & Wine Festival is an event integral to the Melbourne end of summer experience.

In 2014 it will be presented from the 28 February to the 16 March.

This year’s program also features most of Melbourne’s hottest restaurants and chefs, who will pull out all the stops to offer stylish dining experiences, exclusive to the festival.

The longest lunch at the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, photo Daniel Mahon

In conjunction with the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival from February 5, 2014 the National Gallery of Victoria will also offer a new exhibition, all about the Art of the Table.

Festival favourite is the Bank of Melbourne World’s Longest Lunch.

In 2014 this will be held on the 28 February, when 1,500 lunching revellers at one 500 metre-long table providing a scintillating start to the first day of the Festival along the banks of the Yarra in Alexandra Park.

This year the Bank of Melbourne will present a global celebration themed around the bounty of water, when over a seventeen-day period, food and wine lovers will be invited to celebrate the world’s ocean and river fare guided by the world’s best seafood chefs.

The centrepiece of the 2014 program will be a three-level hub space on the banks of the Yarra River at Melbourne featuring a floating barge bar, open-kitchen eatery and a sensational skyline community space in the City of Melbourne’s Queensbridge Square.

The all-new dedicated wine weekend, 1 – 2 March, will be presented by winemakers, writers and sommeliers, including Tim Atkin MW (UK), Aline Baly (Chateau Coutet, France) Rick Kinzbrunner (Giaconda, Beechworth) and Guill de Pury (Yeringberg) in the beautiful Yarra Valley.

Rounding off the weekend four of Australia’s best sommeliers will go head to head at Battle of the Sommeliers (2 March) with Tim Atkin MW and Aline Baly’s esteemed palates on hand to judge their wine at Botanical (South Yarra).

Urban Coffee Farm at Melbourne Food & Wine Festival by Daniel Mahon

Everyone can join into the fun at the exclusive behind-the-scenes tours both on and off the water.

You can get amongst it at lively street parties and never-to-be-repeated dinners in an usual venue, and much more.

Melbourne Water and HASSELL will create rain gardens to ‘green’ the urban space throughout and allow visitors to learn about how water can be captured, filtered and reused before it re-enters the water cycle.

A cloud-like canopy ‘hovering’ over the disused rail bridge running parallel to Sandridge Bridge will create a spectacular new elevated view of the city, if only for a short time.

Jacques Reymond, Adam D’Sylva, and Stefano de Pieri will design the three-course menu that will be brought to life by Peter Rowland Catering with the menu matched to fine wines from Seppelt

A local chef collective will design the menu at the open-kitchen eatery on the concourse level of the Festival.

This includes Florent Gerardin (Silo by Joost), Jesse Gerner (Anada & Bomba), Joel Alderson and Adam Liston (Borrowed Space), Hamish Nugent and Rachel Reed (Tani Eat & Drink), and Daniel Wilson (Huxtable & Huxtaburger).

They will take the much-loved tradition of Chinese yum cha dining and apply truly global flavours from east to west while embracing a range of water-based cooking techniques.

At the floating barge bar sample wine plus one-off cocktails and drinks celebrating the three states of water designed by some of the country’s boundary-pushing bartenders.

Having fun at the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival by Daniel Mahon

In every culture and in every era rules, rituals and styles of cooking have been customized to support societies ideas and its fashions and passions as well as to help develop its character or identity.

Everyone benefits, those who work the land for a living and those who feed the people, whether professionally or personally, especially if they provide a positive experience of fine cuisine.

Chef Sean Brock by Daniel Mahon

Innovative chefs will travel far to select the quality of the produce they want, so they can present it seasonally and daily to clients of their multi award-winning restaurants and cafés.

Expert winemakers and passionate artisan producers, whose foodstuffs reflect the warmest hospitality, aid their efforts.

For many people today the Art of The Table is all about inspiring a ‘new’ way of life and local food production based on organic principles.

This means chemicals or artificial fertilizers are completely banned,

Many cultures around the world have a wealth of knowledge and recipes to share that reflect the produce of their own land and climate, where farming is part of a way of life that can and will shape ideal social values.

Here in Australia our democratic development emerged through the status of our farmers, valuable citizens all.

In each state the topography of the land and its attributes contribute to the continuing growth and development of our food and wine industry.

The Festival’s famed outdoor Master Class experience will move to regional Victoria for 2014.

This will become a progressive experience for 50 guests, culminating in a spectacular feast held at Campbell Point House on the Bellarine Peninsula (15 March).

Aaron Turner (ex-Loam, Drysdale) returns to Australian shores to join Peter Gilmore (Quay, Sydney) and the UK’s Michelin-starred Nathan Outlaw (Nathan Outlaw Restaurant, Cornwall) for fly-fishing and fish smoking workshops, plus hands-on mussel and oyster demonstrations with seafood farmer Lance Wiffen (Sea Bounty, Portarlington).

Chef Magnus Nilsson by Daniel Mahon

Also over the Regional Weekend you can join the ultimate ‘60s themed cocktail party at The Dispensary Enoteca (Bendigo), James Bond vs. Don Draper, as they pit the signature drinks of the two smooth operators against each other.

Feast at regional events embracing Victoria’s waterways, from floating down the King River ‘river sledding’ on lilos followed by lunch at Dal Zotto Winery (High Country) for Lilos and Prosecco; to dinner with Ovens River produce in the Alpine Valley at Tani Eat & Drink’s Down by the River.

Melbourne city enjoys a fine reputation for the skills, style and refined taste of its many great chefs, who delight in offering a vast range of culinary experiences, so that others can share food and friendship around a table.

They have been both led and championed over the years by that fabulous cook, restaurateur and food writer Stephanie Alexander, who recently became one of a small number of cuisine based Australians named an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia.

The festival started as a spark of an idea in 1993, with a modest program of twelve special events dreamt up by Peter Clemenger.

Now twenty plus years later, the Festival hosts well over 200 events annually, with a core team of eighteen staff as well as hundreds of dedicated volunteers who work behind the scenes to ensure the program runs smoothly.

Event experiences on offer undoubtedly provide a virtual feast of opportunities for lovers of fine food and wine to indulge and immerse themselves in feasting from oceanic regions to inner city riverside venues.

Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2014

Daniel Mahon captures the magic of the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival

Melbourne Food & Wine Festival 2014

28th February to 16th March 2014

Program of Events and Bookings

The 2014 Chef line-up:

Ángel León, Aponiente, Puerto de Santa Maria, Spain
Spain’s Best Chef in the National Gastronomic Awards, Ángel’s food is driven by the mantra ‘Tell a story about what happens in the sea’. Ocean produce is the backbone of his menu from sustainable seafood like mackerel and ling, to seaweed and plankton.

Christopher Kostow, The Restaurant at Meadowood, St Helena, USA
A philosophy graduate who loved cooking, Christopher fell for the kitchen and gained a third Michelin star in 2010. Since then, he has maintained three stars and become one of the most innovative chefs in the USA.

Mitch Tonks, The Seahorse and RockFish, Devon, UK
‘A fishmonger for the 21st century’ (The Independent, UK) with three award-winning restaurants, Mitch is a self-taught chef with an infectious enthusiasm for cooking with seafood.

Rodolfo Guzmán, Boragó, Santiago, Chile
Drawing from his time at Mugaritz and a passion for reinvigorating Chilean cuisine, Rodolfo’s food at Boragó (#8 Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants) embraces indigenous cooking techniques and foraged produce from Chile’s diverse regions, from the dry Atacama Desert to the enigmatic Easter Island.

Matthew Jennings, Farmstead Inc., Providence, USA
Butcher, forager, chef and artisan cheese- maker, Matthew is passionate about instilling a sense of traditional “Yankee” flavour in his food and has twice been a finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef Northeast” award.

Johnny Iuzzini, New York, USA
With over 20 years’ experience in the kitchen, Johnny is recognised as one of the most influential pastry chefs in America (Forbes) and cooks with the motto “desserts are last, but don’t let them be least”.

Damian D’Silva, Immigrants – The Singapore Gastrobar, Singapore
An ex-aeronautical engineer, Damian takes inspiration from Singapore’s rich food heritage and lost recipes from his childhood to create his spin on traditional street food.

Luigi Taglienti, Il Ristorante Trussardialla Scala, Milan, Italy
Luigi combines his passion for pure Italian produce with inspiration from growing up at his mother’s beachside restaurant to earn his place in the new generation of Italian star chefs, with a Michelin star in tow.

Mauro Uliassi, Ristorante Uliassi, Senigallia, Italy
With two decades in the restaurant industry under his belt, Mauro turns Italian classics on their head at his flagship two Michelin-starred restaurant.

James Stapley, Whare Kea Lodge & Chalet, Wanaka, New Zealand
Season and guest preference the only two factors that determine James Stapley’s menu. The UK-born chef will delight with his methods of using the best produce in the most beautiful, simple (yet complex) ways.

These international guest chefs will join some of Australia’s most celebrated stars:

Donovan Cooke, The Atlantic, Melbourne
With Michelin-star pedigree and faultless skill and technique, Donovan heralds an ‘ocean to plate’ philosophy at The Atlantic.

Shane Delia, Maha, Melbourne
Shane’s original and eclectic approach to Middle Eastern cuisine at Maha has earned his status as one of Australia’s most loved chefs.

Dan Hong, El Loco, Ms G’s, & Mr Wong, Sydney
One of Australia’s fastest rising chefs, Dan is renowned for crafting bold and brilliant flavours at his three restaurants.

Ryan Squires, Esquire, Brisbane
A fierce campaigner for sustainable seafood, Ryan trained at el Bulli and The French Laundry and now heads up the only three-hat restaurant in Brisbane.

Mary Valle, Melbourne
Mary’s Greek heritage influences her take on Mediterranean cooking and has seen her become one of the country’s leading experts on broad, delicious cuisine.

Melbourne Food & Wine Festival 2014

Presenting Partner: Bank of Melbourne
Government Partners: State Government of Victoria, City of Melbourne and Tourism Victoria
Principal Partners Gastronomy: The Langham, Acqua Panna and Smeg.
Major Partners: Crown, IGA and Seppelt Industry partner: HOST PLUS
The Immersery: major partners City of Melbourne and Melbourne Water proudly support festival Kitchen, Bar and Rain garden.
Design partner HASSELL

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