Melbourne Food & Wine Festival Celebrates City’s Culinary Diversity

Melbourne Food & Wine Festival Celebrates City’s Culinary Diversity

The Melbourne Food & Wine Festival is back for its 32nd edition, with a 10-day program that showcases the city’s vibrant and diverse food and drink culture. The festival, which runs from 15 to 24 March 2024, features more than 300 events that celebrate the local produce, talent, and innovation of Victoria’s food and wine industry.

The festival kicks off with two signature events: the World’s Longest Lunch and the World’s Longest Brunch, both held at the Kings Domain gardens for the first time. The World’s Longest Lunch, on Friday 15 March, will see 1,800 diners enjoy a three-course meal prepared by renowned chef Andrew McConnell, who owns several iconic restaurants in Melbourne, such as Gimlet, Cutler and Co, and Supernormal. The World’s Longest Brunch, on Saturday 16 March, will feature a fusion of Indian cuisines by three rising stars: Harry Mangat (Biji Dining), Helly Raichura (Enter Via Laundry), and Mischa Tropp (Toddy Shop).

The festival also brings some of the world’s best chefs to Melbourne, as part of the Global Dining Series, presented by Square. These chefs will collaborate with some of Melbourne’s finest restaurants and bars, creating unique and memorable dining experiences for the guests. Some of the chefs include Massimo Bottura (Osteria Francescana, Italy), Dominique Crenn (Atelier Crenn, USA), Ana Roš (Hiša Franko, Slovenia), and Virgilio Martínez (Central, Peru).

The Diversity of the Festival

The festival also celebrates the diversity and inclusivity of Melbourne’s food and drink scene, with events that cater to different tastes, preferences, and budgets. The festival offers a range of events, such as:

  • Eat Drink Westside, a series of progressive dining experiences across the western suburbs of Melbourne, such as Werribee, Footscray, Ascot Vale, and Sunshine. The events showcase the multicultural and creative flair of the west, with cuisines ranging from Ethiopian to Vietnamese, and venues ranging from cafes to art galleries.
  • MFWF at Fed Square, the festival’s hub in the heart of the city, which hosts a variety of events and activities for all ages and interests. The hub features a baker’s dozen of Melbourne’s best bakers and pâtissiers, a celebrity sausage sizzle, a woodfired pizza pop-up, and an all-day diner, among others.
  • Dan’s Diner, a collaboration between Dan Murphy’s and an all-star line-up of people called Dan, who will transform the classic diner concept into a 2024 experience. The diner will serve dishes and drinks inspired by the Dans, such as Dan Hunter (Brae), Dan Hong (Mr Wong), Dan Stock (Herald Sun), and Dan Andrews (Premier of Victoria).
  • Special Events, a collection of one-off and exclusive events that will be announced early next year. These events will feature some of the most exciting and innovative food and drink concepts, personalities, and venues in Melbourne and beyond.

The Impact of the Festival

The festival, which is supported by the Allan Labor Government through Visit Victoria, is one of the world’s top food and wine events, and a major attraction for locals and visitors alike. The festival not only showcases and promotes Victoria’s rich food and wine landscape, but also contributes to the economic and social development of the state.

According to the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Steve Dimopoulos, the festival is expected to attract more than 250,000 attendees, generate more than $20 million in economic impact, and create more than 200 jobs. The festival also supports the local food and wine businesses and producers, and fosters a sense of community and pride among the Victorians.

“We’re proud to support this long-running celebration of Melbourne’s food and drink scene, and look forward to welcoming food lovers from near and far again in 2024, providing a boost to local businesses and jobs,” Dimopoulos said.

The festival’s CEO Anthea Loucas Bosha said that the festival is a testament to the resilience and creativity of the food and drink industry, which has faced many challenges and changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re thrilled to be back in 2024 with a truly special program. Melbourne is always one of the most dynamic places to eat and drink, and for 10 days in March, Melbourne will be the world’s eating and drinking capital,” Loucas Bosha said.