What to expect from this year’s March into Merivale festival [video]

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What to expect from this year’s March into Merivale festival [video]
Guilty Pleasures is the theme of this year's March into Merivale festival.

Now in its eighth year, March into Merivale is just around the corner, with the Sydney hospitality giant sharing details of what guests can expect from the month long food festival.

Running from 14 February to 20 March, the theme of this year’s March into Merivale is Guilty Pleasures.

The launch party will take place on 10 February and for the following five weeks, the group will host a number of masterclasses, chef’s dinners and dining deals.

“Over the past seven years, March into Merivale has transformed from its humble beginnings into one of the most anticipated events on Sydney’s culinary calendar. Across five incredible weeks, the 2016 festival shines the spotlight in our diverse hospitality portfolio and celebrates the wealth of talent leading Merivale into our most exciting year yet,” said CEO, Justin Hemmes.

The 2016 program includes:

LAUNCH PARTY: Hosted on 10 February, the event will take over the entire ivy complex and surrounding laneways, with pop-up stalls from restaurants including Mr. Wong, The Paddington, Coogee Pavilion, est., Papi Chulo and the soon to be launched Queen Victoria Enmore, The Newport and Fred's.

MONDAY - SHOW AND TELL: A host of classes will be held every Monday, with speakers including pastry and dessert chef Lorraine Godsmark (Chocsessive, 15 Feb, 14 March, $75); Villa Maria’s Josh Hammond and Merivale’s Franck Moreau (Wine Not?, 22 February, $45); Instagram stars DJ Dumpling, Dan Hong and Patrick Friesen (#Instaskills, 29 February, $45); and the brains of Merivale’s design team - Justin and Bettina Hemmes, Kelvin Ho, Emilie Delalande and Amanda Talbot (Style Me Merivale, Hosted by Neale Whitaker, 7 March, $45). 

TUESDAY - FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS: Every Tuesday, a range of dining deals will be on offer, including a two course meal, a drink of choice and a ‘few fun surprises’ at Merivale restaurants - Ash St. Cellar, Ms. G’s, Papi Chulo ($45 pp); Felix, Uccello, Bistrode CBD, The Paddington, sushi e ($55 pp); est. ($75pp).  

WEDNESDAY SHOW-OFF:  Every Wednesday a host of showcase series will be held including:

  • Between Two Buns, 17 February, Palings ($45): Which of the talented Merivale chefs makes the best burger? From a dozen entries, a panel of burger experts have whittled the naughty cheat-day treats down to six finalists. Guests can try each on the night and vote for their pick of the pack.
  • European Laneway, Darling, 24 February, Ash St. Laneway ($45): With stalls from Felix, Ash St, Bistrode CBD, Lorraine’s Patisserie, The Paddington, Uccello and Palings, this event under the stars encourages all guests to embrace their Inner European and indulge in the pick of the continent's food, wine and entertainment.
  • Wok On, 2 March, Establishment ($45): A mix of Asian fare, cocktails and old-school hip-hop beats featuring signature dishes from Ms. G’s, Mr. Wong, Sunee’s Thai Canteen, sushi e and the soon-to-be-launched Queen Chow.
  • Room for One More, 9 March, Establishment Hotel ($75): Taking over 16 rooms of the Establishment Hotel, this is an extravagant night of cocktail exploration and theatrical escapism.  From retro pop to French baroque, each room has a theme, with creations from Palmer & Co., Hemmesphere, J&M, ivy Pool Club, Coogee Pavilion, Papi Chulo, Ms. G’s and El Loco.
  • Bubble with Guilt, 16 March, Hemmesphere ($85): Showcasing all things champagne, this intimate affair offers a taste of over 20  vintages at the iconic cocktail lounge.

THURSDAY - CHEF SIGNATURE: Food enthusiasts can join Merivale chefs for dining experiences including:

  • Chopsticks & Dope Kicks, 18 February, Ms.G’s ($150) - with Dan Hong and Ms.G’s head chef Paul Donnelly to create a limited addition sneaker exhibition and curated Asian feast.
  • Shellfishness, 25 February, Secret Location ($200) - Coogee Pavilion’s Jordan Toft and est.’s Peter Doyle come together for a seafood banquet in a top-secret location.  
  • All Pleasure, No Guilt, 3 March, est. ($300) - Seven hatted Merivale chefs unite for a five course, nine hatted dinner in the est. dining room.  
  • A Night in Paris, 10 March, Ash St. Laneway ($200) - The Paddington’s Ben Greeno and Felix’s Nathan Johnson join forces for a long table Francophile fest under the stars.
  • The Kitchen Table, 17 March, Uccello ($200) - Danielle Alvarez, Chez Panisse alum and head chef Fred’s, and Nadine Levy, home cook, author and wife of Rene Redzepi, share their passion for local, organic produce to create home-cooking at its finest. 

FRIDAY - GUILTY PLEASURES: With DJs, cabaret performances and Chandon’s Unplanned Band this is a shameless celebration of the wonderful world of pop (every Friday at Palings, $20). 

SATURDAY - PACHA PRESENTS ABSOLUT NIGHTS: Pacha Sydney presents Absolut Nights with headline performances by a host of local and international DJ talent - Trance Nation feat. EXIS (20 February), Thomas Jack (27 February), Yolanda Be Cool and Nicky Night Time (5 March), DJ Fresh (11 March), Robin Schulz (26 March).

SUNDAY - FESTIVAL:

  • Sunday Sundown, 6 March, Coogee Rooftop (free) and ivy Pool Club ($20) - Merivale’s new live music experience at dusk joins the March into Merivale line-up with performances by Yahtzel (DJ set) at Coogee Rooftop and L D R U at ivy Pool Club.
  • Coogee Foreshore Festival, 20 March, Coogee Pavilion ($25/$45, three/six food and drink tokens) - Guests can enjoy an array of food from Coogee Pavilion, Papi Chulo, El Loco, sushi e and Mr. Wong, roving entertainment, live music performances, family games and more.

MYSTERY FEAST: Throughout the festival, diners can book a Mystery Feast. From the dining room at est. to the Potts Pott hangout Ms.G’s, guests could end up in any one of Merivale’s restaurants. (Dinner, $75 including three courses and three glasses of wine; Lunch, $35 including one course and one glass of wine).


 

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