Melbourne Food & Wine Festival is going digital, launching its Online Edition this Monday 25 May. The virtual festival will run until Saturday 30 Monday, bringing guests a range of events via phone or desktop.

People from Melbourne and beyond can tune in to a series of events, including talks, tours, demonstrations theatre and trivia.

The original event, due to run in March, has been postponed, with the Online Edition instead treating the public to all-star line up of international and Victorian talent. Imbued with a heavy dose of DIY adventure the virtual program is interactive all the way.

Want to know what’s been happening at Noma? René Redzepi will provide insight into the recently transformed restaurant. The man behind the world’s most famous lasagna, Massimo Bottura, will help home cooks fine tune theirs.

Homebaked bread enthusiasts can troubleshoot their technique with Baker Bleu’s Mike Russell, while Philippa Sibley will be on hand to offer pastry tips and Shannon Martinez will help nail vegan-at-home snacks.

Black Axe Mangal’s Lee Tiernan will fire up the oven, joining in the fun from London and Ottolenghi’s dessert virtuoso Helen Goh will go live in conversation with Pat Nourse.

Local favourite Ben Shewry will chat about his lockdown learnings, while Dan Hunter will treat viewers to a tour of Brae’s kitchen gardens. There’ll be a behind the scenes look at Lune Croissanterie with founder Kate Reid too and lunch with Julia Busuttil Nishimura.

That’s just to name a few from the stellar line up. Andrew Wong, Max Allen, Richard Cornish, Shane Delia, Victor Liong, Andrew McConnell, Michael Madrusan and Chris Ying will all make appearances too.

Melbournites can also enjoy special dishes, deals and menus from the cities top chefs, which will be available for delivery. Think rare pastries from the Lune archives; an Italian menu delivered by Joe Vargetto and the Mister Bianco team in Mini Coopers; Greg Malouf’s greatist hits prepared by Tom Sarafin at Bar Saracen; and Black Axe Mangal’s foie gras ice-cream by Nick Stanton of Leonardo’s.

“We’re not for a moment making light of the seriousness of this pandemic,” says Food + Wine Victoria CEO Anthea Loucas Bosha. “Our aim with this virtual festival is to highlight the capacity that hospitality has in Victoria and around the world to bring us closer, even when we can’t get together in the same room.

“It’s about sharing ideas, about sharing experiences and above all about supporting our community so that we can all come back swinging.”

Image: Jason Loucas

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