Melbourne Food and Wine Festival comes to one’s door this month with a virtual programme of talks, trivia, troubleshooting, tours and questions and answers.

While the programme that was set to run in March is postponed, the online edition brings together a blockbuster showcase of international and Victorian talent, along with takeaway menus, prizes and special offers to make staying in even better.

Monday May 25


10am AEST (midnight GMT), Instagram Live, @australia / @benshewry

Ben Shewry, chef and owner of Attica introduces MFWF: The online edition to the world.

Welcome to MFWF: The Online Edition

1pm AEST (3am GMT), Instagram Live, @melbfoodandwine / @patnourse

What’s the online edition all about? How do you get your taste? AntheaLoucasBosha, MFWF’s CEO and creative director Pat Nourse bring you the lowdown.

Dear MFWF: Baking with Mike Russell, Baker Bleu

5pm AEST (7am GMT), Instagram Live, @bakerbleu / @melbfoodandwine

Starter not starting? Fumbling with your crumb? And just how sour should your dough be, anyway? Mike Russell, Melbourne baker extraordinaire, is here to answer your questions and solve your home baking dramas.

What I’ve Learned in Lockdown: René Redzepi, Noma

7pm (11am Copenhagen time; 9am GMT), Instagram Live, @reneredzepinoma / @melbfoodandwine What’s been happening at the world’s most famous restaurant while the world has been on lockdown?

How has one of the most creatively fertile minds in food been keeping limber in the meantime? Take a walk with Noma chef and co-owner René Redzepi and find out.

One on One: Victor Liong, Lee Ho Fook, and Andrew Wong, A. Wong

9pm AEST (11am GMT), Instagram Live, @awongsw1 / @melbfoodandwine

A meeting between two of the world of Chinese food’s keenest adventurers.

Andrew Wong was awarded a Michelin star for his investigations of Chinese gastronomy at A. Wong in London, roaming the breadth of its borders and history and returning with refined takes on everything from roujiamou to gong bao chicken, plus what might be the first ever prawn cracker to come with the option of a caviar supplement.

Victor Liong has won the hearts (and palates) of Australian diners with his “new- style” Chinese food at Lee Ho Fook in Melbourne, where spanner crab “Peter Gilmore-style” with faux shark fin, egg noodles, prawn floss and XO jostles silken tofu with Shilin Night Market sauce and spring-onion pancake for pole position.

And to eat?

Lune: Hits from the MFWF Archives

World-famous Melbourne croissanterie Lune delves into its buttery notebooks to pull out pastry hits from festivals past. The Lune Reuben croissant is back: get them while they last, this week only.

The Italian Job Experience by Mister Bianco

Experience The Italian Job in your own home with a three-course meal for two with wine inspired by the 1969 Michael Caine classic heist movie. The Italian Job Home Delivery was created by Mister Bianco restaurant as a delivery service during the lockdown.

For MFWF: The Online Edition, tonight for one night only The Italian Job Experience presents dishes from Torino, where the movie was filmed: agnolotti with local pine mushrooms, slow-cooked wagyu with polenta and sage burnt butter, and panettone pudding with zabaglione and torroncini.

Dishes will be ready-to-eat or simply heat and serve, with all instructions supplied. The meal will be accompanied by a bottle of Viberti Langhe Nebbiolo. For the full immersive event, customers are encouraged to watch the movie while dining. And, of course The Italian Job Experience will be delivered in a Mini.

The Italian Job Experience, $99 for a three-course sharing menu for two with wine. Delivery to suburbs in an 8km radius of the restaurant is $10, and is available from 2pm-4pm or 4pm-6pm on the day; pick-up from Mister Bianco in Kew is preferred, and available noon-7pm.

Last orders for this offer are taken at midnight on Sunday May 24.

Tuesday May 26

Lunch With: Julia Busuttil Nishimura, Ostro

1pm AEST (3am GMT), Instagram Live, @juliaostro / @melbfoodandwine

Join Melbourne cook, author, teacher, and the creator of the Ostro site Julia Busuttil Nishimura for a cuppa over lunch to talk cooking, kids, the wonder of the one-pan dish and maybe even get a preview of her new cookbook, A Year of Simple Family Food, along the way.

Dear MFWF: Cooking Meat with Neil Perry, Rockpool

5pm AEST (7am GMT), Instagram Live, @chefneilperry / @melbfoodandwine

What Neil Perry doesn’t know about cooking meat isn’t worth bringing to room temperature, cooking over coals, resting and then slicing against the grain.

This evening the Rockpool founder and pioneering Australian chef will answer every question one had about the fine arts of good meat but were too afraid to ask.

One on One: Helen Goh, Ottolenghi, and Pat Nourse, MFWF

9pm AEST (11am GMT), Instagram Live, @helen_goh_bakes / @melbfoodandwine

Born in Malaysia, raised in Melbourne, and resident in London, Helen Goh has been a member of the Ottolenghi team since 2006. Working alongside YotamOttolenghi as lead product developer for the last decade, she draws on a wealth of influences, Asian, Western and Middle Eastern.

Pastry is her first love (Sweet, the book she co-authored, is a best-seller with good reason), and will be front-and- centre in this conversation with MFWF creative director Pat Nourse.

And to eat?

Lune: Hits from the MFWF Archives

World-famous Melbourne croissanterie Lune delves into its buttery notebooks to pull out pastry hits from festivals past. The Lune Reuben croissant is back: get them while they last, this week only.

Price: Available in limited quantities daily throughout MFWF: The Online Edition; pre-order via theLune website.

Wednesday May 27

Lessons from Lockdown: Ben Shewry, Attica

1pm AEST (3am GMT), Instagram Live, @benshewry / @melbfoodandwine

Baking. Cakes. A soup kitchen. Cooking online with Hamish Blake and Senator Briggs. A collab between Attica and Lune.

It has not been business as usual just about everyone these last weeks, but Ben Shewry has taken it to the next level. Here’s what he’s learned along the way.

Dear MFWF: Pastry Crimes with Philippa Sibley, The European

5pm AEST (7am GMT), Instagram Live, @philippasibley / @melbfoodandwine

Philippa Sibley has been one of Australia’s most celebrated pastry chefs for more than 25 years, and in that time she has developed some very clear ideas about the good, the bad and the ugly on the dessert trolley.

Does icing sugar have a place on the plate? Is there any saving a rubbery panna cotta? And just what is the point of white chocolate, exactly?

Tune in for Philippa’s real talk on the sweet stuff, and submit some questions of your own, too, if you’re looking for a straight-talking ruling from the Queen of Tarts.

Dear MFWF: La Vera Lasagne with Massimo Bottura, OsteriaFrancescana

7pm (11am Modena time; 9am GMT), Instagram Live, @massimobottura / @melbfoodandwine When lasagne turns out to be one of Australia’s poster-dishes in lockdown life, there’s no better time to turn to the master, the maestro, the one and only Massimo Bottura, live from the lasagne heartland of Emilia Romagna, to talk about the real thing.

We’ll laugh, we’ll cry, we’ll digress wildly. We’ll almost certainly end up talking about art, and you’ll definitely think differently about lasagna afterwards.

Builders Arms Pub Trivia with Cam Smith

8pm AEST (10am GMT), Zoom, via prior registration.

Melbourne’s favourite food trivia is back in virtual form with your inimitable host, RRR broadcaster Cam Smith, asking the questions. Sign up on Zoom with a home team of any size or seriousness for an hour of power taking in all the sensory challenges that make the monthly Builders Arms session such a hit, plus the chance to win dinner for five at the pub itself when dine-in trading resumes.

Pick up a free trivia pack from the Builders bottle shop to play along with the sensory challenges, and if you want the full immersive experience, order The Trivia Dinner – a Builders beef pie, plus Janssen’s temptation potato-bake and a Turkish salad.

Prepared to finish at home, it just needs 20 minutes in the oven, and can be had for two, four or six diners at $25 a head. And yes, there’ll be drinks specials to go as well: everyone’s a winner. Registrations for trivia close at 2pm on Tuesday May 26.

And to eat?

Leonardo’s x Black Axe Mangalfoiegras ice-cream

Black Axe Mangal’s Lee Tiernan and Leonardo’s chef Nick Stanton are fellow travellers, and tonight for one night only, Nick pays tribute to Black Axe Mangal’sfoiegras ice-cream. At Black Axe, it’s served with cherry, peanut butter and a biscuit inscribed with a profanity; tonight, Nick is doing it with salted-almond praline and maraschino cherry, and at your place you can have it however you want it, with the swear-words of your choice.

Leonardo’s x Black Axe Mangalfoiegras ice-cream, $30 a tub, orders from almond praline and maraschino cherries

Thursday May 28

Kitchen Garden Tour: Brae with Dan Hunter

1pm AEST (3am GMT), Instagram Live, @chefdanhunter / @melbfoodandwine

Brae is the most celebrated paddock-to-plate restaurant in the Southern Hemisphere – and what a paddock. Take a walk through its plots of heirlooms and rarities with owner-chef Dan Hunter himself.