The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival has announced that its Winter Edition program has been postponed due to the current COVID-19 health and safety restrictions in place in Victoria.
The Winter Edition was due to take place 20 to 29 August.
Festival CEO Anthea Loucas Bosha says the decision was influenced by the more contagious nature of the Delta strain of the virus and the cautious approach public health authorities are taking to easing restrictions.
"We don't have confidence that restrictions will lift to the right levels to make our events as successful as they can be for our industry partners and safe for our guests."
Visitor caps on both indoor and outdoor public gatherings are in place until at least 10 August, and restaurants (many of whom are hosting MFWF events) are operating under density restrictions of 1 person per 4 square metres.
Loucas Bosha and her team plan to move the program to 1 to 10 October 2021, which is one week after the planned date for the AFL Grand Final.
"We are buoyed by news that the government is working towards an AFL Grand Final at the MCG, with crowds on September 25 and we will follow with the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival the week after."
The Festival's winter program features several large-scale events at Queen Victoria Market including an all-you-can-eat chips party called Maximum Chips, a series of signature lunch events called High Steaks, a family-friendly Italian street fair The Big Spaghetti and a campfire-style gathering with chargrilled food by Shane Delia and others.
Several events also feature Sydney chefs such as Brent Savage, Paul Carmichael and Christine Manfield, as well as Adelaide locals Farida and Durkhanai Ayubi of Parwana Kitchen.
The majority of the events will be shifted to the new dates in October, but question marks still remain over the travel of interstate guests in light of Sydney's ongoing Delta outbreak. New events may replace those - watch this space.
For more information melbournefoodandwine.com.au