Top picks for the 2020 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival

Jacques Reymond and Stephanie Alexander will headline the world's longest lunch, pictured with Andrew McConnell.
Jacques Reymond and Stephanie Alexander will headline the world's longest lunch, pictured with Andrew McConnell. Photo: Danielle Castano

The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival programme, running from 19 to 29 March 2020, has been announced this morning, with some new moves, including a number of free talks, a split between the regional and city programmes, and a new hub for key events at the Queen Victoria Markets.

Free panel discussions and demonstrations under the banner of "Shed X" will feature the festival's star talent from here and abroad including United States star of un-fussed cooking and Good Food magazine recipe writer Alison Roman, font of knowledge on Chinese cooking Fuchsia Dunlop, and fish king Josh Niland will replace the former paid masterclass series. Star chef Ben Shewry will also curate Attica Presents, a day of free talks exploring the idea of hope interspersed with live performances, similar to his WAW talks of 2014.

The Markets will also host the large scale food feature events. The Big Spaghetti, will see a Melbourne's best pasta masters (Tipo, Caterina's, Capitano) set up stalls for a free-form pasta party. For spice fans, there will be the Sichuan snack fair celebrating China's spiciest cuisine.

Alison Roman will be hosting a Sunday night supper party.
Alison Roman will be hosting a Sunday night supper party.  Photo: Nikole Herriott

Ticketed features include a rock and roll plant-based throwdown, Welcome to the Jungle, headed by Shannon Martinez of Smith and Daughters, and a flame-grilled Middle Eastern banquet will go under the hammer as the Mixed Grill.

Childhood dreams can also be re-lived at a collaborative event/art installation with the NGV, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Australian Women's Weekly Children's Birthday Cake Cookbook, headlined by editor and author Pamela Clark.

Tickets to the World's Longest Lunch, this year featuring cheffing legends Philippe Mouchel, Stephanie Alexander and Jacques Reymond are already in their final numbers.

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2020 program will feature a celebration of the Australian Women's Weekly Children's ...
Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2020 program will feature a celebration of the Australian Women's Weekly Children's Birthday Cake Cookbook.  Photo: Danielle Castano

Tickets are on sale now at www.melbournefoodandwine.com.au.