The Melbourne Good Food & Wine Show happens at The Melbourne Exhibition Centre

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The Melbourne Good Food & Wine Show happens at The Melbourne Exhibition Centre



Well, aside from an extensive range of stores and stalls by exhibitors from all over Australia, there is also an opportunity to pick up some cooking techniques from the best chefs in Australia, explore the intricacies of the wine connoisseur’s palate, and possibly discover a new cuisine which you haven’t yet had the pleasure of sampling. “The Good Food & Wine Show is probably the largest and most diverse blend of food, wine, chefs and interactive features, all in the one place, in Australia. Many other events are a collection of smaller events held over a long period. Good Food And Wine is a one-stop-shop for food and wine lovers.”

As clichéd as it sounds, there is something here for every taste – even umami – and you never know, you might even bump into one of your favourite chefs on your way round. As shows go, any self-respecting foodie should have their ticket booked by now. So here’s a run-down of some of our favourite attractions.




Before you make any decisions, know this: Melbourne’s Good Food & Wine Festival have extended their opening hours on Friday night so you can drop by after work for drinks and nibblies. Instead of closing early, this year the GF&WS are open until 8pm on that first night, which is a perfect opportunity to move your after-work drinkies to a fancier, more delicious spot.



As the headliner to this year’s Good Food And Wine Show, there are cookery exhibitions from some of the nation’s favourite chefs who feature in the Fisher & Paykel Celebrity Theatre. It could be the chance to see Melbourne-based Masterchef presenters George Calombaris and Gary Mehigan – and as it suggests, you get to see them performing their culinary magic without the aid of crafty editing or dramatic music. You will also get the chance to meet the stars and pick up an autographed copy of their latest books.

Despite the popularity of shows like Masterchef, Laing does not see any correlation between its success and the popularity of the GF&W Show. “The Show has always had a strong following and attendance numbers have not been greatly affected by the Masterchef phenomenon,” he explains. But it has helped to raise the profile of some of our local talent: “What has changed is that we no longer have to bring chefs from overseas as the Aussie talent can more than hold its own.”



After meeting the stars, you can now take the time to sample some of their fine food first hand at the Oxford Landing Estates Restaurants. With a menu designed by top chefs Poh Ling Yeow and Marion Grasby, you can not only marvel at the food, but also enjoy a glass of Oxford Landing Estates wine, which has been selected to perfectly accompany your dish. This is an opportunity not to be missed, and if you enjoyed the wine, you can take a seat in the ‘Taste of Oxford Landing’ session in the Wine Theatre. Seats are limited, so you need to get there early.



For the wine connoisseurs among us, the Riedel Wine Theatre returns to GF&W Show and offers you the opportunity to sample some award-winning vinos from around the world. Join the Managing Director of Riedel Australia, Mark Baulderstone, as he illuminates us to the art of wine tasting and food matching. This could be the chance to pick up some free wine tasting tips from some of Australia’s finest sommeliers, but be advised; places are limited, and are likely to go fast.



If this does not slake your thirst, so to speak, Riedel are also premiering an innovative new school, The Riedel Decanter Bar, which aims to dispel the rumour that the vessel has no effect on the taste of the wine in it. That is – you get to drink the same wine out of different glasses and taste the difference! Skeptical? The only solution is to give it a try… Prices for sessions are $75, but you get more than you bargained for. For this you will receive a wine session of your choice, a box of Riedel ‘O’ Glasses, a copy of the Gourmet Wine Traveller magazine and a bottle of wine.



Cheese has always been a great love of mine, and is the perfect beginning/entire content of/end to any meal. If, likeme, you are always on the lookout for a new favourite or perhaps just want to learn more about cheese – how it’s made, what distinguishes different types or how much you can fit in your stomach – then I urge you to check out the Cheese Matters Discovery Centre. As the title suggests, you get the chance to not only taste but also learn about cheeses, and how to match them with foods and wines. Under the tutelage of Naomi Crisante and the Cheese Matters team, you’re sure to come away with heaps of cheese knowledge to share with your friends at your next extravagant dinner party. The Cheese Matters class costs $35, or you could cheak out the Sunbeam Cupcake or Coffee classes for $40 each.



For those of us who are mourning the end of the summer, Adelaide-based beer Coopers proudly present their latest feature, The Coopers Beer Garden. Designed to resemble the average Aussie backyard, not only are you able enjoy a nice cold glass of their Sparkling, Pale, or Stout Ales in these unique surroundings, but there is also a focus on sustainability and you can explore the eco-friendly innovations which form a major part of Coopers’ business model.

Having originally featured at the Sydney International Food Festival in 2009 and 2010, the Green Rooms-designed eco-garden featured solar panels which powered the site, a rainwater tank to water the Chinese Gardens, and Australian innovation, the Hills Hoist market umbrellas. Following this success, the Coopers Beer Garden has travelled to Adelaide, and was a big hit at the 2011 WOMADelaide. Along with the splendour of the surroundings and the eco-friendly innovations, members of the Coopers will be along to carry out beer tasting sessions throughout the weekend, but seats are limited. Everyone loves beer, so get in quick.



The show also gives local firms the chance to promote their wares with the big boys. Indeed, there are well over 100 exhibitors to be perused at your leisure. “The show has a proven track record of delivering for exhibitors. We also have a large team that spend 12 months of the year sourcing the best products and producers for each event.”

Despite the lure of celebrity chefs and the Coopers Beer Garden, the real heart of this show all comes back to a genuine passion for food and drink and the support for the boutique companies that are born from this. “Launching the tour in Melbourne means we have to be on our game from the outset. There’s no doubt the Melbourne audience is very discerning when it comes to food and wine. It also helps that we are based in Melbourne which makes it much easier to rush back to the office if we’ve forgotten something,” Laing laughs.

Melbourne is a melting pot of cuisine from around the world, and this show is an opportunity to celebrate all the fantastic culinary delights that are available to us if we just take the time to seek them out. This is just our pick of the GF&WS – there’s also the Woolworths Maco Pantry (Woolworths own Macro now, how about that?), The Barilla Pasta Classes, the BeanScene Coffe Experience and The Taste Pavilion’s cooking demonstrations to sink your teeth into. I suppose the ethos for the Good Food & Wine Show is simply ‘Eat, drink and be merry.’