Stimulate the sense at the Italian Wine and Food Festival, this weekend in Melbourne

Stimulate the sense at the Italian Wine and Food Festival, this weekend in Melbourne


There'll be plenty of live demonstrations, free samples and entertainment galore.

There'll be plenty of live demonstrations, free samples and entertainment galore.

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This weekend the stunning frescoes lining the ornate Royal Exhibition Centre in Melbourne will be heightened by the smells, tastes and sounds of the 2018 Italian Wine and Food Festival.

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This Sunday, May 27, the stunning frescoes lining the ornate Royal Exhibition Centre in Melbourne will be heightened by the smells, tastes and sounds of the 2018 Italian Wine and Food Festival. 

The annual festival brings together the best producers of Italian dining, dolci, coffee, wineries and even live demonstrations of cooking, culinary technology and more.

Five of Melbourne’s best Italian restaurants are holding pop up stalls in the bustling festival, including Bottega, 400 Gradi and Saluministi.

Menu offerings are mouthwatering; think marinated artichokes, free range slow roasted pork, polenta chips with truffle oil, crunchy whitebait, beef cheek ragu, pannacotta with pistachio crema and Nutella calzones. 

There will also be samples from providores including rich olive oils, truffle, crusty fresh bread, gelati and a wide variety of soft and hard cheese to satisfy any fussy palate.

Held in the beautiful Royal Exhibtion Centre, it's a perfect backdrop to the festival celebrating all things cucina e vino Italian

Held in the beautiful Royal Exhibtion Centre, it's a perfect backdrop to the festival celebrating all things cucina e vino Italian

No Italian festival is complete without a bitter tangerine Aperol Spritz in hand, though one section of the festival will be devoted entirely to wineries with the best rosso, bianco and bubbly for tasting.

The wine zone exclusively offers top quality Italian wine plus Australian wine made from the Italian grape. Sample vino variations from world-renown wine regions including Tuscany, Sardinia, Sicily and Veneto, plus many more. 

Once you’re suitably bursting with food and drinking delights, take a moment to stop and enjoy the entertainment; there’ll be pizza acrobatics from the team at 400 Gradi, live music from the 40s, 50s, and 60s from the Italian Peninsula and even a Zona Bambini for the kids with games, colouring and foos ball.

Sample some of the best wine Italy has to offer in the Wine Zone.

Sample some of the best wine Italy has to offer in the Wine Zone.

Very special guest Silvia Colloca will make her festival debut on Sunday, cooking one of her favourite recipes while sharing her love for Italian cooking and her secrets for cooking a great meal at home. The Italian-Australian cook, TV presenter and author rose to culinary fame after launching her popular cooking series Made in Italy in 2014 on SBS, and went on to create Silvia’s Italian Table on the ABC in 2016, earning a Logie nomination for Most Outstanding Newcomer. 

This year, attendees can download the Italian Wine and Food Festival app, which will serve as your comprehensive guide to the festival. Browse the program, check out the useful map and learn more about the full list of wines. The app is available for download on Android and Apple. 

Tickets to the festival are available here.

Cooking demonstration line up

10.30am: Chef Luca Ciano + Giorgio Linguanti (That’s Amore)

Italian vs Australian-made: why cooking better Italian food at home means knowing what ingredients to buy

Dish: Prosciutto di Parma + Buffalo Ricotta frittersto match Birra Moretti

Hosted by Nerida Conway

11.15am: Jesse McFadden (Massi) + John Christopolous (Ocean Made Seafood)

Why your dish is only as good as your fish: what do you need to look for when buying fish for home

Dish: Tuna Crudo

Hosted by Nerida Conway

12.00pm: Silvia Colloca (Cook, TV Presenter, Author, Actress) + Chef Mario Bruno (Mutti Tomatoes)

The secret to Italian cooking: simplicity + quality ingredients

Dish: Baked Eggs with Peperonata

Hosted by Nerida Conway

12.45pm: Francesco Rota + Luca Flammia (Trattoria Emilia), Belinda McIvor (McIvor Farm, Berkshire Pork) + Chloe Seymour (Somerset Heritage Produce)

Simple quality ingredients: learn how mince, celery, onion + carrot can make a dish

Dish: Tagliatelle al ragu

Hosted by Hilary McNevin

1.30pm: Joe Vargetto (Mister Bianco + Massi) + Adrian Utter (Horticulturalist)

Cooking better Italian food at home requires the right tools

Dish: Cavatelli with braised lamb shoulder + wild mushrooms

Hosted by Nerida Conway

2.15pm: Petros Dellidis (Mister Bianco) + Adrian Utter (Buxton Black Truffles)

How to elevate flavours at home with the finest, authentic ingredients

Dish: Impanata filled with sliced potato, smoked mozzarella + truffle

Hosted by Hilary McNevin

3.00pm: Dusty Treweek (Bottega) + Judy Croagh (Western Plains Pork)

The chef’s secret ingredient to cooking better food at home: know your farmer

Dish: Ricotta gnocchi with Western Plains Pork, cime di rapa, tomato, chilli + garlic

Hosted by Nerida Conway

3.45pm: James Kummrow (Fatto) + Richard Seymour (Mount Zero)

Olive oil + salt: the key to great Italian food at home

Dish: Amalfi gin cured Hiramasa kingfish, pomegranate, cucumber + lime oil

Hosted by:  Hilary McNevin

4.30pm: Valerio Calabro (La Svolta + Figo), Nico Pippitone (La Svolta) + Lefty Arhon (Tim + Terry)

The secret to better seafood risotto at home: know your fishmonger

Dish: Risotto with tiger prawns, prawns bisque + pompelmo rosa (red grapefruit)

Hosted by Hilary McNevin

5.15pm: Chef Dario Di Clerico  + Giorgio Linguanti (That’s Amore)

Two Italians + a mozzarella: how to make fresh mozzarella + turn it into an Italian cheese toastie

Dish: Mozzarella in Carrozza

Hosted by Hilary McNevin

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