The Melbourne Food & Wine Festival (MFWF) is gearing up for a triumphant return on March 25 – to celebrate its 30th anniversary. And the team behind it has assembled an outstanding roster of chefs and food personalities, many of whom come from overseas and state to state, to mark the milestone. We asked some of them – including lead guest (and serial midnight snack) Nigella Lawson, plus American comedian Eric Wareheim, Sichuan pundit Fuchsia Dunlop and Netflix star Lennox Hastie – where they will eat and drink while in Melbourne for the festival.
Nigella Lawson, inimitable English TV presenter and food writer
“It’s hard to know where to start when it comes to restaurants in Melbourne: the choice is quite dizzying! I can’t wait to go to Anchois and am also very enthusiastic about Gimlet. And of course, an ice cream at the gelateria Pidapipo! I’ve also heard such good things about the pork belly banh mi at Ca Com and I’m desperate to try it.”
fuchsia dunlopAmerican chef and food writer specializing in Chinese cuisine
“Attica, because I’ve heard so much about it over so many years. And, of course, because of the use of ingredients found in Australia and nowhere else. I really don’t know what to expect and I’m incredibly excited!
Eric WareheimAmerican comedian (of Tim & Eric), food writer and winemaker
“As soon as I land in Melbourne, I run instead of walk towards Tipo 00. This pasta paradise moved me the last time I dined there three years ago. And I’ve been craving its authenticity and its freshness and its killer vibes.
Morgan McGlone, founder of Belles Hot Chicken
“As soon as I land I’ll be hitting Calere for my favorite coffee – Alicia, one of the owners, is an awesome barista. Then I will descend to my favorite breakfast at Cibi; I love the Japanese breakfast there. I will then go to La Lune Croissanterie in town. I’ll probably get dumplings from Shandong Mama. I will go to Embla for a bottle in the afternoon, then I will dine at France-Soir. The next day, head to the Napier area and Flower Drum.
Matt Moran, Aria of Sydney, Chiswick and more
“I can’t wait to go back to Siglo for a drink in the evening. They have an amazing wine list and an even better atmosphere. And I also always look forward to visiting Embla; it offers amazing dishes, stunning decor and friendly staff. Both are always high on my list when visiting Melbourne.”
Lennox Hastie, Sydney’s fire door
“It’s been so long since I’ve been to Melbourne – so excited to visit MFWF and see some talented friends! I’m doing an event at Anchois with Thi [Le], and I can’t wait to finally have one of his epic banh mis at Ca Com. I am also delighted to arrive at Gimlet, a place I have wanted to go since they opened.
Arabelle DouglasMinyunbal food activist and educator
“Higher Ground for breakfast, Market Lane for coffee, Tipo 00 pasta bar for lunch, Supernormal for dinner and Romeo Lane for cocktails. I am finally beginning to discover Attica; I loved The confinement of Ben Shewry and Adam Briggs [antics]), and my cousin Amarlee Kelly is a Thorpe and Briggs, thus linking the family line [and] improving food trade routes with a local food ambassador will be fun. I missed Naarm and can’t wait to give my love to the city.”
Emiko DaviesAustralian-Japanese cookbook author
“I have a long list, but what I’m looking forward to most when I get to Melbourne is to have a Japanese breakfast with my sister, whom I haven’t seen for almost three years, because of the pandemic. Our mother is Japanese and it is the food that makes me feel at home and what I missed the most. Living in Tuscany, it is impossible to find a Japanese breakfast (unless I cooking myself) but Melbourne has so many good choices! My favorite traditional Japanese breakfast is at Ima Project Cafe. It just tastes [like] breakfasts from my grandmother’s kitchen near Tokyo: a bowl of fluffy rice, miso soup, grilled fish with hibachi, a delicious soft-boiled egg to pour over rice, seasonal vegetables and pickles.