24th November – 30th November 2014

Monday 24th November

  • Some Young Punks at Ladyboy Dining (394 Bridge Road, Richmond) – LadyBoy Dining and winery Some Young Punks bring you a night of Thai food and wine. The banquet features the season’s premium produce combined with LadyBoy’s signature Thai spices and aromatic flavours. Winemaker Colin McBryde explains the wine matches. Dinner is $100 a head and can be booked by calling  9421 3206.
  • Beyond Blue Dinner at Beer Deluxe (Fed Square, Melbourne) – Some of Melbournes up and coming chefs are coming together to support Beyond Blue with an 8 course dinner at Beer Deluxe. Hosted by IDES Malcolm Meiers, the night promises to be a blast with auctions, give aways as well as a bunch of entertainment. Dinner is $120 a head or $170 with matching beverages. To book, call 9663 0166.
  • Celebrate Australias First Cookbook at The Builders Arms (211 Gertrude St, Fitzroy) – This year marks the 150th anniversary of Australia’s first cookbook by Edward Abbott Esq- ‘The English and Australian Cookery Book’ and the first time that it has been reprinted since 1864. Join Builders Arms and Books for Cooks for the Melbourne launch of this sesquincentenary edition with a dinner inspired by the book, featuring presentations from its publishers Bernard Lloyd and Paul County. The dinner is $125 per head and includes drinks. To book, call 9417 7700.
  • A Beer with Sat Bains at The Estelle (243 High St, Northcote) – Sat Bains is a British chef best known for being chef proprietor of the two Michelin star Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms in Nottingham.  In 1999 Sat Bains won the Roux Scholarship and worked in France and Spain developing his own technique, before returning to the UK and opening his own restaurant.  Bains was also one of the winners on the BBC show Great British Menu in 2007.  His restaurant has also been awarded five rosettes by the AA. Join Books or Cooks in having a few beers & a chat with Sat in the Beer Garden at the Estelle and get him to sign a few cookbooks. Sat’s beautiful cookbook Too Many Chiefs Only One Indian will be available. This event is free with drinks available at bar prices. You can book you spot online here.

Tuesday 25th November

  • Spice Smackdown ‘Round 2′ at Maha (21 Bond St, Melbourne) – The sequel to last year’s no holds barred Spice Smackdown. The ring is set at Maha, where five signature moves leaves one chef tapping out and the other grabbing the glory. Benjamin Cooper and Shane Delia go head to head, packing their flavour-filled punches with sweet, salty, sour and spice. Dinner is $95 a head and can bebooked by calling  9629 5900.
  • Aromatic Wines at Longrain (40-44 Little Bourke St, Melbourne) – The Wine Depository brings you a fabulous night of aromatic wines matched to Longrains amazing Asian style food. There will be 6 wines to try ranging from whites through to reds. Dinner and wine is $125 a head and you can book online here.
  • Bass Phillips Wine Dinner at Matteos (533 Brunswick St, Nth Fitzroy) – Join Phillip Jones for a 5 course feast (menu here)at Matteos where you will be able to sample 17 of the 2012 wines from the Bass Phillips Collection. Tickets to the dinner are $195 a head and you can book your ticket online here.
  • Hot and New- A Wine Dinner with William Downie at Woodland House (78 Williams Rd, Prahran) –  At just under a year old Woodland House is one of the newest restaurants in the Melbourne dining scene, creating buzz with their pared back styling and innovative, produce-based cuisine. Chefs Hayden McFarland and Thomas Woods will be joining forces with one of the most talked about winemakers of the moment, William Downie for this exclusive food and wine event. William’s philosophy is to produce wines of purity and detail that reflect their place of origin. It is this sense of place that binds the Woodland House chefs and Downie together. Using the finest local produce Woods & McFarland will compose a provenance driven menu to perfectly compliment William Downie Pinot Noir and Thousand Candle wines. Dinner is $195 a head and can be booked by calling 9525 2178.

Wednesday 26th November

  • Gnocchi Festa at Cafe Italia (56-66 University Street, Carlton) – Celebrate lucky gnocchi day at Cafe Italia. At the end of each month, having little money or food left, Italian families would cook up what they had left into a gnocchi feast. Folklore had it that travelling missionaries, in thanks for sharing their gnocchi, would leave gold coins under their plates for the families. It became known as lucky gnocchi day and is still celebrated at the end of each month. In the same spirit, Cafe Italia is offering an all-you-can-eat feast of five freshly handmade gnocchi flavours. Dinner is $20 a head and can be booked by calling 9347 0638.
  • Spanish Galician Wine Evening at The Tasting Table (1219 High St, Armadale) – Situated in the North West of Spain just above Portugal on the Atlantic coast, Galicia’s winemaking history dates all the way back to the Romans and then looked after by the monks throughout the middle ages. Today Galicia is best known for Albarino and the region in which it is made; Rias Baixas but there’s also a lot of other great wines being made in Galicia’s other classified areas; Ribeiro, Ribeira Sacra, Monterrei and Valdeorras. Join The Tasting Table for an evening exploring the diversity of Galicia’s wine regions, there’ll be 8 wines to taste matched to delicious artisan cheese and meat boards. Tickets are $35 a head and can be purchased online here.
  • Meet the Makers Dinner at The Corner Store (1 Swanston Street, Mentone) – Meet some of Australia’s most talented winemakers and brewers over an engaging, informative and fun dinner. Head chef Andrew Bruggeman and his team prepare a five-course meal, including spicy tuna roll with a miso and ginger dipping sauce, kingfish ceviche with asparagus and salsa verde, smoky beef short ribs and more, matched to beers and boutique wines. Dinner is $85 a head including drinks.  To book, call 9583 6462.
  • Yabby Lake Block Wines Dinner with Tom Carson at The Botanical (169 Domain Rd, South Yarra) – Join Winestyles for the eagerly awaited Yabby Lake Single Block Releases Dinner with winemaker Tom Carson. These exceptional wines have swept all before them, with the previous vintage being the first Pinot Noir to win the Jimmy Watson Trophy, and these 2013 wines take it to another level. Tom will lead you through the development & evolution of these outstanding wine and there will even be a sneaky back vintage or two to compare. A delicious menu has been created to complement the wines and a night of ultimate wine & food indulgence beckons! As always, exceptional value at only $135 per head. To book, call 8644 4040.

Thursday 27th November

  • An Evening with George Calombaris and Sat Bains at Press Club (72 Flinders Street, Melbourne) – The Press Club presents an exclusive eight-course degustation menu created by George Calombaris and renowned Michelin-starred chef, Sat Bains. The chefs go head to head to create a one-of-a-kind degustation menu with drinks to match. Dinner is $295 a head and can be booked by calling 9677 9677.
  • Vinifieds Top Wines of 2014 at Swan Street Social (177 Swan St, Richmond) – Join Vinified for an introductory master class and wine tasting. Vinified’s Luke Campbell will guide you on how to taste, what to drink and what to put in your cellar while tasting his top five wine discoveries of 2014. Enjoy an evening of sensory pleasure, education and fun. Wines will be expertly matched to food. Tickets to this event are $69 for 1 or $120 for 2. You can book your spot online here.
  • Chablis Dinner at Flower Drum Restaurant (17 Market Lane, Melbourne) – MW Wines are delighted to present an outstanding dinner showcasing some fantastic Chablis producers, including the great Domaine Francois Raveneau, all matched with a stunning seafood dinner at Flower Drum. Some of the highlights will undoubtedly include the Grand Cru bracket of 2008 Raveneau Les Clos, 2008 Laroche Les Clos and 2009 Patrick Piuze Blanchots (en Magnum) matched with Flower Drum’s crayfish with ginger and egg noodles. Dinner is $295 per person, including a $50 credit on wine purchased on the night. For bookings, call 9419 6990.
  • Movember Annual Dinner at The Turf Club (131 Queen St, Melbourne) – The Turf Club are holding their annual Movember Dinner with is a 5 course meal with a glass of Redbank wine or a Pint of beer. Dinner is $50 per person with $20 of that going to the Movember charity (menu here). To make a booking call 9670 1271.
  • Le Concours des Vins de Victoria 2014 at The Medallion Club at Etihad Stadium (Level 2, Gate 8 – Docklands) – The French-Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry proudly presents the Air Liquide 2014 Concours des Vins de Victoria, a celebration and recognition of the diversity and quality of Victorian wines and ‘terroirs’. Approximately 150 wineries in Victoria take the opportunity to present their wines to the judging panel’s French palates, and showcase their finest drops during the Awards Presentation and Wine Tasting Event. Tickets to the tasting are $90 a head and can be purchased online here.
  • A Kraken Thanksgiving at Trunk (275 Exhibition St, Melbourne) –  Trunk Diner are teaming up with Kraken Spiced Rum and spreading their red, white and blue wings for a Kraken Thanksgiving, a wonderful day on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets and this time, Kraken greases the wheels. Armed with your Kraken cocktail on arrival, revel in your 6pm license to not stop ’til you pop at Trunk’s overloaded table; a plethora of Trunk’s spin on traditional dishes, crowned with a Thanksgiving Turkey basted in Kraken – drawing on the true sharing (drinking) spirit of the celebration. The sweet finish to the feast? Chefs Ori Cutuli and Mo Al’Khatib have prepped a Kraken Rum ‘n’ Raisin Ice Cream that is, well, kraking. Tickets are $55 a head and can be purchased online here.

Friday 28th November

  • Moo-light in the Jardin (Royal Botanical Gardins, South Yarra) – You are invited to join the launch of a collaboration between Shannon Bennetts Jardin Tan and Tasmanias Moo Brew. Enjoy a night of entertainment with spectacular projected art, DJ’s, light instillation, canapes, moo brew plus the launch of the new banh mi bikes. Tickets are $90, all inclusive with a cash bar available after 8.30pm. To book, call 9021 2111.

Saturday 29th November

  • A Reymond Family Feast (32 Commercial Road, Prahran) – Renowned chef Jacques Reymond takes you through a five-course lunch featuring some of his famous classic French dishes. With a rotisserie taking centrestage in the open kitchen, diners can watch Jacques work his magic again. Lunch is $95 a head and can be booked by calling 9939 7870.
  • 4 the Love of Riesling at Longrain (44 Little Bourke St, Melbourne) – This event, now in it’s 3rd year will showcase the best Rieslings in world. Come and taste local heroes, global icons and experimental Riesling from across the country. Your ticket includes canapés from Longrain and bucket loads of Riesling to help kick off the Summer of Riesling in the Southern Hemisphere. Tickets are $55 and can be booked online here.
  • Willy Beer Fest (82 Nelson Place, Williamstown) – The Williamstown Heritage Beer and Cider Festival is back for its second year on Saturday November 29, 2014. It will be held at Seaworks, 82 Nelson Place, Williamstown. There are over 20 different Beer, Cider makers and Wineries that will be on hand to showcase their portfolio’s. That will mean around 70+ products for you to try. Tickets start at $44.90 a head and go to $85.70. You can book tickets online here.
  • Election Day Tasting at Armadale Cellars (817 High St, Armadale) – Armadale Cellars cordially invites you to complete your civic wine duty!  Wines to be voted upon include Giaconda, Wild Duck Creek, Levantine Hill, Paradigm Hill, Mitchelton and many more of the finest Victorian producers will be showcasing their wares in the Armadale Cellars courtyard. No empty promises, no kissing babies, no policy filled speeches, just good wine and a healthy competitive atmosphere!Taste the range, find the gems and cast your vote for the “best in show”. Tickets are $25 a head and include a Riedel glass. You can book online here.
  • Noisy Rituals Urban Winery Launch (3 Council St Clifton Hill) – Noisy Ritual is Melbourne’s first interactive winemaking experience. They’re out to demystify the winemaking process and have a heap of fun doing it. To bring the experience to the most people possible, they’re crowdfunding an urban winery where you get to make the wine. Come along to the launch off this amazing event. There will be live bottling of wine and also live  music, a bar with some fantastic drops, and food to buy. The evening runs from 6PM-11PM with all welcome.

Sunday 30th Sunday 

  • Urban Hangi at Meat Market (53 South Wharf Promenade, South Wharf ) – Come to a New Zealand hangi with an urban twist on the banks of the Yarra. Chefs apply traditional cooking practices to the finest Victorian produce, including seafood, boar, sweet potato and fernheads, for a memorable cultural and culinary experience. Dinner is $75 a head and can be booked by calling 9008 8953.
  • Druncheon at Trunk (275 Exhibition St, Melbourne) – You’ve already downed a bottle of champagne and your pesky social inhibitions are beginning to feel like a thing of the past. And it’s only midday. You must be at Drunch. Lucky you. Building on the sold out success of Druncheon numero uno, Trunk are back with the 2nd installment of the overwhelmingly approved fusion of brunch and drinking for those who want to let their hair down without the 5am price tag. Tickets to The Druncheon include an open sharing selection of seven brunch classics, Aperol’s Venetian Spritz whilst you crawl/float/c-walk your way through the doors at 10am, a glass of Kirin Cider with brunch, then a glass of Paul Louis Champagne and DJsSpinClub to kick the party into second gear once food is finished. Throughout the day? Fill the garden and your glasses with stellar sponsors Kirin Beer on tap. Tickets are $55 a head and can be booked online here.
  • Tips and Sips at Nieuw Amsterdam (106-112 Hardware Street, Melbourne) – Nieuw Amsterdam is partnering with Trophy Wife Nail Art to bring you Tips’n’Sips this summer! It’s an event where friends can get a custom manicure with delicious cocktails, music and entertainment. They’ll be showcasing three fab cocktails as part of Tips’n’Sips, including the Salted Caramel Negroni and a new cocktail created just for this event. Tickets are $80 (a feature nail mani & cocktail tasting – 1hr) or $100 (custom mani with 5 designs & cocktail tasting – 1.5hrs). To book, email bookings@nieuwamsterdam.com.au with subject line ‘tipsnsips’ and your contact details.
  • Fluid Festival at York on Lilydale  (Corner York and Swansea Roads, Lilydale) – For one day only, Fluid Festival will showcase some of the world’s finest beers, wines, bourbons and ciders at York on Lilydale. The event will feature stalls from over 20 local and international suppliers, offering the chance to sample a huge range of flavours and styles. In addition to tastings, you will have the opportunity to meet some of the best in the business at the ‘Meet The Brewer’ master classes featuring some of the world’s leading brewers, cider makers, distillers and wine makers. Entry is free with tokens for tastings to be purchased on the day or pre buy online here.

8th December – 14th December 2014

Monday 8th December

  • IDES at Persillade (150 Wellington Parade, East Melbourne) – IDES a movement by Peter Gunn Jnr. sous chef of Attica, which is ranked #32 of the list of San Pellegrino’s 50 Best Restaurants in the World. Hosted at Persillade in East Melbourne, serving a tasting menu reflecting their take on produce, technique and flavour. IDES is crafted by the minds of today for a concrete tomorrow, in pursuit of creation not perfection. Dinner is $100 a head, $150 with matched wines and you can book by emailing eat@idesmelbourne.com.au or you can book online here.
  • Chefs at The Cow, A Night with Vanessa Mateus from Pope Joan (157 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda) – Join Milk the cow in December when they welcome Vanessa Mateus of Pope Joan for a five-course cheese-inspired menu with matched wines. Vanessa is the night-time head chef of Pope Joan, and was one of five finalists this year for The Age Good Food Guide’s Young Chef of the Year award. Tickets are $120 a head and can be booked online here.

Tuesday 9th December

  • Bridge Road Brewery Tap Takeover and Dinner at The Alehouse Project (98-100 Lygon St, Brunswick) – Join Bridge Road’s head brewer, Ben Kraus, for a 6 course degustation dinner matched with 6 Bridge Road Beers selected from the range on tap. Dinner is $80 a head and can be booked by callling 9387 1218.
  • Meet the Maker at Pope Joan (77-79 Nicholson St, East Brunswick) – Pope Joan are thrilled to welcome one of their dearest friends to Hams and Bacon for the next Meet the Producers event. Preserving doyenne Caroline Grayof of Cunliffe & Waters will bring Nanna’s copper pot and show us how to make spiced cherries and strawberry jam. Plus, every participant will take a jar of each finished product home to enjoy on Chrissy Day. Tickets are $15 a head and can be purchased online here.

Wednesday 10th December

  • Outside the Cote Burgundy Wine Evening at The Tasting Table (1219 High St, Armadale) – Everyone knows the wines of Burgundies Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune but often little is known about the wines produced from the larger Burgundy subregions of the Hautes-Côtes de Nuits, Hautes-Côtes de Beaune, Mâconnais and Côte Chalonnaise and last but not least Chablis. Although not the most famous of regions, these areas produce some great wines at much more affordable prices. Join The Tasting Table for an evening enjoying the wines produced outside the Côte and find out just how great the wines of Burgundies subregions can be. There’ll be 8 wines to taste matched to delicious farmhouse sharing cheese and meat boards. Tickets are $35 a head and can be booked online here.

Thursday 11th November

  • BYO? Challenge the Bartender at the Everleigh (Upstairs 150-156 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy) – Introducing BYO?: Challenge The Bartender, a new monthly event unique to The Everleigh and the first of its kind in Melbourne.  In a throwback to the traditional speakeasy, they invite parties of 1-6 people to bring a bottle and challenge the bartender to concoct a selection of drinks to suit their tastes over a two hour sitting.  Had something special gathering dust for too long because you don’t know what to do with it? Let your own personal bartender bring it back to life using a variety of different classic drink styles. Located in The Elk Room, The Everleigh bartenders join you on the floor, making drinks at your table from traditional drinks trolleys fully equipped with citrus, syrups, liqueurs, bitters, ice and garnishes.To make things a little more interesting, the bartenders will call half time 1 hour in, giving parties the opportunity to switch their mystery bottles with another other group’s. Tickets are $45 a head and can be booked by calling 9416 2229.

Sunday 14th December

  • Tips and Sips at Nieuw Amsterdam (106-112 Hardware Street, Melbourne) – Nieuw Amsterdam is partnering with Trophy Wife Nail Art to bring you Tips’n’Sips this summer! It’s an event where friends can get a custom manicure with delicious cocktails, music and entertainment. They’ll be showcasing three fab cocktails as part of Tips’n’Sips, including the Salted Caramel Negroni and a new cocktail created just for this event. Tickets are $80 (a feature nail mani & cocktail tasting – 1hr) or $100 (custom mani with 5 designs & cocktail tasting – 1.5hrs). To book, email bookings@nieuwamsterdam.com.au with subject line ‘tipsnsips’ and your contact details.
  • Grand Afternoon Tea at the Vue Grand (46 Hesse Streeet, Queenscliff) – It is said that class and style are things to be savoured, enjoyed and never rushed, so why not savour and enjoy your afternoon among the majestic confines of the Vue Grand Hotel, Queenscliff.  Enjoy a glass of Pimms or sparkling on arrival as you venture through into one of the last remaining Victorian era Grand Dining Rooms and savour their delicious array tasty treats (both sweet & savoury) they will have on offer. The afternoon tea is $55 a head and can be booked by calling 03 5258 1544.

1st December – 7th December 2014

Monday 1st December

  • Chef Selected Dining at Northern Light (102 Smith Street, Collingwood) – Come and join Adam and the team at Northern Light for an exclusive 5 course ‘Chef Selected’ dinner with matched wines – showcasing the most popular dishes from the kitchen’s repertoire. They have created an exclusive experience of food and fun. You can look forward to a chef selected five-course menu paired with the perfect wine. Accompany this with some chef interaction and table side theatrics and you’re in for a great night. Tickets are $89 a head and booking can be made online here.
  • Domaine William Fevre Masterclass with Didier Seguier at The Prince Wine Store (177 Bank St, South Melbourne) – The star of Domaine William Fevre has been on the rise in recent years and the 2012 vintage wines are the best release from the estate and among the top wines released of the vintage. This masterclass will feature a range of wines from the domaine. The Prince are delighted to host winemkaer Dider Seguier to offer his insights to the great wines of William Fevre and the great terroirs of Chablis. The class is $60 a head and can be booked online here.
  • Micro Monday with Kooinda Brewery at The Public Bar (238 Victoria Street, North Melbourne) – Now and then on a Monday night, The Public Bar are going to bring in a micro brewery, give them one of the taps to plug in something seasonal and have them school them in the art of making, drinking and loving beer! This month they are very pleased to be welcoming Kooinda to come and show off their wares! Tickets are $16 a head which gives you beer knowledge plus 5 pots of Kooinda. You can purchase tickets online here.

Tuesday 2nd December

  • From Victoria to Vittoria at Mr Bianco (285 High St, Kew) – Fresh from her recent trip working vintage in Sicily, Tennille Chalmers thinks she knows the beautiful and culturally rich Italian island better than chef Joe Vargetto, who actually is Sicilian. Tennille’s told Joe what to cook, and is bringing a boot load of Chalmers, Montevecchio and Occhipinti wines to match. Come along to Mister Bianco to this fun, tasty, journey to Sicilia Bedda. Enjoy a 5 course dinner with matched wines for $95 a head. To book, call 9853 6929.
  • Gourmet Traveller NV Champagne Tasting at City Wine Store (161 Spring St) – Join Gourmet Traveller and City Wine Store as they taste through 20 of the best NV champagnes as selected by the tasting panel from Gourmet Traveller Wine.  They can’t reveal what’s on tasting, as the December/January issue has not yet hit the shelves (due for release on 4 December), but you won’t be disappointed.  From the grand marques and familiar names through to grower champagnes, these standout bottles of bubbles have been selected based on merit alone. Tickets are $75 a head and can be booked by calling 9654 6657.

Wednesday 3rd December

  • The Great Red 2012 Burgundy Wine Dinner at Bellota (181 Bank St, South Melbourne) – This dinner features three bracket of 2012s ranging from village to premier and grand crus and from a terrific range of producers including Gerard Raphet, de Vogue, Joseph Voillot, Jean Trapet and more!  Places are limited for this four course meal that will feature 12 red burgundies and from seven producers not to mention the two 2012 Corton Charlemagnes from Jean-Marc Pillot and Pierre Yves Colin-Morey that will kick the dinner off. Dinner is $295 a head and can be booked online here.

Thursday 4th December

  • Flavour Exchange Summer Edition (Fed Square, Melbourne) -Enjoy tastes from artisan food makers, boutique wineries, craft beer and cider breweries. Chat with the producers behind them and buy direct and save, all in the one place, in The Atrium at Fed Square. Tickets are $32.50 a head pre paid or $37.50 at the door and can be purchased online here.
  • Sustenance for Change Dinner at The Grain Store (517 Flinders Lane, Melbourne) – In conjunction with CERES Fair Food, the Grain Store are proud to host a Charity dinner in support of the wonderful work the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre (ASRC) do on a daily basis to ensure new Australians are made to feel welcome, safe and supported. Share and enjoy a seasonally delicious dinner on communal tables, whilst hearing about the fabulous success stories of how CERES Fair Food provide many employment opportunities to Asylum seekers and how you can get involved to support the ASRC! Dinner is $80 a had and can be booked by calling 9972 6993.

Friday 5th December

  • Flavour Exchange Summer Edition (Fed Square, Melbourne) -Enjoy tastes from artisan food makers, boutique wineries, craft beer and cider breweries. Chat with the producers behind them and buy direct and save, all in the one place, in The Atrium at Fed Square. Tickets are $32.50 a head pre paid or $37.50 at the door and can be purchased online here.

 

Saturday 6th December 

  • Unearthing the Wines of Portugal (817 High St, Armadale) – Long considered the undiscovered jewel in Europe’s viniferous crown, Portugal is making waves in the wine world. Freshness, vibrancy and finesse are the signatures of this exciting region. This, combined with the wealth of indigenous varieties, has resulted in a reputation for over-delivery in terms of value for money. Undiscovered to many, and very much an “insiders” wine, this courtyard tasting offers an opportunity to expand your wine horizons. Wines will be paired with delicious fare from Bouzy Rouge. Tickets are $25 a head and can be booked online here.
  • Behind the Rind: Cheese 101 at The Spring Street Grocer (157 Spring Street, Melbourne) – Behind the Rind – Cheese 101 is a short cheese workshop that is both fun and informative, aimed at revealing each main style of cheese and the story of their different rinds.  Also discussed will be common questions such as what to serve with your cheeses, and which cheeses are suitable for pregnant women and people with a lactose intolerance. Tickets are $30 a head and can be booked by calling 9654 6657.

17th November – 23rd November 2014

Monday 17th November

  • No. 8 by John Lawson & the Great Ocean Road (Crown Riverside, Southbank) – John has teamed with Victorian Great Ocean Road suppliers to bring to you an interactive dining experience as Chef’s come out from the kitchen to present Victoria’s finest produce in a series of Chef Stations. On arrival guests will enjoy a Tanqueray cocktail whilst mingling amongst the Chef stations located on the Riverfront terrace. These stations will feature a decadent selection of Sea Bounty mussels and oysters. The following courses, served in the restaurant dining room, will feature John’s famed chicken liver parfait as well as the renowned Nigel Thomson’s Barwon River bred lamb served with spring pea and sheep’s yogurt. The evening closes with a dessert delight, teamed with a Tanqueray lemon meringue martini. Dinner is $155 with matched beverages.
  • Alpaca Head to Tail at Pastuso (19 ACDC Lane, Melbourne) – Pastuso and chef Alejandro Saravia present a unique opportunity to taste the Peruvian Andes with this six-course head-to-tail alpaca dinner. Dishes include slow-roasted neck rillettes, slow-cooked short ribs and braised alpaca shoulder with carrot and cumin puree. Dinner is $85 a head, $125 with matched wine. To book, call 9662 4556.
  • Phillipas Home Baking Masterclass (1030 High Street, Armadale) – Join baker Phillippa Grogan and food writer Richard Cornish in this two-hour baking masterclass. Learn secrets to the perfect puff pastry, cake and bread. After supper, take home a signed copy of Phillippa’s book. Masterclass is $99 including a glass of wine. To book, call 9576 2020.
  • Beaujolais Dinner at Bar Luxembourg (2/157 Fitzroy St. St Kilda) – Bar Luxembourg are hosting a dinner to celebrate the French tradition of Beaujolais Nouveau and the release of the region’s annual vintage. Though far away from the valleys of Burgundy, it’s an excellent excuse to celebrate some young crowd pleasers matched to a classically inspired menu by head chef Chris Watson. They’ve teamed up with Living Wines to bring you the exciting new releases from a true Beaujolais legend Jean-Paul Brun from domaine Terres Dorées. Staff will be on hand on the night to guide you through the pairings and we’ve even managed to include a unique Beaujolais Blanc that we’re particularly excited about! Tickets are $130 a head and can be booked online here.
  • Nuits St Georges Premier Cru Dinner at Noir (175 Swan St, Richmond) – Grand Millesimes recent Vosne-Romanee Dinner was a tremendous success. It was both fun and educational to taste a line up of wines from a single commune.Their next Burgundy Dinner goes one step further. This time time they will focus on Nuits-St-Georges. And to make the dinner even more interesting every wine will be a Premier Cru. 12 Different to be precise! This exciting Premier Cru Dinner will open your eyes to the variety and quality that Nuits-St-Georges now produces. Dinner is $185 a head and you can read the full menu and book online here.

Tuesday 18th November 

  • Old Shanghai, New Shanghai at Davids (4 Cecil Place, Prahran) – For a taste of old and new Shanghai, wander down to David’s for a special dinner that highlights the different cooking styles and ingredients that you may find in the Chinese city. Traditional dishes are reimagined for contemporary tastes, and are perfect to share. Dinner is $75 with matched wines. To book, call 9529 5199.
  • Altair Hot and New Dinner (152 Yarra Street, Warrandyte) – Altair head chef Kelvin Shaw presents a seven-course dining experience that features indigenous ingredients from our sunburnt land, paired with local ingredients. Dinner is $90 a head and you can book by calling 9844 5548.
  • Montalto New Release Dinner with Simon Black at Lamaros (273 Cecil St, South Melbourne) -Winestyles would love to see you at this exciting Montalto New Releases Dinner with winemaker Simon Black at Lamaros. This 5 star winery will present a superb lineup of new releases matched to a fantastic 5 course menu, all hosted by their award winning winemaker Simon Black. There is also a special price of only $110 a head (normally $125) making it even more enticing. You can book direct with Lamaros on 9690 3737,

Wednesday 19th November

  • The Brewers Local Craft at The Coppersmith Hotel (435 Clarendon Street, South Melbourne) – Sample five craft beers matched to complementary food by chef Daniel Southern, and learn how you can incorporate beer into your home-cooking. Discover how certain flavours go with particular craft beers. Masterclass is $65 a head and can be booked by calling 8696 7777.
  • Tea Time at Hammer and Tong (Rear 412 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy) – Co-owners Simon Ward and Dennis Ferreira present a four-course degustation celebrating Australia’s appreciation for the revered cuppa. Experience four tea-inspired drinks complemented by a perfectly matched menu. Dinner is $95 including drinks. To book, call 9041 6033.
  • Meet the Makers Dinner at The Corner Store (1 Swanston Street, Mentone) – Meet some of Australia’s most talented winemakers and brewers over an engaging, informative and fun dinner. Head chef Andrew Bruggeman and his team prepare a five-course meal, including spicy tuna roll with a miso and ginger dipping sauce, kingfish ceviche with asparagus and salsa verde, smoky beef short ribs and more, matched to beers and boutique wines. Dinner is $85 a head including drinks.  To book, call 9583 6462.

Thursday 20th November

  • A Heavenly Pairing: Matching Beer with Food at The Local Taphouse (184 Carlisle Street, St Kilda East) – Ever wanted to know what style of beer would perfectly suit a vegetarian curry, roast pork or chocolate cake? This introductory beer and food pairing features five craft beers expertly matched to five different bites. Learn about contrasting or complementary flavours that make for matches made in heaven. No prior beer knowledge required; this is open to beer novices through to food enthusiasts. Masterclass is $75 including 5 matched beers. To book, call 9537 2633.
  • Tahbilk Pop Up Cellar Door (133 Queensbridge St, South Melbourne) – This is your opportunity to try the latest Tahbilk and Dalfarras releases as we bring our Cellar Door to you. A full range of wines will be on tasting including the new 2006 ‘1927 Vines’ Marsanne, our exciting inaugural ‘Winemakers Selection’ 2012 Shiraz each of the 2009 ‘Eric Stevens Purbrick’ Reds and much more! Whites, Reds, Sparklings, Tahbilk, Dalfarras, you, your friends – it’s sounding good to me! This event is free but RSVP’s appreciated on wineclub@tahbilk.com.au or by phone on 03 5794 2555.
  • Wine and Small Dish Dinner at Bang Pop (35 South Wharf Promenade , South Wharf) – Come to Bang Pop and enjoy 6 small dishes matched to the fabulous wine from Knappstein Wine from the Clare Valley.Glenn Barry from Knappstein will be there to talk you through the offerings (FYI, I adore their Riesling). Tickets are $60 a head including wine. To book, call 9245 9800.
  • Henschke ‘Full Monty’ Tasting at The Botanical (169 Domain Rd, South Yarra) – Here is a unique opportunity to try a mind-blowing range of wines at the Henschke ‘Full Monty’ Tasting at the Bot from 5-7pm. An extraordinary lineup of 10 current release wines will be on show, including the Abbotts Prayer 2010, Tappa Pass 2010, Cyril Henschke 2010, the sublime Mt Edelstone 2012 & rising to a crescendo with the regal Hill of Grace 2009. A rare chance to taste through the full range of wines from one of Australia’s most iconic producers. Tickets are $15 a head and can be booked by calling 8644 4040.

Friday 21st November

  • A Dinner Worth its Weight in Nutmeg at Merchant Osteria Veneta (465 Collins St, Melbourne) – Venice was built on the spice trade, as a port trading in rare and expensive spices such as cardamom, pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon and saffron. Experience a three-course Venetian dinner that highlights these once rare spices. Dinner is $160 a head including wine. For bookings, call 9614 7688.
  • Lamb & Sangiovese … It’s an Oldie but a Goodie at Carlton Wine Room (172-174 Faraday Street, Carlton) – The Carlton Wine Room are offering a four-course menu to celebrate new season lamb. Each course shows off the meat, paired with a different sangiovese. Dinner is $115 a head including matched wines. To book, call 9347 2626.
  • Cafe Vue Mixology: British Colonials (430 Little Collins St, Melbourne) – The British Imperial Century: Spanning from 1815-1914 it remains the greatest display of world dominance both economically and politically. The Empire, at its height encompassed territories including India (colloquially known as the British Raj), Burma, Hong Kong Island and of course, Australia. Join Eddie from The Lui Bar and Michael from Bistro Vue as they celebrate the legacy with the iconic East India cocktail, the Pegu club and a menu that traces the Empire at the height of its power. 5 courses with 5 matching cocktails for $95 a head. Book by calling 9691 3899.
  • Arthur Boyd: Brides Exhibition Opening Dinner at Cafe Vue Heide (7 Templestowe Road, Bulleen) – Arthur Boyd’s series ‘Love, Marriage and Death of a Half Caste’, more commonly known as the Brides, represents a defining achievement in the artist’s career, and is one of the most significant paintings of twentieth-century Australian art. After a sneak preview of the exhibition, enjoy a three-course dinner with matching wines. Dinner is $120 a head and can be booked by calling 9852 2346.
  • ASCA Cheese, Wine & Talk at Brasserie Bread (121 Thistlethwaite St, South Melbourne) –  Small, local & beautiful: how a family can have 10 cows and a few goats on a small farm and run a sustainable and profitable dairy business. Hear how it’s done in France and Ireland, and how it can be done in Australia.Hear world-renowned French cheesemaker, educator and consultant, Ivan Larcher, talk about how it is done in France, including on his own small dairy farm in France with around 12 cows.  Then Irish dairy microbiologist, Dr Ed Fox, now resident in Melbourne, will tell us how it is done in Ireland.  And Carla Meurs, co-owner of Holy Goat Cheese and President of ASCA, explains how it can be done here in Australia.Eat some of the ASCA cheesemakers’ delicious handmade cheeses, with organic artisan sourdough breads from Brasserie Bread. Drink some interesting small producer Victorian wines chosen to go beautifully with the cheese and bread. Tickets are $50 a head and can be booked online here.

Saturday 22nd November

  • The Jimmy Watson Sumptuous Spring Spit (333 Lygon Street, Carlton) – Times may have changed but some things stay the same at Carlton institution Jimmy Watson’s. Join Jimmy’s son Allan as he fires up the spit for an afternoon of culinary delights matched to Jimmy Watson wines and some ring-ins. Lunch includes a taste of a recent Jimmy Watson Trophy winner, and dessert comes with tokay, port and liqueur muscat from the late 1940s. Take home a bottle of Jimmy Watson shiraz or chardonnay.Lunch is $99 a head and can be booked by calling 9347 3985.
  • Get Ready for Christmas with George Calombaris at Hellenic Republic (26 Cotham Road, Kew) – Join George Calombaris as he helps you unlock the secrets to a delicious and easy festive lunch! With the silly season well and truly upon us, it’s time to start creating your Christmas menu. Watch George demonstrate some of his favourite festive Greek inspired dishes over a relaxing afternoon in the function rooms at Kew. Later you can sit back and relax as the dishes are served up for you to taste and enjoy. You’ll also receive a little gift from George to take home with you! Lunch is $130 a head and can be booked online here.
  • A French Journey with Jacques Reymond at Bistro Gitan (52 Toorak Road West, South Yarra) – It’s a family affair when Jacques Reymond returns to the stove to prepare a special lunch that is served by his kids. The five courses of French bistro-style dishes may include salmon with champagne and sorrel. Lunch is $95 a had and can be booked by calling 9867 5853.
  • “The Best of the Best” A Wine Tasting at Mezzo (35 Little Bourke St, Melbourne) – This is it folks – your chance to taste the best and brightest wines discovered by our friends at The Wine Depository in 2014, while enjoying the fruits of Mezzo’s new pizza oven! Phil Smith from The Wine Depository always presents great wine from all over the world and this time he is taking it a step further. Come along to our final tasting for the year and enjoy a stunning example of each of sparkling, white, rose, red and sweet wines. Tickets are $10 a head and can be booked online here.
  • French Revolution: New vs Old at Paringa Estate (44 Paringa Road, Red Hill South) – Chef Philippe Mouchel heads to the Mornington Peninsula to take on Paringa Estate’s Head Chef Julian Hills as they prepare a six-course French degustation menu. The evening starts with canapes and champagne. From here each chef prepares three dishes matched with top wines from France (Philippe) and Paringa Estate (Julian). Dinner is $160 a head and can be booked by calling 03 5989 2669.
  • Morrexico at Flinders (Cnr Cook & Wood Streets, Flinders) – Terminus marries modern Mexican cuisine with the flavours of North Africa to create Morrexico, a vibrant five-course fiesta. Bring the amigos to try the Morrexican pancake filled with chermoula and tequila-marinated slow-roasted lamb shoulder, which has balance and bite. Dinner is $130 a head and can be booked by calling 03 5989 0201.
  • Barossa, Be Consumed Long Lunch (64 Sutton St, North Melbourne) – Maggie Beer shows off the gastronomic delights of her home, the Barossa Valley, at a long lunch. Barossa-inspired dishes are paired with fine Yalumba wines from some of the most distinguished vineyards throughout the region. Lunch is $200 a head and includes matched wines. To book, call 08 8561 3563.

Sunday 23rd November

  • Cream of the Crop Dairy Festival at Ormond Hall (557 St Kilda Road, Melbourne) – The best of Australia’s dairy produce is available at Melbourne for the first ever Cream of the Crop Festival, hosted by the Dairy Industry Association of Australia. The event showcases Australia’s amazing cheeses, ice-creams, yoghurts, butters and other dairy delights. Admission includes unlimited tasting as well as entry into dairy masterclasses throughout the day. Kids under 12 are free. Wine, beer and cheese platters are available for sale. Tickets are $20 a head and can be purchased online here.
  • River and Ridges Winery Ride at Mitchelton Winery (470 Mitchellstown Road, Nagambie) – Ride alongside world renowned Orica GreenEDGE Cycling team throughout the picturesque Nagambie Lakes wine region, and enjoy one of the most spectacular rides of the season, just 90 minutes from Melbourne. Tickets range from $49 – $119 and you can register online here.
  • Victorian Wine Show at Mitchelton Winery (470 Mitchellstown Road, Nagambie) – Join the wine show at Mitchelton Wines to sample the Best of Victorian wines. It’s your opportunity to  taste the results for yourself. The Wine Show Tasting is occurring in conjunction with the River to Ranges Winery Ride. Tickets are $20 a head and can be purchased online here.
  • Spring Sunday Family Roast at The Local Taphouse (184 Carlisle Street, St Kilda) – Book your spot in the Locals beer garden terrace and enjoy a classic spring Sunday roast with friends and family. Choose between pork or lamb, and enjoy duck fat chat potatoes and seasonal sides. Enjoy the sun, great company and a delicious communal feast with all the trimmings at one of Melbourne’s leading craft beer venues. Two-for-one tasting paddles of outstanding craft beer are available to accompany your meal. Wet weather option inside: the event runs rain or shine. Lunch is $38 a head and can be booked by calling 9537 2633.
  • Nourish at The Builders Arms (211 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy ) – Upstairs at the Builders Arms Hotel, brilliant young winemakers James Erskine of Jauma Wines in South Australia and Patrick Sullivan of Victoria will make a mighty team with Andrew McConnell and Josh Murphy to present a very serious selection of things that are very good fun to eat and drink. We’ll be serving some of our favourite new local and international wines alongside food to match, with the sole purpose of nourishment, fun and you feeling good. James and Pat will present some of their favourite, happiness inducing wines while Andrew and Josh prepare matched dishes from the open kitchen. Join us upstairs at Builders Arms Hotel for what we know is going to be an unbelievably fun day/night. Lunch is $140 with matched drinks. To book , call 9417 7700.
  • Morris Jones Wine Club: Champagne and Sparkling of the World (163 Chapel St, Windsor) – Morris Jones presents Champagne and sparkling for your drinking pleasure. Hosted by Hayden Burbank with guest speaker, the Red and White Brand ambassador, Matt Talbot. The night features a selection of wines with matching canapes. The masterclass is $60 a head and you can book by calling 9533 2055.
  • Bingsoo Expert: The Snowball Effect at Patbingsoo (128 York Street, South Melbourne) – Balls of snow (shaved ice) topped with delicious sweets are a popular Korean treat. Patbingsoo are running a snow workshop, where snow mountains can be decorated with traditional sweet red beans and ricecake pieces or fruit, jellies, meringues and crumbles. Most creative entries receive a dinner for two. Workshop is $30 a head and can be booked by calling 8060 5771.
  • Fiesta Noviembre at The Richmond Club Hotel (100 Swan St, Richmond) – Say hola to summer and get to this rooftop party celebrating everything about Mexican culture. Eat favourite Mexican dishes such as tacos, mini burritos and more, washed down with margaritas and other Mexican drinks. Tickets are $50 pre sale or $60 on the door and include drinks and nibbles. To book, call 9428 6722.

10th November – 16th November 2014

Monday 10th November

  • MoVida Iron Chef at MoVida Aqui (Rear of 500 Bourke Street, Melbourne) – Five chefs. Five dishes. You decide. Frank Camorra and his head chefs from the MoVida kitchens face off to see whose cuisine reigns supreme. Can they beat the boss? Or will Frank still show them how it’s done? Dinner is $135 with matched wines. To book, call 9663 3038.
  • IDES at Persillade (150 Wellington Parade, East Melbourne) – IDES a movement by Peter Gunn Jnr. sous chef of Attica, which is ranked #32 of the list of San Pellegrino’s 50 Best Restaurants in the World. Hosted at Persillade in East Melbourne, serving a tasting menu reflecting their take on produce, technique and flavour. IDES is crafted by the minds of today for a concrete tomorrow, in pursuit of creation not perfection. Dinner is $100 a head, $150 with matched wines and you can book by emailing eat@idesmelbourne.com.au or you can book online here.
  • Show Your Buns at Orient East (348 St Kilda Road, Melbourne) – Show us your buns!  Baos, filled Asian buns, are the perfect beer food. Orient East offers a choice of five baos and two craft beers from boutique breweries throughout the land. Enjoy 5 bao with 2 matched beer for $50 a head. to book, call 9685 2900.
  • Book Launch: Melt : a Book of Incomparable Cheese Recipes by Bob Hart, Will Studd & Dean Cambray at Books for Cooks (Shop 13, Prahran Market, 163 Commercial Road, South Yarra) – What do you get when you combine the talents of Australia’s Maitre de Fromagier (Will Studd – Fromagent, Calendar Cheese, Cheese Slices), one of Australia’s most senior Food & Wine writers (Bob Hart – Herald Sun, 3AW & more) and one of the world’s best food photographers (ex chef Dean Cambray)? A cracking great book on cheese! Packed with great recipes and beautifully photographed, Melt! is an incomparable collection of the best cheese recipes ever devised.  Will, Bob & Dean have put together a wonderfully accessible book of cheese recipes, perfect for every season and type of cheese. Each recipe by Bob has cheese notes from Will and is photographed by Dean.  You will be hungry! Tickets to the launch are  $49.95 per person and includes a copy o the book. You may purchase your tickets online here.
  • The 5 Faces of Riesling at Northern Light Restaurant (102 Smith Street, Collingwood) – Celebrate the ‘New Season’ with the 5 faces of Riesling, a stunning 5 course menu matched with New and Old world wines with guests speaker: Patrick Walsh from Cellarhand. Tickets for dinner are $85 per person and you can book your spot by calling 9416 0698.

Tuesday 11th November

  • Taste of Sichuan at The Point (Aquatic Drive, Albert Park Lake) – Take a sensory journey over a four-course meal that draws on food influences from Australia and the Sichuan province of China. Taste dishes traditionally enjoyed by rulers of the ancient dynasties, and over the course of the meal, learn about the origins of the dishes to better understand their complexity and preparation. Accompanied with sommelier-matched wines as well as traditional Chinese spirits, this is an evening to remember. Dinner is $140 a head including beverages. To book, call 9286 5566.
  • 10 Years, 10 Dishes at Tutto Bene (Mid-level, 3 Southgate Avenue, Southbank) – Help Tutto Bene blow out ten birthday candles and celebrate Italian cooking and its culinary history. The ten-course tasting menu featuring artisanal produce and traditional techniques revisits the past, savours the present and peeks into the future of Tutto Bene and its love of all things Italian. Dinner is $100 or $170 with matched wines. To book, call 9696 3334.
  • Lessons From the Butcher at Bar Nacional (727 Collins Street, Melbourne) – One for the carnivores: learn how to butcher a whole pig with resident meat-lover, head chef Alex Drobysz, who shows why pork is his preferred meat. Finish with four porky courses. A selection of Spanish beverages is offered throughout the class and dinner. Dinner is $120 a head including matched drinks. To book, call 9252 7999.
  • Wonton 3 Ways at Orient Teahouse (455 Chapel Street, South Yarra) – Everybody loves dumplings. Learn from Oriental Teahouse how to make beautiful wontons the traditional way and use them in a soup or even a salad. Leave with ideas to create your own at home. Includes a meal after the hands-on class. Tickets are $55 and can be booked by calling 9826 0168.
  • The Wine Station Wine Dinner at The Estelle (243 High St, Northcote) – The Wine Station are collaborating with The Estelle to bring you a fantastic night of wine and food matching with 6 fabulous courses accompanied by 6 equally fabulous international wines. The dinner is to be hosted by the ever knowledgeable Victoria Sharples who will talk you through each  pairing.  Dinner is $150 a head and includes wines. to book, call 9489 4609.
  • Henschke Wine Dinner at No.8 by John Lawson (Crown Riverside, Crown Casino, Southbank) – With a legacy of wine production that has been built over 140 years through 5 generations, Henschke is known for pioneering single-vineyard and varietal wines. Set across Eden Valley, Barossa Valley and the Adelaide Hills, Henschke is most famous for its Hill of Grace and Mount Edelstone Shiraz, but constantly strives to create new innovative styles. Join us at No. 8 by John Lawson for a 5 course culinary journey, where you’ll enjoy a perfect pairing of Barbeque Yarra Valley Venison loin with the 2009 Hill of Grace. And for dessert? Delight in the combination of a vanilla panna cotta with the 2012 Noble Rot Semillon. Dinner is $300 a head and bookings are essential, call 03 9292 5777.
  • DiGiorgio Wine Dinner at Taxi (Federation Square, Melbourne) – Join DiGiorgio for a very special dinner at Taxi where they will match their wonderful range of wines with Taxis amazing food. Dinner is $140 a head and can be booked by calling 9660 9909.
  • The Great Chefs Lunch at Matteo’s (533 Brunswick St, North Fitzroy) – William Angliss Institute and Matteo’s are thrilled to announce a special lunch to be held as part of the William Angliss Great Chefs Program. A former Angliss student himself, Matteo will host a lunch in his restaurant, welcoming 12 apprentice chefs and 12 front of house William Angliss students to work on site at Matteo’s in North Fitzroy. Under the guidance of Matteo & Executive Chef Brendan McQueen, the apprentices will produce and serve a seasonally inspired three course lunch matched with wine. As one of Melbourne’s most respected restaurateurs, Matteo believes in training the next generation of hospitality professionals. The lunch will provide an invaluable opportunity for the next generation of young chefs and waiters to gain hands on experience in one of Melbourne’s finest two hatted restaurants. Lunch is $75 a head and can be booked online here.

Wednesday 12th November

  • Gastronomique at Peninsula (Central Pier, 161 Harbour Esplanade, Docklands) – Gastronomique is Anglicare Victoria’s gala food & wine charity night, which supports vulnerable children. More than 25 of Victoria’s top chefs create a unique evening of food & wine, including spit-roasted goat shoulder & Finders Island suckling lamb. Chefs include Adam D’Sylva from Coda & Tonka, Scott Pickett from Estelle & Saint Crispin, Gabriele Olivieri from Bottega, Oliver Gould from Stokehouse, Perry Schagen from The Graham, Colin Wood from Cumulus Inc, Tony Twitchett from Taxi Kitchen, Olimpia Bortolotto & Daniel Kranjcic from Cecconi’s Flinders Lane, Barry Davis from Montalto, Mathew Macartney from Eleonore’s at Chateau Yering, Nicky Riemer from Union Dining, Ludo Baulacky from Oscar W’s & Daniel Wilson from Huxtable. Dinner is $150 + $150 donation including matched wines. Email dinner@anglicarevic.org.au to book.
  • The Laotian Experience at The Orchard Room (31 Artemis Lane, Melbourne) – Embark on an authentic dining experience to the Kingdom of Laos over seven traditional and authentic plates. Laotian cuisine is known for its freshness, seasonality and regionalism, with a strong emphasis on the elegant use of herbs and spices, its harmonious arrangement of contrasting flavours and textures through carefully balanced infusions of lemongrass, basil, fresh chilli, tamarind, ginger, kaffir lime leaves. The meal comes with matched Chalmers wines, a sustainable vineyard that has embraced Mediterranean grape varieties and is at the forefront of grape-growing in Australia. Dinner is $120 including beverages. To book, call 9603 1601 or go online here.
  • Twenty-five Centuries of Flavour at Bar Idda (132 Lygon Street, Brunswick East) – Twenty-five centuries of foreign occupation by the Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans, Spanish and French have influenced Sicilian cuisine. Over a six-course menu, Bar Idda uncovers the flavours of Sicily’s rich history through its ingredients, dishes and culinary traditions. Each course explores a key period of Sicilian history: aperitivo features modern-day street foods of the urban population, followed by twentieth-century primi and the peasant foods of the immigrants. The mid-course is a portrayal of the seventeenth century when French chefs were brought to the island to prepare elaborate and refined dishes in the palaces of wealthy aristocrats. Discover the fourteenth-century Spanish occupation with secondi, and the opulence of the baron’s feast tables. Two courses of dolce showcase Sicily’s iconic sweet tooth. Dinner is $125 including beverages. To book, call 9380 5339.
  • Nihon Nights at Sake Bar and Restaurant (Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Road, Melbourne ) – Learn about the history and the evolution of Japanese alcohol. Taste Japanese whisky, and get an introduction to Japanese boutique beers, sake and umeshu, matched to Sake’s contemporary Japanese cuisine. Dinner is $120 a head and can be booked by calling  8687 0775.
  • Butcher, Baker and Wine Maker at The Great Den (Argyle St, Fitzroy) – Yalumba winemaker Kevin Glastonbury unlocks the 165-year-old winery’s cellar for a gastronomic journey featuring Melbourne’s top butcher and bakers, paired with award-winning wines. Dinner is $125 including matched wines. To book, call 08 8561 3563.
  • Meat for Alcotarians at The Noble Experiment (284 Smith Street, Collingwood) – Air, sand, foam and liquid nitrogen. Here’s a chance to experience the best of global drink trends: a five-course cocktail degustation, with food to match. Think martini with sous vide onions in juniper and gin, or a smoked foam that features in both drink and dish. Chef Cameron Bell, cocktail master Linus Schaxmann and venue owner Daniel Lemura challenge the way you think about food and drink matching, with the finest of ingredients sourced from across Victoria and abroad. Dinner is $125 with matched cocktails. To book, call 9416 0058.

Thursday 13th November

  • The Rocks Kung Pow Dumpling Dinner (1 Schnapper Point Drive, Mornington) – Head chef Xavier Nalty and Taiwanese chef Yi Ting Chu have created a seven-course Taiwanese-inspired dumpling banquet of savoury and sweet courses. Begin with a steamed Taiwanese scallop bun, then share in an assortment of prawn, pork, chicken, salmon, vegetarian and Wagyu dumplings. Finish with a Taiwanese dessert. Dinner is $40 a head and can be booked by calling 03 5973 5599.
  • Flinders Mixer at St Crispins (300 Smith Street, Collingwood) – To celebrate spring, Saint Crispin is offering a five-course dinner highlighting Flinders Island produce, paired with fragrant spring cocktails. ‘In spring, the grass is greener on Flinders Island,’ says head chef Joe Grbac, who sources many ingredients from there to create a dish such as Flinders Island lamb, nettle puree, baby leek, poached radish. The dedicated mixology team from Saint Crispin’s upstairs bar, Thomas Olive, headed by bartender Alan Mulvihill, matches cocktails to the Flinders Island menu. Drinks to include Death in the Afternoon, Ernest Hemingway’s infamous hangover cure, composed of absinthe and champagne. Dinner is $150 including matched cocktails. To book, call 9419 2202.
  • Talk and Taste – A Word From Our Coffee Experts at Sensory Lab (297 Little Collins Street, Melbourne) –  A tutorial on the perfect cup, showing all the tips and tricks for espresso, plunger and pour-over coffee. Take home 250g of single-origin coffee and a home-brewing guide of popular methods. Masterclass is $25 a head and can be booked by calling 0409 165 164.
  • The Artists Palate at Woodland House (78 Williams Road, Prahran) – The Artist’s Palate celebrates the close links between the culinary arts and the visual arts by taking in elements of colour, form and texture while weaving in taste and smell to achieve their effects. Woodland House chefs offer a five-course menu inspired by the iconic artists and movements of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries such as Cubism and Pop Art, and artworks like Van Gogh’s Sunflowers and Jackson Pollock’s Blue Poles. Over dinner, admire artworks by local artists Vivienne Binns, Mark Wingrave, Paul Knight and Lynne Baines. Dinner is $250 a head which includes matched wines. To book, call 9525 2178.

Friday 14th November

  • Talk and Taste – A Word From Our Coffee Experts at Clement Coffee (Stall 89/116 Cecil Street, South Melbourne Market) – A tutorial on the perfect cup, showing all the tips and tricks for espresso, plunger and pour-over coffee. Take home 250g of single-origin coffee and a home-brewing guide of popular methods. Masterclass is $25 a head and can be booked by calling 0409 165 164.
  • Cafe Vue Mixology: British Colonials (430 Little Collins St, Melbourne) – The British Imperial Century: Spanning from 1815-1914 it remains the greatest display of world dominance both economically and politically. The Empire, at its height encompassed territories including India (colloquially known as the British Raj), Burma, Hong Kong Island and of course, Australia. Join Eddie from The Lui Bar and Michael from Bistro Vue as they celebrate the legacy with the iconic East India cocktail, the Pegu club and a menu that traces the Empire at the height of its power. 5 courses with 5 matching cocktails for $95 a head. Book by calling 9691 3899.

Saturday 15th November

  • Colour Your Palate at Collins Quarter (86 Collins Street, Melbourne) – An event offering a sensory surprise: an eyeful of colour, a zing for the palate, textures to tease and aromas to delight. Chef Nikki Smith has drawn menu inspiration from the colours and flavours of seasonal fruit. Guests will experience a five-course menu exploring sweet and savoury flavour combinations, perfectly matched to wines from Mac Forbes, a winemaker James Halliday calls one of the ‘young guns of the Yarra Valley’. Mac takes a ‘terroirist’ approach to his vines, bottling wines from single patches of vines rather than blending vineyards or regions, and guides the personalities of each into the glass. His philosophy to ‘look after the detail, keep it simple and respect the fruit’ is one that resonates at Collins Quarter. On the day, Mac explains how and why Collins Quarter’s food and his wine work so well together. Lunch is $90 a head and can be booked online here.
  • Be a Wine Judge for a Day at Union Dining (270/272 Swan St, Richmond) – Be a wine show judge for a day with James Halliday, AM. The tasting will be at Union Dining from 3.00pm – 5.30pm. James Halliday will host as the top wines from the Western Victorian Wine Challenge and the North East Victorian Wine Challenge are assessed. Following the judging you have the option to stay for a beautiful four course meal beginning at 6:30pm, including eight winning wines, and alongside many of the winning winemakers as votes are counted and the final winners are announced.Whether you come to judge or just to eat, it is a truly rare wine experience, not to be missed. Wine Judging is $30 a head, dinner only is $95 a head, wine judging and dinner is $120 a head. Book by calling 9428 2988.
  • Taittinger Champagne Soiree with Clovis Taittinger at The Botanical (169 Domain Rd, South Yarra) – Join Winestyles for an incredibly stylish ‘Champagne Soiree’ hosted by the very smooth Clovis Taittinger, who will show you through the full range of champagnes from  his prestigious House of Taittinger, culminating in one the highest regarded champagnes in the world,  the exquisite  Comtes de Champagne 2004. All will be complemented by delicious & especially created Champagne inspired nibbles! Join the Botanical between 3 and 5pm, tickets are $35 a head. To book, call 8644 4040.
  • A Feast of Fusion at Nobu Restaurant (Crown Riverwalk, 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank) – With 30 locations around the world, and three of these holding Michelin stars, Nobu’s name and food has become an institution in the restaurant world. Chef Nobu Matsuhisa is famed for his innovative New Style fusion of Japanese and South American flavours, brought on by his emigration to Lima, Peru, and his inability to find traditional Japanese ingredients locally. This is a rare chance to experience the full flavour of his signature dishes as a buffet-style lunch, and taste what it means to have the highest standards in Japanese cuisine. Relax and be treated to a feast of the menu, with famous dishes such as yellowtail sashimi with jalapeno and black cod in miso. An event you won’t want to miss. Lunch is $190 with a glass of Yalumba Sparkling or $220 with a glass of Moet. You can book online here.
  • Friends with Vegetables at Town Mouse (312 Drummond Street, Carlton) – Bring some friends for a multi-course meal based around vegetables, accompanied by wines made especially for the occasion by Patrick Sullivan and Anthony Fikkers, and see how vegetarian food can be just as delicious as meat-based ones. Please note the restaurant uses dairy and egg products: this is not a vegan lunch. (Sorry, vegans!) Lunch is $60 a head which includes a glass off wine. To book, call 9347 3312.
  • La Tavola Italiana ‘The Italian Table’ at Savoia Restaurant (71 Wellington Road, Wandin North ) – Indulge in delicacies from Roma to Piedmont, Milano to Sicily within the elegant surrounds of Savoia. Locally sourced, organic produce and wholefoods are transformed into a sumptuous five-course degustation that is a true experience for the senses. A range of iconic Italian and local wines are expertly matched to each course for the ultimate indulgence. If you wish to spend the weekend in the stunning Yarra Valley, return transfers can be arranged from your local accommodation; contact the venue for further information. Dinner is $85 a head, $125 with matched wines. To book, call 03 5964 2409.
  • Cider and Pork Extravaganza at Magnolia (190 Mt Buller Road, Magnolia) – Magnolia’s Travis Boltong prepares a three-course European-inspired menu of local free-range pork to accompany handcrafted Tin Shed cider. Dinner is $80 with matched ciders. To book, call 03 5779 1000.
  • Fitzroy Foodies for Homelessness (165-169 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy) – A food and wine tasting masterclass with UK wine expert Matthew Jukes. 10 wine tastes with 10 matching canapés. All wine and canapés donated by wineries and restaurants that are friends of St Mary’s. Following the masterclass, a plate of food will be served and we invite guests to stay for a drink. Wine sold by the glass after the masterclass. This event is organised by St Mary’s House of Welcome; a community support service offering meals, showers, emergency relief and a safe place to be for people experiencing homelessness, poverty and mental illness. Tickets are $60 a head and can be booked via zoe.lake@smhow.org.au or call 9417 7985.
  • Eat your Ethics Sausage Making Workshop at Jonai Farm (129 Morgantis Road, Eganstown) – At ethical pig farm Jonai, ethicurean farmer and meatsmith Tammi shows how to bone out a shoulder, cut, mince and stuff a variety of sausages, including Jonai’s signature Toulouse and a spicy chorizo. Feast on freshly made sausages with locally grown and organic produce from Angelica Organics and Captain’s Creek organic wines. Workshop is $100 a head including organic wine. To book, call 0422 429 362.
  • Sake Glass Tasting at The Chefs Armoury (422 Church Street, Richmond) – The flavour of Japanese sake covers a wide spectrum and in terms of the best vessel to drink from there is no one size that fits all. Fragrant or fruit driven styles of Daiginjo, for instance, can be decimated by serving it in a tiny ochoko. Likewise serving a steely, lean style of sake in a cup with rim that is too broad makes it appear flabby.  Experience first-hand how sake can be enhanced by the correct choice of drinkware. Includes take-home sake cups worth $100. Led by certified sake sommelier Leigh Hudson. Masterclass is $65 a head and can be booked by calling 9429 1139.
  • Get Ready for Christmas with George at Hellenic Republic (26 Cotham Rd, Kew) – Join George Calombaris as he helps you unlock the secrets to a delicious and easy festive lunch! With the silly season well and truly upon us, it’s time to start creating your Christmas menu. Join George as he demonstrates some of his favourite festive Greek inspired dishes over a relaxing afternoon in our function rooms at Kew. Later you can sit back and relax as the dishes are served up for you to taste and enjoy and find some inspiration for your festive table. You’ll also receive a little gift from George to take home with you! Tickets are $130 a head and you can book by calling 9207 7477.

Sunday 16th November

  • The Ezard Sunday Lunch (187 Flinders Lane, Melbourne) – Sunday lunch at ezard means good times with family and friends while enjoying the classic Australian dishes, wine and beer that inspire the chefs, who have recreated a five-course degustation menu to highlight these classics in a contemporary fashion. There is a full wine list to explore, and the choice of matched wines with each dish if you desire, plus a couple of little extras on offer on the day. Lunch is $95 a head and can be booked online here.
  • The Long Table Lunch at The Point (Aquatic Drive, Albert Park Lake) – Pull up a seat at the long shared table on picturesque Albert Park Lake for a Sunday barbecue lunch with family and friends. Executive chef Andrew Harmer’s contemporary take on Rangers Valley beef and Flinders Island lamb is served with all barbecue favourites and sides. Desserts such as lemon tart and cheesecake are sure to satisfy those with a sweet tooth. Share dishes and stories with fellow diners as you listen to live music and while your children are transformed into princesses or jungle lions by our talented face painter. A relaxing afternoon out for all ages. Lunch is $75 or adults, $28 for children 12 and under. Book by calling 9682 5566.
  • The Polish Festival at Fed Square (Fed Square, Melbourne) – Now in its tenth year, the Polish Festival is again bringing a taste of Poland to Melbourne. Traditional Polish fare is a blend of Slavic influences, and also shares roots with French and Italian cuisines. Stalls offer pierogi (dumplings filled with mince, brined cabbage, mushrooms, potatoes, onions or cottage cheese) and popular pastries, including the Polish doughnuts, paczki.
  • Pig in a Warehouse (97B Smith Street, Fitzroy) – Jabili Mchawala from The Voodoo Jerk Truck combines the flavours of Jamaican food with some not-so-common ingredients. Rare-breed pigs are transformed into pulled pork and spit-roasted pork belly with jerk spices, accompanied by cornbread, red beans and rice and other Jamaican favourites. Boutique beer and wine varietals are on offer from Yarra Valley winemakers. Lunch is $55 a head and includes 2 glasses of wine and a microbrewed beer. To book, call 0424 446 585.
  • Fluid Festival at Daveys Hotel (510 Neapean Hwy, Frankston) – For one day only, Fluid Festival will showcase some of the world’s finest beers, wines, bourbons and ciders at Daveys Hotel, Frankston. The event will feature stalls from over 20 local and international suppliers, offering the chance to sample a huge range of flavours and styles. Crowd favourites at the festival will include Australian International Beer Awards winners Feral Brewing Company and Thunder Road Brewing Co; Champion of the Show winner at the 2013 Australian Cider Awards, Hills Cider Company plus many more. In addition to tastings, you will have the opportunity to meet some of the best in the business at the ‘Meet The Brewer’ master classes featuring some of the world’s leading brewers, cider makers, distillers and wine makers. Entry is free with tokens for tastings to be purchased on the day.