Taste of Melbourne program highlights

Make your own gin, catch your food heroes in action and watch a head-to-head battle between Sydney and Melbourne chefs.

Clear your schedule - Taste of Melbourne is running for the next three days and with a program like this, you'll need every minute you can get. The tenth iteration of the festival will see some of Victoria's best cooking talent - Andreas Papadakis (Tipo 00), Charlie Carrington (Atlas Dining) and Jo Barrett (Oakridge Wines) to name a few - share their cooking secrets, collaborate on dishes with artists, and serve a selection of dishes from their restaurants, such as the slow-cooked lamb from Hellenic Republic and MoVida's sardines on squid ink croutons.

The festival, presented by Electrolux and major partners Etihad Airways and American Express, will also have a marketplace of Victorian producers, tipis for hire that come with a private bar, and events for children.

The Sydney-Melbourne rivalry will be stoked by a cook-off between Nathan Sasi (Mercado) and Nelly Robinson (Nel), representing Sydney, and locals Charlie Carrington of Atlas Dining and Peter Gunn (Ides). Each chef will prepare a dish before collaborating on a team dish, with the winning city decided by the audience.

If you need a break from the food, try your hand at blending your own gin under the watchful eye of Sydney's Archie Rose Distilling Co, who will also be running a bar throughout the festival. Using distillates of lemon myrtle, blood lime and Dorrigo pepper, you'll create a small sample of gin and, once you've tasted it in either a Gin Old Fashioned or a G&T, you can bottle it. That's right - you get to take home 700mL of your own bespoke gin.

The Table Talks series will give a platform to thinkers and makers; Cameron MacKenzie of Four Pillars Gin discussing the craft of distilling in Australia, Julia Busuttil Nishimura walking you through the pleasures of making your own pasta, and Andre Bishop on sake's growing popularity in Australia.

Get your skates on if you want a piece of the action.

Taste of Melbourne, 30 Nov-3 Dec, Yarra Park, Wellington Pde, East Melbourne, Vic. Entry to festival $25-$35, some events attract an additional fee. Available from ticketek.com.au


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