The annual Darebin Homemade Food & Wine Festival has already kicked off for 2018 with a long free program of multicultural and local flavours mixed into exciting events for Melbourne’s food-loving scene.

Starting on Wednesday 16 May with Meet The Makers, Darebin’s favourite festival brought yet another experience to its bustling community with all one needs to know about homemade red wine, white wine, country wines from grain, mead, fruit; you name it.

Apart from the wine, on that first day of the festival, ‘Meet The Makers’ was joined this year by ‘Homemade Marketplace’ when Northcote Town Hall Civic Square transformed into a bustling market featuring local craft beer brewers and spirits selected by Thornbury’s Carwyn Cellars.

A carefully selected range of locally made food and produce the likes of tomato passata, preserved olives, pickled vegetables and ajvar were also on display; with local producers sharing their secrets. Free cooking demonstrations included Thai street food, raspberry wine-making, Spätzle and salami, plus coffee, music and more.

Friday is equally delicious – if not more – as an entry form for the inaugural Darebin Bake Off; tyropites, tsourekia, and spanakopites are competing right next to sponge cakes, cooked and uncooked slices, biscuits, and scones.

This two-day food-athlon was only the initiation to the week-long program of dinners, demonstrations, seminars, and hands-on workshops the Darebin Homemade Food and Wine Festival committee has come up with for 2018.

For yet another year, the festival taps into the food traditions and sustainable food philosophies of the culturally rich residents of Melbourne’s inner north, proudly demonstrating the municipality’s diverse culinary identity. Aside from its usual Mediaterranean suspects, immersing the crowds in Greek, Italian, Mexican, Spanish, Asian flavours this year’s event has a special guest, Indigenous chef Zach Green.

Zach runs Elijah’s – a restaurant that has just opened in Darwin with a semi-permanent site during the dry season. Dishes on the menu include crocodile laksa, smoked magpie goose and green ant cheesecake, and Melburnians will have a chance to experience such bush tucker when Zach joins the final weekend of the Darebin Homemade Food & Wine Festival for two events: a restaurant pop-up and an Indigenous Market. Zach is a Gunditjmara and Palawa man whose dream is to define Australian Indigenous food to the world. When this young chef cooks with indigenous ingredients, he tells the stories of the animals and plants he’s using, explaining their significance and the deep connection between food, kinship and culture. Zach believes food is a key path to reconciliation in Australia.

From 26 May to 3 June the Darebin Homemade Food & Wine Festival 2018 will feature several local Greek producers offering their best produce and advice.

Program highlights

Saturday 26 May
12 noon – 4.00 pm Homemade Marketplace and Meet the Makers @ Northcote Town Hall, 189 High St, Northcote.
12.20 pm Thai Street Food
1.00 pm Darebin Bake-Off
1.15 pm Salami Demonstration
2.15 pm Spätzle Workshop
3.00 pm Raspberry Winemaking Demonstration

Sunday 27 May
12 noon Gardening throughout the Year and Chilli Pickling, Sylvester Hive
2.00 pm Mushrooms are our Future! Intercultural Centre
3.30 pm Pizzaly Wood-Fired Pizza Demonstration & Tasting, Pizzaly
4.00 pm Tibetan Momo Making, Northern Soul Tibetan Cafe
4.45 pm A Vegan Mexican Feast with Juanita, Juanita’s Kitchen

Monday 28 May
6.00 pm Kimchi Mania, Lentil as Anything

Tuesday 29 May
6.00 pm Introduction to Homemade Winemaking, Home Make It
6.30 pm Yoko Nakazawa: Zen Cooking, Melbourne Polytechnic
7.00 pm Pulp Fiction: What to do with the Leftover Pulp, Shoku Iku

Wednesday 30 May

6.00 pm Introduction to Homebrewing, Home Make It
6.30 pm Kaye Roberts-Palmer: Save Our Citrus! Intercultural Centre
6.30 pm Modern Scottish Masterclass, Tallboy & Moose
Thursday 31 May
6.30 pm Paul West: Whole Cookery, Melbourne Polytechnic
7.00 pm Fun Ferments, Preston Library
Friday 1 June
6.00 pm, 7.00 pm, 8.00 pm Tasting Traditional Beer Styles, Tallboy & Moose

Saturday 2 June
10.00 am RetroSuburbia: Aussie Street with David Holmgren, Reservoir Community and Learning Centre
2.00 pm Olive Preserving – Mediterranean Style Intercultural Centre
3.00 pm The Art of Vegan Momos, Lentil as Anything
5.45 pm Meeting Place: Zach Green
Pop-Up Indigenous Restaurant, Darebin Arts Centre

Sunday 3 June
10.00 am Alphington Farmers’ Market Tour and Cooking Demonstration, Melbourne Innovation Centre
10.00 am The Plummery: Garden Tour and Tasting, Private Garden, Northcote 3.30 pm Pizzaly Wood Fired Pizza Demonstration & Tasting, Pizzaly
4.00 pm Flavours and Stories from Iran, Iraq and Syria, Free to Feed HQ
4.00 pm Market on Kulin Nation: Zach Green Pop-Up Indigenous Market, Darebin Arts Centre.