Taste the future at Melbourne Knowledge Week

What does the food of the future taste like? Find out in the most delicious way possible at Melbourne Knowledge Week in May.  These seven foodie events are the ones to watch out for. All events are at Meat Market in North Melbourne.

A group of people sitting and talking at a long dinner table with candles

Utopian Foods Cafe and bar

Dinner events

WTFish: A sustainable seafood dinner

Renowned chefs Sascha Rust and Gemma Calleja present WTFish: a sustainable seafood dinner, a culinary celebration of the ocean’s bounty. They’ll discuss ways we can preserve nature’s delicate ecosystem to ensure we provide for an abundant fishy future. Let your mouth be your guide as these environmentally-conscious chefs plate up salty sea creatures that are both sustainable and delicious. Friday 24 May.

Convo and Local Peoples present: Speculative futures dinner

The Convo concept brings together the art of conversation and the pleasures of fine dining. Across three courses, six intriguing questions and one special evening, the Speculative Futures Dinner will feed your curiosity at an unique long table experience. With chefs from Charcoal Lane serving up thoughtful native ingredients, and a Starward cocktail upon arrival, a tantalising evening awaits. Thursday 23 May. 

Utopian Foods Dinner

From edible insects to spent brewers grain, the Utopian Foods Dinner will transport you to a future where the food we eat is sustainable, unusual and delicious. Using an interactive six-course meal to highlight issues such as climate change and biodiversity loss, dishes featured are the creations of Slow Food Project’s chef Ben McMenamin. Matching beverages for each course have been specially chosen by Orlando Marzo, winner of the World Class Global Bartender of the Year 2018.

Workshops and discussions

How can a pickled cucumber shape the future worker?

Were the old ways really better, and what can we learn about the future of work from how we did things in the past? Pickling cucumbers is the surprising answer! This traditional pickling workshop pulls apart the process from preserving cucumbers to making gherkins. Along the way you’ll mindfully consider how we can keep our jobs human-centred and avoid being replaced by robots. Tuesday 21 May.

two jars of pickles and gherkins sitting on a table

Learn about the process of pickling from preserving cucumbers to making gherkins

Long table: What is the future of democracy in Australia?

Pull up a pew at the long table and get ready to wrestle with this curly question – what is the future of democracy in Australia? The long table format is a twist on the conventional panel discussion, and gives everyone a chance to participate. Have your say alongside guest speakers ranging from artists, activists, innovators and professionals. Friday 24 May. 

Kitchen narratives

Do you have dream kitchen goals – endless marble benchtops, shiny appliances and white subway tiles? Do you imagine friends and family nestled together enjoying culinary creations inspired by TV chefs? Our obsession with the perfect kitchen and performing foodie fantasies is explored in Kitchen Narratives, an exhibition and panel discussion on Thursday 23 May. 


Utopian Foods cafe and bar

Fringe food – insects, vegan protein, lab-grown meats, algae and more – is about to go mainstream. They’re all on offer at Utopian Foods, a week-long cafe and bar pop-up at the Melbourne Knowledge Week Hub, where you’ll be tempted by hemp-based snacks or invasive species light meals. These really are tasty morsels and they’re inspiring our future foodie culture, so get stuck in! There’s also locally roasted and produced coffee from Market Lane, St David Dairy and La Marzocco.
The drinks menu highlights the latest in emerging beverage trends, while World Class Global Bartender of the Year, Orlando Marzo, has created a MKW signature cocktail. Sip on Four Pillars ‘Bloody Shiraz’ Gin, orange verjus, mint and Capi yuzu during post-event debriefs. Buzzing conversations are the order of the day. Utopian Foods cafe and bar is open from Monday 20 to Sunday 26 May.

A plate of heavily styled food

Utopian Foods Cafe and bar