By Vanessa Cavasinni, editor Australian Hotelier

March Into Merivale is back from 14 February to 20 March, with a theme of ‘Guilty Pleasures’. Merivale’s annual food and wine festival will take place over five weeks, with dozens of its venues and chefs taking part in various events.

Justin Hemmes, CEO of Merivale said his is proud of the way the annual festival has evolved over the years, and is excited by this year’s programme.

“Over the past seven years, March into Merivale has transformed from its humble beginnings into one of the most anticipated events on Sydney’s culinary calendar. Across five incredible weeks, the 2016 festival shines the spotlight on our diverse hospitality portfolio and celebrates the wealth of talent leading Merivale into our most exciting year yet."

March Into Merivale will kick off with a launch party on Wednesday 10 February throughout the Ivy complex and surrounding laneways, with food stalls from Merivale restaurants, live music and roving entertainment.

Show And Tell, held on Monday evenings, are classes held by respected Merivale names on a variety of topics including a class on chocolate, with dessert chef Lorraine Godsmark and an Instagram class with Dan Hong and Patrick Friesen.

Tuesday nights will offer patrons two-course meal deals at a variety of Merivale venues, including Ash St. Cellar, The Paddington and Felix. The Showcase series will be held on Wednesday nights, on everything from European cuisine to champagne. Highlights include the Between Two Buns burger cook-off competition, and Room For One More, a takeover of 16 rooms in Establishment Hotel that will combine cocktails and theatrical escapism, featuring drinks from Palmer & Co., J&M, Coogee Pavilion and El Loco.

Chef Signature dining experiences will be held on Thursday nights for food lovers, including Dan Hong’s Chopsticks & Dope Kicks, a combination of an Asian feast and sneaker exhibition; Shellfishness, a seafood feast at a secret location put together by Coogee Pavilion’s Jordan Toft and est.’s Peter Doyle; and The Kitchen Table, an homage to local, organic foods by Danielle Alvarez, chef of the soon-to-be-launched Fred’s.

The weekends will see some of the world’s best DJs playing at Palings and Pacha Sydney on Fridays and Saturdays respectively, while Sundays will be a more laidback affair, with Sunday Sundowns live music sessions happening at ivy Pool Club and Coogee Pavilion.

March Into Merivale will conclude on Sunday 20 march with the Coogee Foreshore Festival with beachside food stalls from Coogee Pavilion, Papi Chulo, El Loco, sushi e and Mr. Wong, live music and family games.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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