A coffee pioneer, an irresistible chef and author, a pioneering winemaker, the restaurateur who founded ‘Speed Date a Muslim’, the manager of a Melbourne institution and a transformative dairy farmer have been announced as the 2018 inductees to the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival Legends hall of fame.

The food and wine industry icons were inducted into the hall of fame at the Legends and Rising Stars Awards, held last night. The event was hosted by Jill Dupleix with the awards conferred by City of Melbourne’s Councillor Beverley Pinder, together with Hostplus Chief Marketing Officer Umberto Mecchi.

Joining Victoria’s most prestigious group of chefs, producers, culinary educators, wine producers and restaurateurs, the 2018 inductees are:

Food Producer/Retailer or Advocate – Giancarlo Giusti
Giancarlo Giusti co-founded Grinders Coffee House on Lygon Street Carlton in 1962, where he roasted, ground and sold his own coffee beans on site.  He kick-started the obsession with great coffee as part of a strong dining culture and educated a generation.

Chef/Restaurateur or Hospitality Professional – Jason Lui (Flower Drum)
The son of MFWF legend and Flower Drum Executive Chef and owner Anthony Lui, Jason has brought the Melbourne institution and its superior levels of service to greater heights, ensuring it a new relevance in a modern era of dining while protecting its legacy.

Communicator and Educator – Tony Tan (Chef/Cookbook Author)
Malaysian-born, Tony is an irresistible force as a great teacher, brilliant chef and a scholarly, thoughtful writer, with the power to bring people together at the table and who inspires the appreciation of Asian food in multicultural Melbourne.

Wine and Beverage Producer/Retailer or Advocate – Kathleen Quealy (Quealy Wines)
Kath was a force for change that struck the Mornington Peninsula with T’Gallant in 1990 and has been pushing the industry and the Peninsula forward with a series of firsts ever since – from the first unwooded Chardonnay, to being the first ‘queen of Pinot Grigio’.

Local Hero – Hana Assafiri (Moroccan Soup Bar)
Hana is determined to break the cycle of disadvantage for marginalised Muslim women in the community through employment and hospitality. Her initiatives ‘Speed Date A Muslim’ and ‘Conversation Salons’ break down barriers and bring people together in celebration and equality.

Hostplus Trailblazer – Simon Schulz (Schulz Organic Dairy)
Picking up the baton from his grandfather, MFWF Legend Hermann Schulz of Timboon Cheese, Simon is the driving force behind this dynamic organic dairy company. He is trailblazing a regenerative path for fellow dairy farmers, value-adding, and revolutionising wasteful packaging and distribution practices. 

About the Legends

MFWF Legends are people who demonstrate:

Extended service to the Victorian food and wine industry.

An outstanding contribution to the Victorian food and wine industry through
innovation or education, whether creating artisan cheeses or a world-class restaurant, blazing a wine trail, or shaping the next generation of food professionals;

A proven record in inspiring and informing the public, the media and peers as an advocate for Victoria’s rich food and wine culture.

About the Categories

Food Producer/Retailer/Advocate
For their excellence and integrity in the growing, breeding, harvesting, processing or distribution of great food at any level.

Communicator/Educator
For spreading the word and encouraging the appreciation of great food and wine through new or old media, teaching, writing, broadcasting or otherwise — sharing the joy.

Beverage Producer/Retailer/Advocate
For a great contribution to the growing, making, serving or appreciation of beer, cider, wine, spirits or other beverages.

Chef/Restaurateur/Hospitality Professional
For building our food culture and bringing enjoyment and appreciation of great food and wine to us all by virtue of the skill, talent, passion and integrity they bring to the restaurant industry.

Local Hero
For making a positive contribution to our food culture from a grass-roots level, whether working as an individual or as a community. In recognition of the fact that ‘from little things, big things grow’.

Hostplus Trailblazer AwardMust be 40 years or younger and have made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of the Victorian food and wine industry. The nominee must be professionally engaged in the Victorian food and wine industry – whether as a chef, sommelier, winemaker, journalist, caterer, producer, restaurateur, educator, retailer or other.

About Food and Wine Victoria

Food and Wine Victoria is the organisation behind the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival presented by Bank of Melbourne and supports the Victorian food and wine industries year-round through collaboration with the many stakeholders who contribute to these multimillion-dollar industries.

About Melbourne Food and Wine Festival

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival (MFWF) presented by Bank of Melbourne is Australia’s internationally acclaimed celebration of food and wine. Now approaching its 27th year in 2019, MFWF is a state-wide celebration with more than 300 events across Victoria.

Source: Melbourne Food and Wine Festival