Food & Wine Festival highlights, CEO interview

Image credit: Jason Loucas

Recently appointed Food and Wine Victoria CEO, Anthea Loucas Bosha reflects on her first year at the helm of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.

With a career in media spanning 25 years focused on food and wine, firstly as the editor of The Sydney Morning Herald’s food section, Good Living and later, a 13-year tenure as the editor-in-chief of Gourmet Traveller, Anthea brings an exceptionally qualified perspective to the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.  

She was appointed to the role in 2018 and is fresh from overseeing her first festival—which ran throughout March.  

"It’s a great honour and privilege to lead the team that produces the best food and wine festival in the world. Many talented people have come before me and laid a great foundation for us to build on – we’re 27 years in the making and I look forward to building the next chapter of this great organisation," Anthea says. "We have a great opportunity to tell the great and diverse stories about food, wine and drinks in this state through our events and also our content.”  

According to Anthea, there’s more than a few reasons why Victoria is the natural home of the Southern Hemisphere’s largest food and wine festival.  

A bowl of green leafy vegetable surrounded by 6 different dishes."Food and wine, and the celebration of it, is ingrained in our community in a way that it is not in other states, it helps define who we are," says Anthea. She also believes that our state’s natural affinity with food and wine is underpinned by our cultural diversity as well as a diverse climate that supports exemplary produce that is world renowned. "Plus, we have some of the world’s most talented chefs, restaurateurs and sommeliers who have created our reputation as one of the world’s finest dining destinations."

Anthea’s favourite event from this year’s festival was the Melbourne World’s Longest Lunch in Prahran’s Victoria Gardens. "It’s one of our signature events and this year’s edition featured an all-star female line-up to celebrate International Women’s Day. The event sold out in less than a day and more than 1600 diners joined us at the gardens for a wonderful, joyous afternoon. It was just spectacular, a great example of how Melburnians love to come together to celebrate the extraordinary food and wine this state has to offer," Anthea says.

With the tables only just cleared and planning already underway for next year’s event, Anthea will be incorporating some take-home lessons from this year’s festival to ensure 2020 is “bigger, better, more delicious and with more fun food and wine experiences.”  

"Under promise and over deliver. Take a punt. One of my great mentors used to say to me: "You’ve got to back yourself, mate." And when I find myself in a potentially tricky situation I try and do that. Oh, and I’ll also be investing in stretchy pants."

The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival is held throughout Melbourne and Victoria each year in March. Find out more on the Festival website.