Queen Victoria Market's upcoming Holey Cheese Festival just got a whole lot cheesier with a number of former MasterChef Australia contestants set to cook up a cheese storm.

Between Tuesday 22 October and Sunday 27 October 2019, seven former MasterChef Australia contestants will star at The Market Table – Cheese Series cooking demonstrations.

Each home cook will prepare a signature cheese dish to share with cheese-lovers. Monica Mignone (series 11) will be showcasing her tiramisu; Pia Gava (series 9) will prepare her cavatelli pasta dish; series 11 fan favourite Anushka Zargaryan will make cannoli; while Sandeep Pandit (series 11) will delight with his mixed vegetable and ricotta paneer pakora fritters. Keep an eye on Queen Victoria Market’s social media channels for more information on the Cheese Series.

The Market’s Deli Lane (located next to the Dairy Produce Hall) will be transformed with some of Melbourne’s cheesiest traders setting up pop-up stalls for the week. On the menu will be:
•    RIPE – gooey, bitey and funky cheese toasties;
•    That’s Amore Cheese – traditional cannoli;
•    The Cypriot Kitchen – fried halloumi chips;
•    400 Gradi – award-winning Margherita pizza; and
•    Frencheese – dishing up their famous raclette.

Market stallholders will be joining in the fun with Coffea Coffee offering Sfogliatella Napoletana with orange-scented ricotta filling from their Elizabeth Street café and Geloso Gelateria will dish up a limited-edition cheesecake gelato from their store in the Market’s F Shed.

Festival-goers can walk the terrazzo floor of the Market’s iconic Dairy Produce Hall and indulge in some of Victoria’s best hard, soft, blue, white, fresh and aged rinds before stocking up for their next cheese and wine night. Sample, taste and purchase a wide range of varieties while Market traders share their knowledge and passion for Parmesan, Gorgonzola and everything in between.

To round off the cheesy celebration, visitors can quench their thirst at the Good-a-Bar with perfectly paired wines from Mitchelton Wines and cheese-themed cocktails including:
•    Smoked Cheddar Old Fashioned - a blend of whiskey, orange, bitters and sugar served with Charnwood’s paprika smoked cheddar courtesy of Sylvia’s Deli; and
•    Twisted Tom Collins – think gin, lemon, sugar and soda water with feta-stuffed mini bell peppers from the team at Hellenic Deli.

Market bookstore owner, Tim White from Books for Cooks will share his tips and tricks on how to recreate simple but tasty cheese dishes at home. Visitors can also enjoy the Queen Vic Market Holey Cheese Tour, roving entertainment and live music sets throughout the week.

FAST FACTS
•    When: Tuesday 22 – Sunday 27 October 2019 (excluding Wednesday 23 October)
•    Where: Deli Lane & Dairy Produce Hall, Queen Victoria Market – Therry Street, Melbourne
•    Festival times: Tuesday 22 & Thursday 24 October: 10am – 2pm | Friday 25 & Saturday 26 October: 10am – 9pm | Sunday 27 October: 10am – 4pm

Cooking demonstrations:
- Simon Toohey: Tuesday 22 October at 10am
- Monica Mignone: Tuesday 22 October at 12pm
- Tati Carlin: Thursday 24 October at 11am and 1pm
- Anushka Zargaryan: Friday 25 October at 12pm, 2pm and 4pm
- Sandeep Pandit: Saturday 26 October at 11am, 1pm and 3pm
- Leah Milburn-Clark: Sunday 27 October at 12pm
- Pia Gava: Sunday 27 October at 2pm

For details on the festival and cheese tour bookings, visit qvm.com.au/cheesefest.