By Claire Reilly
Smeg is planning a big showing at the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival this year as an official sponsor and Gastronomy Premium Partner, which will see the brand provide appliances to kit out demonstration kitchens across the city.
The event, which is held from 1 – 17 March across various locations in Melbourne, brings together foodies and both local and international chefs to take part in wine tastings, cooking master classes, food and wine matching sessions and keynote talks about trends in global cuisine.
Speaking about the festival, Smeg’s national marketing manager Jim Kalotheos said it was the perfect way to showcase the brand.
“The event has quite a bit of prestige in terms of food events in Australia, and they quite often have chefs from France and Italy and all over the world that come across when it’s held,” he said. “As a Gastronomy Principal Partner we’re involved in setting up a number of different displays that the chefs will use when they demonstrate at the various locations.
“It’s always nice to have the best chefs in the world cooking on Smeg appliances.
“So people will go along and listen and watch as these amazing chefs talk about recipes they’ve been working on or trends they’ve seen overseas and what’s turning on the foodie world. And some of these tickets are upwards of $380, so what you’re getting—especially to the cooking component where we’re involved—is a whole bunch of people who are very, very passionate about food.
For Kalotheos, it is getting in front of these sorts of guests that makes all the difference for Smeg from a marketing point of view.
“I suppose I’d see them as the influencers in their own little worlds and communities when it comes to food,” he said of those attending the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival. These people are very passionate—they do a lot of a cooking, they spend a lot of time entertaining or dining at fine restaurants, and they love a lot of different types of experiences.
It’s not necessarily a mass marketing kind of things—it’s not like you get 100,000 people over 2 weekends—but it’s actually the quality of the people that we’re in front of that makes it appealing on a branding level.”
Smeg will be on show at events including the Cellar Door and Artisan Market, the Earth Master Class and the Langham Master Class, which Kalotheos describes as the “culmination of the event” for Smeg and will showcase products including induction cooktops, ovens and refrigerators.
“So it’s a really exciting event from beginning to end for us,” he added. “It’s a great event and it seems to be really well respected within the food community as well so it’s a nice fit for us.”
Full details on the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival can be found on the festival website.