Pick your fresh produce, learn from an expert and basically sit back and enjoy a feast!
More than just a market, Queen Victoria is a shopping mecca for Melburnians and visitors alike. The historic landmark has been serving consumers since 1878 with fruit and vegetables, imported gourmet foods, meat, fish, poultry, Manchester, hardware, clothing, artefacts and souvenirs. The seven hectare market is open every day except Monday and Wednesday.
Gaslight night markets began in 1998 and are open on Wednesdays from the end of November to the middle of April.
There are guided tours of the markets on Tuesdays, Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays starting at 10am. These are called Foodies' Dream Tours, which allow you to discover a wide variety of tastes and flavours.
Some of Melbourne's best known chefs conduct day, evening and weekend cooking classes covering Spanish, Middle Eastern, Asian, Turkish and Italian cuisine, as well as basic to exotic seafood preparation and bread-making.
Getaway took a crew to a Geraldine Dawes-Holmes class to learn the ins and outs of preparing seafood risotto and quince and almond tart.
Geraldine is a Cordon Bleu trained chef and has worked as a home economist for a food manufacturer for many years.
These days she is both a tour guide and chef in the cooking school at the markets. Her range is wide and her class might focus on Thai food, a special dinner party, one-dish meals, cooking for diabetics or seafood from around the world.
Her classes feature foods which are in season and she teaches students what to look for to ensure you are buying the best of the best.
Classes are conducted in a Victorian shop off the food court. It has glass doors as a backdrop and market shoppers can be seen walking by.
The demonstration bench has a mirror above and gas burners, and pupils sit at long tables.
The classes are mostly demonstration, but depending on the chef and the participants, there could be some hands-on slicing, rolling, chopping or pouring.
Whatever happens, you get to enjoy the food with a glass of wine, ask some questions and no doubt leave having learned a little more about food in the 2 ½ hour class.