The much loved Multicultural Cook-off is back – with grandmothers!

Hummus wars, chicken soup battles, dumpling divas! Be dazzled by five cooks – Grandmothers from the Chinese, Italian, Greek, Jewish and Islamic communities in Melbourne.

Multicultural Museums Victoria (MMV)’s Multicultural cook-off will be broadcast live on ABC Radio Melbourne and Victoria, Sunday 1 July from 10am – 12noon.

ABC star broadcast team Libbi Gorr and Jon Faine will capture the colour and flavour of the event while the cooks battle it out in front of a live audience at this year’s host venue the Hellenic Museum (the home of Sean Godsell’s 2014 MPavilion).

Be inspired as the nonne and yiayiathes, wàipós, jeddah and bubbes battle it out in the spirit of healthy, tasty and fun competition. The challenge for this year’s chefs is to cook one dish to the theme ‘comfort food’ – those delectable, mouthwatering dishes that only your Grandma can make.

Past cook-offs have attracted high-profile cooks and judges, representing each museum, and this year is no different.

Cooks include Italian all-star chef Rosa Mitchell battling it out for the Italians. Rosa is the author of multiple cookbooks, and runs the popular restaurant Rosa’s Canteen in Melbourne. Islamic cook Lina Haidar runs her own café, Little Bridge Café in Richmond, while Helen Mizrachi, aka Bubba Helen, will be flying the flag for the Jewish community. And the Greek contender, Kathy Tsaples, owner of popular store Sweet Greek at Prahran Market, has also authored cookbooks. Chinese Museum finance officer Pody Tung will be cooking up a storm for her cultural team.

The cook-off is a fantastic opportunity for audiences to witness the true essence of the newly established and unique MMV – five communities harmoniously working together to show off the best of multicultural Melbourne. Through food and a good serving of humour audiences will delight in seeing Melbourne’s exciting and inspiring diversity reflected back at them. “All of our museums have a fundamental purpose in common – to engender understanding, respect and appreciation of our own cultures specifically and of cultural diversity in general,” says Jewish Musem of Australia Director and CEO Rebecca Forgasz. “What more accessible way to do this than through a celebration of our diverse culinary traditions – and so relevant to the foodie HQ of Australia that is Melbourne!”.

Inspired by Jon Faine’s ‘call to cook’, the Multicultural cook-off began in 2015 with the Hellenic, Islamic, Jewish Museums and Museo Italiano (Co.As.It.) battling it out. This year the Chinese Museum is welcomed as a contender, and Multicultural Museums Victoria takes it under its newly formed wing – part of its inaugural exhibition project, ‘Grandmothers’, with the Chinese, Italian, Greek, Jewish and Islamic museums each presenting an exhibition dedicated to the grandmothers of their respective communities.

This free public event is now sold out, but take part in the action by tuning in to 774AM, online at ABC Melbourne or via the ABC Listen app. More info at:

Pictured: last year’s winner Guila Biviano (middle) with volunteers representing Museo Italiano.