Whether you consider yourself the next Jamie Oliver or Julia Child or just prefer to satisfy your taste buds with a variety of quality food and wine, you’re sure to find plenty to enjoy at the many foodie festivals around the country. From luxurious long lunches and in-depth wine tastings to cooking demonstrations from top chefs from around the world, there is something to satisfy every taste at the major food and wine events in Australia. Read on for five major festivals to visit this coming year.
Select a hotel in Canberra and then prepare to enjoy a taste sensation at Fireside Festival. Held in various venues around the capital city, the winter festival runs during August and is full of fun ways for locals or travellers to warm up — from degustation dinners and wine tastings to hot chocolate tastings in front of a roaring fire, there is something for every foodie to enjoy. The festival (and its summertime counterpart) is run by a local Canberra collective called The Poacher’s Way. This collection of passionate small business owners host events to showcase the innovative and quality experiences on offer in the region and invite visitors to discover the chefs, winemakers, galleries, artists, musicians and hoteliers making a living from doing what they love.
Noosa International Food and Wine Festival
Held over four days in the middle of May, the Noosa International Food and Wine Festival brings chefs and other food and wine lovers from all around the world to the beautiful Sunshine Coast to celebrate and enjoy a range of fine cuisine and beverages. This year more than 200 invited chefs, producers, restaurateurs, winemakers and media representatives, plus thousands of foodies, will descend on Noosa to taste, sip, talk, learn and indulge. Events include long lunches, food trail tours, degustation dinners, guest chef events, cooking demonstrations and classes. The Festival is one of Australia’s premier food and wine events and celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2013.
Melbourne Food and Wine Festival
Another one of the country’s premier food and wine events, the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival has been wowing locals and travellers alike for more than 20 years. The festival features a world-class program of more than 200 events that will be held over 17 days during February and March. A collection of Melbourne’s premier restaurants, laneways, basements and rooftop venues around the city and throughout regional Victoria are set to play host to a wide range of events that include cooking demonstrations and classes, long lunches, guest chef dinners, wine experiences and children-friendly workshops. The 2014 festival is themed around water, so patrons can “dive” into topics such as the best utilisation of this commodity in cooking and winemaking; irrigation and aquaculture; and hand-diving practices.
Taste of Sydney
Held in the middle of March, the Taste of Sydney festival provides travellers with four days of foodie heaven. This feast for the senses is run annually and celebrates the diverse and contemporary food scene in the New South Wales capital. Foodies can head along to the idyllic Centennial Park in the inner-city to enjoy the premier pop-up restaurant food festival in Australia. The Taste of Sydney event features, as its name suggests, tapas-sized tastes of various gastronomic delights from restaurants and chefs around the city. Patrons can also enjoy samples of wines, beer and produce from over 120 boutique producers, as well as live entertainment and cooking and cocktail-making demonstrations. The event also hosts a beer hall, country kitchen, cider bar, chef’s “skillery” and V.I.P. lounge.
Savour Tasmania was launched in 2009 and has evolved into one of the most highly-anticipated annual festivals in the state of Tasmania. The epicurean festival aims to raise awareness of the quality winemakers, chefs, producers and restaurateurs in the area and promotes the region as a total destination for food and wine experiences. Local and international chefs and winemakers will present a range of degustation and long-table dinners, classes, demonstrations and a specialty wine weekend over four days in May. Events are held around the state in cities such as Hobart, Launceston and Burnie.
About the Author: Silvia Black is a travel writer and restaurant reviewer who loves to discover the latest and greatest new chefs and winemakers.