Food festivals back on the menu
With COVID restrictions all but a distant memory for most of Australia (sorry, WA), food festivals are once again able to bring the very best of Aussie produce to eager punters everywhere. Freedom never tasted so good. In the next few months alone, there are some truly outstanding gastronomic experiences to be had. But where to begin? Right here. We bring you just a taste of what’s on offer over the next few months.
Tasmania, April 23 – 24
A new event by the Cradle to Coast Tasting Trail is set to showcase the farmers, growers and makers of Tasmania’s northwest. TrailGraze will see local producers open their doors for a weekend of workshops, behind-the-scenes tours and tastings, as well as delicious food conceptualised by some of Australia’s best chefs. Held on the weekend of April 23 and 24, the event will feature more than 20 producers. Offerings will range from wine, cider, craft beer and spirits to gourmet foods, fruit, vegetables, nuts, meat and seafood. TrailGraze is free to attend, however, you will need to register here.
Grampians Grape Escape
Victoria, April 29 – May 1
Nestled in one of the most beautiful natural backdrops in Australia, the Grampians Grape Escape is a blissful weekend of regional food, wine and music. This iconic festival has been a celebration of Western Victoria’s producers and makers for the best part of 30 years. Enjoy wine poured straight from the winemaker and taste food direct from the producer. Explore a village of more than 100 stalls, attend masterclasses and cooking demos and enjoy live music and entertaining guest chefs. The Grape Escape is your chance to raise a glass to the district’s hardworking food and wine producers. For more, head to the festival website.
South Australia, April 29 – May 8
Overnight experiences to unexpected places, a Town Square Kitchen dinner that embraces sustainability and reducing food waste, an ode to instant cup noodles and an open-flame progressive dinner at Adelaide’s hottest new restaurant arkhé are just some of the curious and unique events on offer when Tasting Australia returns this April. The 2022 event features the most diverse program yet. It will showcase the best that South Australia has to offer across more than 200 events and 11 regions for 10 delicious days from April 29 to May 8. To check out the full program and to book, head to the Tasting Australia website.
Robertson Potato Festival
NSW, April 30 – May 1
Expertise Events has announced the launch of the inaugural Robertson Potato Festival in the heart of NSW’s Southern Highlands. The potato-growing town of Robertson, the home of the Big Potato, will welcome potato fans from all over NSW to the Robertson Showgrounds on the weekend of April 30 to May 1. From mash to moonshine, there’ll be opportunities to explore the diversity as well as the importance of the potato. It’s the world’s fourth-largest food crop. Events will include cooking demos and competitions, as well as live entertainment. For more info or to buy tickets, head to potatofestival.com.au.
Narooma Oyster Festival
NSW, May 6 – 7
The Narooma Oyster Festival brings you the best of the South Coast in the heart of rock oyster country. Join growers, chefs and producers to celebrate the oyster on the shores of Wagonga Inlet, Narooma. Discover tasty sustainable produce like fish and shellfish, abalone, urchins, kelp, dairy, olives and more. The cooking demonstration line-up features food royalty, including Colin Fassnidge and Rockpool’s Corey Costelloe. You can also explore Oyster Alley to taste produce from local estuaries, and get swept up in the excitement of the Australian Oyster Shucking Championships. To book, head to the festival website.
NSW, May 6 – 8
Australia’s biggest barbecue and music festival, Meatstock is two full-on days of live music, barbecue and grilling competitions, low and slow barbecue, cooking demonstrations, a barbecue expo and much more. Held at the Sydney Showgrounds from May 6 to 8, Meatstock will present some of the biggest names in Australian barbecue. Events include Barbecue Wars, Butcher Wars and King of the Grill, in which the best in the barbie business will be battling it out for cash, prizes and titles. For more info, head to the festival website.
Queensland, May 14 – 15
One of Australia’s top food festivals, Regional Flavours has now evolved and expanded to offer a new suite of programming, immersive experiences and top chefs. The event includes cooking demonstrations and talks with industry leaders, delectable bites and innovative ingredients. Enjoy the best of the region in the picturesque South Bank Parklands. The Marketplace will be filled with producers and artisans within 250km of Brisbane City, including local South Bank stalwarts. More details will be released on the website soon.
Taste of Kakadu
Northern Territory, May 20 – 29
Set within a World Heritage-listed national park, Taste of Kakadu is a bush food experience unlike anything else on Earth. A must for anyone with an interest in food or Aboriginal culture, the 10-day program of events will celebrate Kakadu’s cuisine, culture and Country. From ranger-guided tours to hands-on workshops and a dinner under the stars, there’s a range of events celebrating the culture of Bininj/Mungguy. To check out the full program of events or to book, head to the festival website.
Western Australia, June 24 – 26
Truffle Kerfuffle is a weekend-long celebration of one of the world’s most luxurious ingredients, fresh black truffles. And you can experience them just minutes from where they’re unearthed. Manjimup is the heart of Australian truffle country; almost 90 percent of Australia’s black truffles are found here. Visitors can go truffle hunting, taste their way through the Festival Village and meet farmers and growers. You can discover local wine and food and indulge in truffle-laden experiences and dining events with top chefs. To keep up to date with the 2022 program, head to the Truffle Kerfuffle website.
Scenic Rim Eat Local Week
Queensland, June 25 – July 3
Eat Local Week has something for foodies of all ages, from farm tours and cooking classes through to exclusive dining experiences hosted by some of Queensland’s finest chefs. You can also pay a visit to Australia’s largest camel farm and dairy operation, learn the fundamentals of mixology and discover ways to reuse household waste items that normally head for the bin. This festival of food and farming runs during the first week of the Queensland June-July school holidays at various locations around the Scenic Rim region, just an hour’s drive from Brisbane and the Gold Coast. For more, head to the website.