Australia’s premier food and wine festival
A few years ago there was a survey conducted about people’s perception of food quality in different countries. Out of 100 countries, Australia was ranked somewhere in the 40’s by people who had not yet had the pleasure of visiting our great country. The same survey was then handed out to people who had been to Australia, and the results were astonishing. Australia jumped the ranks, and ended up coming in as one of the top 3 countries, alongside Italy and France.
I am not surprised by these results in the slightest. Over my last few international trips, it has become even more apparent to me that we really are so very spoilt when it comes to food, customer service, wine and beer, and beautiful venues – even in little old Perth. We have a unique situation in Australia, whereby the vast majority of our population resides around the coast, meaning, at any one point, we are literally just a matter of hours (at most) from our local producers, be it farm or sea. The accessibility of exciting, fresh produce fuels the passion and creativity of those involved in the culinary arts, and helps to establish a high standard of food, establishments and customer service. Our passion, creativity and knowledge is fuelled further by events like the Noosa International Food and Wine Festival.
Now in it’s 12th year, the NIFAWF is a 4 day extravaganza of food, wine, music and fun held from the 14th – 17th of May. I had the pleasure of joining the festival director, Jim Berardo, his colleagues, and notable sponsors for a beautiful launch lunch at The Print Hall on Tuesday. Not only were we fortunate enough to learn about some of the 150+ amazing events taking place at the 2015 NIFAWF (think food trails, outdoor cinemas and long table beach lunches), we were also treated to a delectable 3 course meal from the Print Hall executive chef Shane Watson (who will be appearing at the festival himself). We got a great insight into the things that inspire Shane as a chef, and were privy to some of the freshest local produce around (I even ate raw scampi and jellyfish!).
Discussing the festival over lunch has ignited a fire in my belly and has me itching to go! The festival is the biggest food and wine festival in Australia, and sees over 35,000 visitors over the duration of the event. With drawcard names such as Matt Golinski, Alistair McLeod and Matt Moran, the festival is a melting pot of different culinary styles. The food trails – an initiative that sees you collecting your own produce from the source and cooking it right then and there – and the food critic challenge sound like absolute stand out events… who doesn’t want to see Matt Preston put his money where his mouth is in a cook off?! With so many events over the 4 days, it is hard to know what I want to go and see most!
Check out the festival website and program here – I daresay it will be worth a visit! Do let me know if you decide to visit!