Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Get your game face on for #ByronFoodFest

The inaugural Byron Bay Fine Food & Beverage Festival will be held at Elements of Byron. Image: Supplied

Take Byron Bay and its surrounding beaches. Now add food and drink to the mix and you have the perfect formula for Saturday's inaugural Byron Bay Fine Food & Beverage Festival. The June 3 event will see an amazing choice of food and beverages on offer - from high-end signature plates created by 12 celebrated local chefs to artisan ingredients produced in Byron's backyard.

Byron Bay Fine Food & Beverage Festival organiser Remy Tancred. Image: Supplied

"Those who are interested in food and wine are also interested in provenance. This event will be a great opportunity to show off our wonderful Byron Bay food and drink produce which our local community is justifiably proud of," says festival organiser Remy Tancred, who is also behind the hugely successful Sample: A Taste of Northern NSW festival held four times a year in nearby Bangalow. Here are a few reasons to visit the first-of-its-kind festival.

Sample dessert queen Katrina Kantani's Bangalow Mess - one of her signature desserts at #ByronFoodFest Image: Supplied

1. To rub shoulders with some of Australia's top chefs
Enjoy food prepared by some of Australia’s best-known chefs including special guest Neil Perry, (Rockpool Group), Darren Robertson and Mark Labrooy (Three Blue Ducks), Sean Connelly (Balcony Bar and Oyster Co.) and Ben Devlin (Paper Daisy).
Salumi Australia will be one of many artisan ingredients on show at #ByronBayFest 
2. Stock your picnic hamper with artisan produce
Nosh on native ingredients such as KombuCody (Australian wild seaweed harvested by hand), Bottarga Australia (mullet roe sourced from Tweed Heads and transformed into this golden delicacy), Salumi Australia and wild lime products made by indigenous company First Food Co). Brookfarm will also launch Brookie's Slow Gin which uses its macadamia nuts as one of the botanicals.

Rub shoulders with artfully dishevelled locals at Bangalow Farmer's Market. Image: Supplied
3. Mix with laidback locals at the Bangalow Farmers' Market 
Head to the hinterland to the delightful village of Bangalow where you will find Tawnya Bahr, of Straight to the Source, guiding VIP festival-goers around the market. The market is more like a social occasion as the community's artists, artisans, bakers, victualers, therapists, farmers and friends flock to the market with the enchanted forest vibe.

4. To live it up at Elements of Byron
Enjoy wandering around the grounds of Elements of Byron, where the festival takes place on June 3. For the duration of the day-long event, 12 of the country's top chefs will offer up a signature dish for a mere $10 a plate that you can pair with wine from one of 12 visiting wineries. Schedule a return visit to Graze Restaurant for product-driven dishes such as slow-cooked Milly Hill lamb shank terrine with almond hummus, pacific raw tuna, crispy duck skin, shitaake dust and pickled cucumber.

Learn from the masters at the #byronfoodfest this weekend. Image:  Supplied
5. To mix it with the best in a masterclass
Attend a masterclass and learn from producers such as Pierre Issa, of Pepe Saya Butter Co., a bonafide Australian food hero who will be demonstrating how to Churn Some Butter. Chef Luca Ciano will also be demonstrating how to make proscuitto and Olsson Salts will be showcasing its Salts of the Earth at the beachfront festival.

Much of the bounty for the #ByronFoodFest comes from the hinterland, where macadamia nuts farms are prevalent.

Tickets are $20 and include festival entry, a tote bag, wine glass, festival program, masterclass and live music access, and an opportunity to meet some of Australia’s top food and beverage royalty.