Last year, my wife S and I attended the Noosa International Food & Wine Festival. It was, as we reported, the most laid-back, coolest, happiest food and wine festival we’ve ever had the pleasure of being at. This coming year, I’m very excited because the Festival organizers have invited me to come back as a participant. I’ll be speaking on a panel and taking part in a cooking competition.
My French family is full of ancestral tradition, and when I visit they always seem to pull out an old recipe that to them seems the epitome of simplicity, and to me seems exquisite and mysterious. The Broyé du Poitou – an old, old recipe for a buttery biscuit coming from the Poitou region of western France – is one such little treasure.
On 30 August 2012, my wife S and I took part in Diner en Blanc Singapore. Since I had not been invited by the organizer’s former PR company, I was also not on their “un-invite” list. I had registered with some friends and the group of us–despite all the social media buzz and bad press that was being circulated–were quite looking forward to taking part in this gourmet flash mob experience. Or rather, our friends BG & V, P & SM, and I were. S, who is not a fan of sweaty, outdoor activities, was begrudgingly going along to make me happy. As was another friend JR, whose wife PP was as excited as I was.
My greedy, gorgeous wife S and I have been to many food and wine festivals, in many different places, over the last decade and a half. We’ve attended festivals as speakers, as working journalists and as members of the public. Some festivals are rather high-brow. Others try hard to connect with the everyman. Many others fall in between, offering a mix of small, exclusive (which means expensive) dinners coupled with affordable experiences that can accommodate large crowds. This can be a hard formula to get right, and many festivals are still struggling to find the right balance. A few others, however, seem to have discovered the magic formula for food festival success.
A few weeks ago, S and I found ourselves attending such a festival. Not only has the Noosa International Food & Wine Festival (held in the small holiday/retiree town of Noosa on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast) perfected the balance between luxury and accessibility, it’s done so with a laid-back sense of humour that is utterly infectious. Before Noosa, I had never attended a food and wine festival in which everyone–the chefs, producers, participants, even the festival staff–seemed to be having so much fun. And for that alone, I would definitely consider going back again and again.
Photo courtesy of the Sydney Morning Herald. Taken by Edwina Pickles. As mentioned in my previous post, uber-foodie Joanna Savill is Festival Director of the Sydney International Food Festival. Joanna kindly allowed me to pester her with a few questions…