We already knew that Vivid Sydney would be extra delicious this year. Vivid Food is now an official pillar for the festival of lights, music, and ideas, adding a necessary layer of hospitality on top of what is already one of Australia’s most varied and exciting festivals.
Perhaps the biggest drawcard of Vivid Food’s inaugural program will be iconic New York restaurant Eleven Madison Park staging a two-week residency at Aria Sydney. Sydney’s been very busy with temporary pop-ups from some of the world’s biggest restaurants so that should be an easy sell-out.
Yet, I’d say I’m more excited by Mary’s Presents HERE NOW, a food and wine festival curated by the good folks behind Mary’s Burgers with a who’s who of Sydney hospitality talent coming together in Macquarie Place Park on Sunday, June 11.
The all-day festival will be focusing on food, wine, art and music with a huge after-party to cap things off. It’s all been co-curated by Mary’s co-founders Jake Smyth and Kenny Graham, alongside noted drinks journalists and P&V Wine and Liquor Merchants co-founder Mike Bennie, as well as highly regarded restaurateur Palisa Anderson of Chat Thai.
Having such well-connected minds at the helm of the festival will lead to a show-stealing line-up that may go down as the best thing to do at Vivid Sydney this year. Smyth, Graham and Anderson have roped in a collection of chefs from New South Wales’ most popular restaurants, each tasked with showcasing three small snack-sized dishes at the festival.
It sounds like HERE NOW will follow a similar format to most large-scale food and wine festivals, spinning in a bunch of masterclasses, producer talks, live music and interactive art between all those various dishes. Restaurants represented include Viand, Bar Copains, Berowra Waters Inn, Fleet, La Casita, Icebergs Dining Room & Bar, Porcine, and of course both Chat Thai and Mary’s.
Holding up the drinks side of things is Bennie with the state’s most innovative winemakers, brewers, distillers and producers. On the line up – P&V Baller Bar, Wildflower Brewing, Blue Mountains’ Frankly wine bar, MEREDITH, Heaps Normal, Ghiddy and more.
Pepper in a bunch of music and I’d say HERE NOW is shaping up as a mighty fine day out to help winter feel a bit less unexciting. The festival will run from 3 PM to 9 PM on Sunday, June 11 and tickets are now on sale, combining entry to both the festival during the day and the after-party at night.