My idea of a good holiday involves plenty of good food and wine, so combining culinary festivals with trips around Australia sounds like absolute heaven to me. Unfortunately they can dry up around winter, but this is the time when I most feel like venturing out in search of some warm, comforting food and exquisite wine. Thank goodness for the following festivals!
The Western Australia region of Manjimup is the place to be this June 27-29, when the Southern Forest’s black truffle gets its moment in the spotlight. The area includes Pemberton, Northcliffe and Walpole, producing truffles that are equally as good as – or maybe even better than – European counterparts.
The Truffle Kerfuffle is the result of a 2011 meeting with farms involved in the region’s truffle industry, with an emphasis on local input into the festival. These days, guests are invited out on live truffle hunts at some of the world’s most productive truffieres.
This year’s event has pulled in some huge names and personalities, including Guy Grossi, Kate Lamont, Louise FitzRoy and Rob Broadfield. Enjoy masterclasses with the experts, or try a Hunt and Harvest gastronomic experience to remember forever. Add in farmer’s markets, kitchen experiences and demonstrations and you’ve got a winter weekend to look forward to.
Barossa Gourmet Weekend
Set aside August 15 to 17 for the Barossa Gourmet Weekend, featuring 30 events spread across three days.
The famed wine region comes alive with food and drink experiences, along with plenty of entertainment and education to round out the trip. This year’s program has yet to be announced, but if the 2013 event is anything to go by it’s bound to be a ripper. I had an absolute blast at winery days hosted by the likes of Pindarie, Jacobs Creek and Kies Family Wine, let down my hair at the winery evening at Edenmae and ate and drank the night away at a beer and wine degustation dinner at Barossa Valley Brewing.
The event has been running since the late 80s and just seems to get better and better, so make sure you’re ready to attend this year’s festival.
The Truffle Festival
Do you sense a theme here? Winter must be the season of the truffle, with the Canberra and Capital Region hosting its own truffle festival this June and August.
Kicking off on June 21, enjoy eight weeks of celebration of the local Black Perigord Truffle harvest. More than 45 venues across the region participate, with opportunities to taste the prized truffle along with gourmet dinners, cooking classes, farmers markets, wine tastings and truffle hunts.
International celebrity chef Antonio Carluccio is joining in on the festivities this year, so get in quick to secure your spot.