Throughout Sydney we have an abundance of world class restaurants and eateries. Generally in order to experience the delights these have to offer you would have to make a booking and dedicate a night out to one individual venue, next weekend though the Taste Of Sydney Collective will bring together over 30 of the city’s finest chefs under one roof for a four day food celebration.
Set to completely transform The Cutaway in Barangaroo, Taste of Sydney Collective will feature never-seen-before collaborations with world-renowned international chefs, local Sydney favourites and interstate superstars to create unique dishes and an electrifying environment for foodies who are seeking something new.
Award-winning Sydney chef, and curator of the chef line-up, Mark Best has hand-picked a roster of extraordinary homegrown international talent including Skye Gyngell of Spring (London), Louis Tikaram of E.P. & L.P (Los Angeles), David Thompson of Long Chim (Sydney) previously of Nahm (Bangkok) and Jessi Singh who is back on Australian soil from the USA and soon to launch Don’t Tell Aunty in Sydney.
Right there alongside these mega internationals are two phenomenal local chefs; Ben Greeno from Merivale and the Centennial in Woollahra, and Clayton Wells from Automota and A1 Canteen.
“The festival is geared towards anyone who loves something delicious to eat,” explained Best, “Obviously foodies are going to get a lot more out of it because they know the personalities behind the food, but at the end of the day you’re going to be able to have some really incredible and diverse food from some of Australia’s best chefs.”
For Ben Greeno the lineup is the perfect entry point for anybody wanting to become more involved in Sydney’s food culture.
“If somebody wants to try Clayton Wells’ food for example this is a great way for them to get a little taste of it and then maybe they’ll go to the restaurant next time because they really enjoyed the dish here.”
As part of the Taste Of Sydney Collective event a daily roster of eight chefs will all come together in one kitchen to serve two dishes each, all exclusive to the event. So that means Sydneysiders will have the option of tasting 64 unique glimpses into some of the delights Sydney, and the world, have to offer over the course of four days.
For everyone involved in the festival showcasing the incredible food culture of Sydney was of paramount importance.
“The Sydney food scene is thriving,” said Clayton Wells. “It’s a great community to be in as well because everyone is very supportive of each other and trying to make it even better.”
The uniqueness of the culture here in Sydney was something which Greeno, Wells and Best all echoed.
“Sydney’s food culture is incredibly diverse, vibrant and exciting. You can’t help but come here and be blown away by the diversity of the cultures that are represented,” said Best.
The Taste Of Sydney Collective event is not just about the food which will be served up on the plate though. As part of the event the festival has partnered with the charity R U OK? to shine a light on the issue of mental health in the kitchen, which has become a major talking point following the much publicised passing of Anthony Bourdain earlier this year.
“Young people can struggle with kitchen life, but it’s also about what they do after the shift finishes,” explained Best. “It’s important that we have these types of conversation within the culinary world and more broadly.”
This event will allow for the chefs on the lineup, who wouldn’t normally have an opportunity to work together, to also have the time to speak to each other about their struggles and coping mechanisms.
“Obviously in the last few years everybody is more aware of the issues and more willing to let their guard down to talk about things,” said Wells. “Not everyone is always successful and failures affect people, so it’s good that people feel that they’re able to talk about things. It was a very hard industry in the past where people always kept things to themselves, which wasn’t healthy, so it’s great that we’re moving into different times now.”
Nov 8-11. The Cutaway, 1 Merriman St, Barangaroo. $17-$130.03+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.sydney.tastefestivals.com