Who doesn’t love a festival? Especially when it is a festival celebrating the best thing in the world…. FOOD! The Crave Sydney International Food Festival team did a spectacular job of igniting the city one meal at a time over the past month. The proof is in this pig’s pudding…. I went to the Night Noodle Markets 7 times. It has hard to say what was the best part of the Festival considering there were several events on each night, and I was obviously unable to attend them all, as much as I would have liked to. but here are a few highlights:

Night Noodle Markets:

The Night Noodle Markets are what I imagine heaven to look like. A grassy wonderland lit up with fairy lights, surrounded by fantastic food, great music and fun-loving people. The markets made Hyde Park come alive for 16 nights during the festival and the park was constantly full of people pulling up their own piece of grass, or a table if they were lucky, and tasting some of Sydney’s best Asian delights. There were more stalls than you could poke a noodle at so next year I suggest you inspect on your first lap before making any impulse decisions. My favorites? The Mamak Roti with chilli sauce is hard to beat – the lines were loooooong but the roti at the end was absolutely worth it. I worked the Roti off on my walks to the Jimmy Liks stall where the menu was small but the flavours were BIG – duck dumplings swimming in pepper broth and a melt-in-your-mouth beef curry – both were amazing. Jackie M Malaysian Cuisine had a rival roti served with a lamb curry sauce, the stuff that dreams are made of. I washed all my seven dinners down with ciders and beers that were delivered right to my picnic rug – I told you it was heaven on earth.

Mamak on Urbanspoon

Jimmy Liks on Urbanspoon

Jackie M Malaysian Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Salute to Peru with Ricardo Zarate @ Glass Brasserie

Imagine having dinner, cocktails and a cooking demonstration with the man voted Best New Chef and whose restaurant got voted Food & Wine Best New Chef, GQ’s Best New Restaurants and number 24 on Condé Nast Traveler’s Best Restaurants in the World list. Well, I didn’t have to imagine such bliss because I was treated to dinner and drinks to Salute Peru with the one and only Ricardo Zarate! Luke Mangan hosted the event  in the The Hilton’s stunning Glass Brassiee. The menu was traditional Peruvian food with a twist – snapper ceviche shooters, grilled cow tounge,  yellow potato with spicy mayo, quails eggs and more . Then we were treated to a cooking demo on how to make Ricardo’s world-famous ceviche, I was even lucky enough to lend a helping hand (video blog to come). All served these delicious dishes were served with Pisco Sour and South American Wines matching by Glass Brasserie’s award-winning sommelier, Kim Bickley. I suggest if you are in LA anytime soon, book yourself a table at either of Ricardo’s restaurants:

Mo-Chica:  Modern Peruvian morsels –  http://mo-chica.com/

Picca: Peruvian cantina style eatery -  http://www.piccaperu.com/

Glass Brasserie on Urbanspoon

Breakfast on Bondi:

Breakfast, beach, Bondi, beats and Bill, what more could you ask for? The event was free, with the option to buy tickets that included breakfast. The face of Sydney breakfast, Bill Granger, was there with Pete Evans from My Kitchen Rules. Pete and Bill also judged the best breakfast on the day in our My Breakfast Rules competition. Visitors brought a BYO breakfast, pre-purchased (VIP tickets only) or simply picked up coffee and delicious brekkie treats from surf-side food stalls. Although my visit was brief, it was a phenomenal turn out and has inspired me to wake up early on a Sunday more often…. lets see how long that lasts.

If you were unable to attend this year, you missed out! But not all hope is lost, the team will be back for more next year so clear your calander in October 2013! For more information about Crave Sydney International Food Festival visit their website – http://www.cravesydney.com/

Oink oink,

Truffle Pig.