5 things to see at Taste of Sydney this weekend

The Taste of Sydney site. Photo: Jessica Wyld

The annual Taste of Sydney food festival got underway in Centennial Parklands last night and continues for the next three days until Sunday, March 13.

More than a dozen of new restaurants have joined the lineup this year, offering 50 new dishes at restaurant tents that still include regular favourites such as Porteño, which is serving up porchetta with braised green bean, while Colin Fassnidge is dishing out 4Fourteen’s pig ear schnitzel.

Michelin-starred British chef Jason Atherton’s new venture at the Old Clare hotel, Kensington Street Social, is there with its signature dish, the Social ‘Dog’ – pork and fennel sausage, green apple, black pudding, cheddar and mustard and of the city’s best chefs are taking part in cooking masterclasses and live demonstrations.

Entry starts at $25.49, booked online through Ticketek, or $30.59 at the gate, and then you buy festival tokens to pay for food and drinks, which range between around $6 and $20.

Here are five things worth seeing at Taste of Sydney this year.

1. The only place you can catch Kitchen by Mike‘s Mike McEnearney at the moment is at Taste after his departure from Alexandria midway through last year. He’s currently working on opening a new 100-seater restaurant, No.1 Bent Street – by Mike in The Wintergarden, in the Sydney CBD, as well as rolling out a Kitchen by Mike at Sydney airport. Head to his tent especially if you’re vegetarian for a selection of salads at the canteen pop up including cucumber salad, cabbage and apple slaw and roast pumpkin dishes.

2. If you fancy a hands-on experience, the Electrolux Chefs’ Secrets offers intimate masterclasses that let you cook alongside top chefs such as Peter Gilmore (Quay), Rob Cockerill (Bennelong), Colin Fassnidge (4Fourteen) and Mark Best (Marque). You’ll have a go at making their signature dishes, and pick up cooking secrets before sitting down at a communal table together to enjoy the meal you’ve all cooked with matched wines.

Photo: Jessica Wyld

3. TheSouth African Garden is showcasing dishes and wines from the bottom of Africa with masterclasses from celebrity chefs, including Masterchef stars Hayden Quinn, and 2014 winner, Brent Owens. They’re joined by Masterchef South Africa judge, Benny Masekwameng demonstrating how to create traditional South African classics – you might as well learn how to make biltong because you can’t import it into Australia – and wine critic, Mike Bennie is looking at a 450-year-old wine industry famed for pinotage and chenin blanc.

4. You’ll find some of the most incredible dishes currently being served in Sydney in the one place, including Firedoor‘s 150+ day dry aged rib (at 86 crowns, aka $86!), while James Viles from Biota is showcasing native Australian produce with a braised wallaby taco, and Frank Camorra’s MoVida is serving up Andalusian pinchitos morunos – Moorish skewers of Flinders Island lamb cooked over charcoal.

5. If you can’t make it to Byron Bay, where chef Darren Robertson from Bronte’s Three Blue Ducks spends most of his time now, with his partner and new mum Magdalena Roze, running Three Blue Ducks at The Farm, the country has come to the city in a farm-style pop-up. that’s also selling a range of local produce and flowers.

The Taste of Sydney site. Photo: Jessica Wyld

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