More than 22,000 food aficionados defied an overcast start to Taste of Sydney 2012 in March, attending what turned out to be one of the most successful festivals to date.
Despite the opening night session being rained out following extreme weather conditions, the sun soon arrived to kick off a three-day foodie spectacular that saw Centennial Parklands host 14 fully equipped, commercial-grade kitchens, 18 leading Sydney restaurants, more than 100 producer stands, cocktail bars and a summer soundtrack.
Taste of Sydney chefs cooked up a feast, offering the largest number of dishes to date with 58 mouth-watering menu items to choose from. Vincent Gadan’s Patisse satisfied everyone’s sweet tooth, selling more than 2000 macarons and 400 vanilla bean bavarois.
The event included special ‘Icon Dishes’ by several restaurants as a menu highlight. Efendy’s Somer Sivrioglu dished up arguably the most unusual Icon Dish, with his ‘pan- seared lamb testicles with almond tarator‘ proving a sellout hit, while Peter Kuruvita’s signature ‘seared yellow fin tuna with ruby red grapefruit, sweet crackling pork and black pepper caramel sauce’ served on a signed plate was snapped up in record speed with only 10 available per session.
The hours of pre-event preparation paid off for Efendy, having smoked 800kg of eggplant on a charcoal barbecue for head chef Somer Sigriovlu’s dish to win the inaugural ‘Jaguar Best in Taste’ honour with his ‘traditional charcoal lamb and veal kebab, smoked eggplant and Chobani Greek yogurt’.
“We are absolutely thrilled with outcome of this year’s Taste of Sydney festival. All of our participating restaurants, exhibitors and sponsors put in a fantastic effort to create a line-up of unique and unforgettable experiences,” Taste of Sydney festival director Meghan O’Hanlon said.
“Despite a very wet start to the festival, the attendance over the weekend was extremely positive which demonstrates just how much Sydney has embraced this internationally acclaimed event. Taste of Sydney has certainly become one of the most anticipated foodie festivals on the social calendar.”
Top restaurants on show this year included A Tavola, Charlie & Co., Efendy, Flying Fish, Four in Hand, L’etoile, Longrain Restaurant & Bar, Ormeggio at the Spit, Otto Ristorante, Quarter Twenty One, Saké Restaurant & Bar, Spiedo, The Cut Bar & Grill, The Montpellier Public House plus the new Sustainable Pop-Up Restaurant featuring Fish & Co., Three Blue Ducks, Agapé Organic Restaurant and The Veggie Patch.
The Taste Festivals team heads south of the border for the fifth annual Taste of Melbourne, taking place in the scenic surrounds of Albert Park for the first time from November 15-18, 2012.