Food & Words is a word-of-mouth event, natch. It’s the people who book a ticket year in and year out that form the backbone of the day. And year-on-year they bring their food-obsessed friends and family (Food & Words is such a mum and daughter day out) and so it grows. I’m glad they come, because I find it hard to explain what Food & Words is and rely on the good words that they have to say. You can read some of their testimonials on this site, but it’s the fact that almost half the audience books a ticket each year that speaks volumes.
“It’s Food Writers’ Festival 101,” says a wise and clever friend. “It’s a writers’ festival that has a program of wonderful writers and an audience of people who want to listen to them – and the topic is food.”
I’m not really into blowing trumpets, but Food & Words is pretty special. There’s no one thing that’s more special than the next so you could say that it is the sum of its parts. We’re in a particularly beautiful space, The Mint, in Sydney, a wonderful sandstone property with an award-winning contemporary auditorium. The event team at The Mint who look after us are amazing – kind, personable and efficient and a complete pleasure to work with. The team from Bistro Mint, host the guest chef – this year, Michael Rantissi from Kepos Street Kitchen and Kepos & Co. – help us realise our culinary vision for the day and send out some very fine tasting food.
And there’s more – tea by Ovvio Organics, coffee, all-day refreshments, morning and afternoon tea – and the Potts Point Bookshop, who stock the authors’ books as well as lots of interesting cookbooks and food books to buy. And, at the end of the day, with the help of our friends at Murdoch Books and Lantern (Penguin), all our guest leave with one of their food titles tucked under their arms (note to audience: bring a shopping bag).
But all this is window dressing. The reason you’d come to Food & Words is to hear from the speakers and there is a terrific line up in 2015. Were talking to a chef who wrote a cookbook, a journalist turned memoirist, a scholar who ponders dinner in North Korea, an academic and a chef on Australian bush foods and an open mike session with Gay Bilson, who will talk gastronomy and more and answer your questions. You can email them (email@example.com) or ask them on the day. Read all about our 2015 speakers here.