Talks

We love a chat, especially when it’s about food... and we can often be found in conversation with chefs and writers. See below for upcoming events.

Coming up next ... 

Next up:

Twilight supper with Aaron Bertelsen
Glenmore House, Camden

February 16, 2018



We’ve talked to authors in bookshops, spoken to food writers while they’re demonstrating their latest recipe from the stage at events, hosted one-off talk events with visiting authors and food writer dinners.


We also give talks – about writing and a life in food. We talk live and have also been recorded on pod-casts and radio.


What they’re saying:


Barbara Sweeney is epic! Great speaker, beautiful mind, her ideas need to shared. —Donna Cleary, @rural_foodie 

Ballymaloe Food & Wine LitFest, Ireland 2016

Date September 26, 2017

Time 6.30pm for 7pm start

Tickets $95, signed copies of book available $50

Venue No 1 Bent Street, 1 Bent Street, Sydney


Wholefood pioneer Holly Davis has a wealth of experience in the art of fermentation, which she shares in her new book, Ferment (Murdoch Books).


Holly highlights how this unique process harnesses good bacteria in order to preserve ingredients and transform them into uniquely delicious foods with remarkable health benefits. 


Tonight's dinner, cooked by Holly, will motivate you to recreate these dishes at home and with a copy of Ferment by your side, that's easily done.


This author dinner is part of the Book Series By Mike, co-hosted by Mike McEnearney and Barbara Sweeney, Food & Words, held at Mike’s restaurant, No. 1 Bent Street. The series is supported by Nespresso.





Holly Davis: Fermentation

Pocket City Farm stall holder, Emma Bowen, with fresh produce at the Spring Harvest Festival. Photo (c) James Horan for Sydney Living Museums



Date September 9, 2018

Time 10am to 3pm

Tickets Gold coin entry

Venue Elizabeth Farm, 70 Alice Street, Rosehill


Explore Elizabeth Farm as you browse, sample, sip and shop from a handpicked selection of products from Sydney’s finest artisan producers at Sydney Living Museum’s Spring Harvest Festival.


Enjoy live food demonstrations, family-friendly activities and meet the producers to discover the story behind your food.


Listen to fascinating talks exploring the food history of Elizabeth Farm with Food & Words’ Barbara Sweeney, Colonial Gastronomer Jacqui Newling, wine historian Dr Julie McIntyre and more. 


Take a tour of the historic house. Savour a Devonshire Tea or enjoy a picnic lunch in the beautiful gardens.






Spring Harvest Festival

Date May 6, 2018

Time 10am to 3pm

Tickets Free

Venue Roue Hill House & Farm


Explore Elizabeth Farm as you browse, sample, sip and shop from a handpicked selection of products from Sydney’s finest artisan producers. 


Enjoy food demonstrations and talks with Barbara Sweeney and guests – curator Scott Hill, The Colonial Gastronomer Jacqui Newling, Emma Bowen from Pocket City Farms and Angie Sceats from Slow Food Sydney – and meet the producers to discover the story behind your food. 


Take a tour of the historic house. Pack a rug and enjoy a delicious spread from our premium food vendors.






Autumn Harvest

Date October 10, 2017

Time 6.30pm for 7pm start

Tickets $95, signed copies of book available $50

Venue No 1 Bent Street, 1 Bent Street, Sydney


Chef and owner of Melbourne eatery Pope Joan, Matt Wilkinson and his wife, Sharlee Gibb, visit Sydney for an exclusive dinner of favourite recipes from their latest cook book Mr and Mrs Wilkinson’s How It Is At Home (Hardie Grant Books). A His and Hers kitchen companion.


Expect a nourishing, comforting and inspirational menu of Matt and Sharlee’s recipes, cooked by Mike McEnearney, and a fun-filled conversation with Matt, Sharlee and Barbara as they cover cooking, from the restaurant to the home.


This author dinner is part of the Book Series By Mike, co-hosted by Mike McEnearney and Barbara Sweeney, Food & Words, held at Mike’s restaurant, No. 1 Bent Street. The series is supported by Nespresso.


Mr and Mrs Wilkinson

Date October 11, 2017

Time 6.30pm–7.30pm

Tickets $10 (plus booking fee); plus, signed copies of Hummus & Co

Venue Potts Point Bookshop, 14 Macleay Street, Potts Point 

Hummus is no ordinary dish and, in Sydney, we have Michael Rantissi to thank for opening our eyes to this fact. Michael serves different styles of hummus as his two restaurants, Kepos Street Kitchen and Kepos & Co, which he co-owns with his partner Kristy Frawley. 


In their new book, Hummos & Co (Murdoch Books), Michael and Kristy invite you to the table with delicious recipes from Israel, Iraq, Lebanon and Turkey. It’s a style of eating – sharing plates and lovely bright flavours – that holds enormous appeal to Australians. Just ask the people who queue at Kepos Street for falafel for breakfast!


This author talk is co-hosted with Potts Point Bookshop.  

Michael Rantissi: Hummus

Date February 16, 2018

Time 6pm

Tickets $176, includes signed copies of The Great Dixter Cookbook

Venue Glenmore House, Camden 


Aaron Bertelsen’s love of gardening dates back to his childhood, when he would work with his grandfather in his vegetable garden back home in New Zealand. He studied Social Anthropology at the University of Otago before going to England in 1996 to volunteer in the garden at Great Dixter. He subsequently studied for a Diploma in Horticulture at Kew Gardens, England, and then the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens in Israel, where he’s still a trustee. Aaron returned to Great Dixter in 2005, becoming the vegetable gardener and cook in 2007, working alongside head gardener Fergus Garrett, and he has been there ever since. 


You’re invited to a twilight supper where Barbara talks to Aaron about vegies, gardening, the table – and his new book The Great Dixter Cookbook: Recipes from an English Garden (Phaidon, $50). Photography: Andrew Montgomery.


Aaron Bertelsen: Great Dixter UK

Date September 5, 2017

Time 6.30pm for 7pm start

Tickets $95; signed copies of Hard Core Carnivore available $40

Venue No 1 Bent Street, 1 Bent Street, Sydney

Take your barbeque game to the next level and learn meat mastery with Australian-born, Texan-by-choice grill guru, Jess Pryles, in Australia to launch her new cook book Hard Core Carnivore (Murdoch Books). 


Mike McEnearney cooks a menu from the book – sizzling, smokey meat and all-American sides, while Barbara and Jess will chew the fat on all things meat: from cuts and shortcuts, smoke and fire to tools and techniques. You’ll go home armed with all the tips you’ll need to be a winner on the barbecue.


This author dinner is part of the Book Series By Mike, co-hosted by Barbara Sweeney and Food & Words and held at Mike’s restaurant, No. 1 Bent Street. The series is supported by Nespresso.

Jess Pryles: Texan barbecue

Date October 31, 2017

Time 6.30pm for 7pm start

Tickets $95, signed copies of Poh Bakes 100 Greats available $40

Venue No 1 Bent Street, 1 Bent Street, Sydney


As if appearing on MasterChef, hosting her own television shows, writing a number of books and running her own cafe Jamface in Adelaide's Central Market isn’t enough, now Poh Ling Yeow has a new book.


With wooden spoon and mixing bowl in hand Poh returns to her roots with Poh Bakes 100 Greats (Murdoch Books). This special author dinner will see Mike take on some of Poh’s favourite baked delights while Barbara quizes Poh on baking matters large and small. Come armed with your own baking questions or stories of baking success and join in the conversation.


This author dinner is part of the Book Series By Mike, co-hosted by Barbara Sweeney and Food & Words and held at Mike’s restaurant, No. 1 Bent Street. The series is supported by Nespresso.


Poh: on the joys of baking

Date November 21, 2017

Time 6.30pm for 7pm start

Tickets $95, signed copies of Hong Kong Food City available $50

Venue No 1 Bent Street, 1 Bent Street, Sydney


Melbourne’s Tony Tan is a wonderful teacher, a brilliant chef and an avid storyteller. Join us as he spins and weaves the tales of ancient and traditional Chinese and Malaysian cuisine with a focus on the extraordinary food world that is Hong Kong. 


Mike will spice it up in the kitchen with some of Tony’s most creative recipes yet, while Tony talks to Barbara about the exhaustive research he undertook for Hong Kong Food City (Murdoch Books), his latest book, and why he loves this city so much.


This author dinner is part of the Book Series By Mike, co-hosted by Barbara Sweeney and Food & Words and held at Mike’s restaurant, No. 1 Bent Street. The series is supported by Nespresso.


Tony Tan: Hong Kong town

Mark Best 

Maverick and mentor, chef Mark Best has always run his own race. His Sydney restaurant Marque was fetted reflecting on the closure of his restaurant Marque, Mark said he enjoys his version of what Australian food is, and I don’t like to be defined by anyone or pushed into corners. I like to do my ownthing. It’s a hard thing to measure until you can look back on your body ofwork, but when I look back now on a body of unique dishes, I’m proud of them.They’re mine. They hold up.

Mark Best 

Maverick and mentor, chef Mark Best has always run his own race. His Sydney restaurant Marque was fetted reflecting on the closure of his restaurant Marque, Mark said he enjoys his version of what Australian food is, and I don’t like to be defined by anyone or pushed into corners. I like to do my ownthing. It’s a hard thing to measure until you can look back on your body ofwork, but when I look back now on a body of unique dishes, I’m proud of them.They’re mine. They hold up.

Mark Best 

Maverick and mentor, chef Mark Best has always run his own race. His Sydney restaurant Marque was fetted reflecting on the closure of his restaurant Marque, Mark said he enjoys his version of what Australian food is, and I don’t like to be defined by anyone or pushed into corners. I like to do my ownthing. It’s a hard thing to measure until you can look back on your body ofwork, but when I look back now on a body of unique dishes, I’m proud of them.They’re mine. They hold up.

Mark Best 

Maverick and mentor, chef Mark Best has always run his own race. His Sydney restaurant Marque was fetted reflecting on the closure of his restaurant Marque, Mark said he enjoys his version of what Australian food is, and I don’t like to be defined by anyone or pushed into corners. I like to do my ownthing. It’s a hard thing to measure until you can look back on your body ofwork, but when I look back now on a body of unique dishes, I’m proud of them.They’re mine. They hold up.

Featured Writers

Tom Dickens

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Sam Vincent

Sam Vincent's first book, Blood and Guts: Dispatches from the Whale Wars, was longlisted for the 2015 Walkley Book Award, shortlisted for the 2015 Nib Waverley Library Award for Literature and shortlisted for the 2015 ACT Book of the Year Award. He is a regular contributor to the Monthly, and is an apprentice to his father on the family's cattle and fig farm.

Monday Morning Cooking Club

Merelyn Chalmers, Lisa Goldberg and Natalya Eskin (far left, centre and far right), are from the Monday Morning Cooking Club (pictured here with other members Jacqui Israel and Lynn Niselow), a unique collaborative cooking project that’s all about sisterhood, heirloom recipes and community.

Monday Morning Cooking Club
Mark Best 

Maverick and mentor, chef Mark Best has always run his own race. His Sydney restaurant Marque was fetted reflecting on the closure of his restaurant Marque, Mark said he enjoys his version of what Australian food is, and I don’t like to be defined by anyone or pushed into corners. I like to do my ownthing. It’s a hard thing to measure until you can look back on your body ofwork, but when I look back now on a body of unique dishes, I’m proud of them.They’re mine. They hold up.


Ovvio Organics   •   The Little Marionette   •   Cornersmith   •   
Lowe Wine   •   Potts Point Bookshop

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