Writers’ Festival

What a truly special, truly uplifting day. I had the best time and was completely absorbed from the very start.” Belinda Jeffery, cookbook author 

To keep up-to-date with writers' festival news and announcements, sign up to our email newsletter.

The program features about 12 authors and we'll be introducing them to you over the coming weeks.

You can guess that we're committeed to serving the very best food and drink, being that this is a food writers' festival, and we're happy to announce that it's Surry Hills chef Michael Rantissi, from Kepos Street KItchen, preparing our picnic lunch. Stay tuned for menu details.

Online tickets are also available.

Read about the speakers here.

Food & Words is our annual writers' festival – possibly the smallest writers' festival in the world and the only dedicated food writers festival that we know of. It exists to provide a forum for Australian food writing, authors, their books and their readers. 

It's a one-day event and, this year, our tenth (there will be cake!) – it will be held in Surry Hills, on Crown Street, above Surry Hills Library.

Food & Words 2022

Guests over the age of 16 attending the event will be required to show proof of vaccination or medical exemption as a condition of entry in accordance with the NSW Public Health Order (in place until 1 December). 

Session 4 

Inside the algorithm: food writing & Instagram

Belinda Jeffery, cookbook author 

Lucy Tweed, cookbook author

Emiko Davies, cookbook author and food writer (online from Italy)

Session 2

On good food & lessons from nature 

Alana Mann, Sydney Environment Institute & FoodLab Sydney

Prof. Stephen J Simpson, Academic Director, Charles Perkins Institute 

Laura Dalrymple, Feather and Bone, regen ag advocate

Session 3

On writing about Australian food

Paul Van Reyk, food writer, activist

Ross Dobson, chef and cookbook author

Lee Tran Lam, food writer

Session 1 

On books, food & restaurants

Neil Perry, chef, restaurateur, author of 10 cookbooks (online from his restaurant) in conversation with food communicator Joanna Savill.

The program

Afternoon tea 

Pumpkin scones from Ross Dobson's book, Australia, The Cookbook, served with jam & cream

Flourless orange cake

Morning tea

Feather and Bone's pork sausage roll with eggplant relish

Marty's onion & gruyere tart

Beesbucha with lime & ice



Spiced, wood-roasted chicken & peaches

Roasted ocean trout with yoghurt, tahini & soft herb salad

Potato & Melanda Park smoked bacon salad

Tomato & basil salad

Heirloom carrots, honey, cinnamon, sheeps' milk yoghurt

Shaved cabbage, currant & parmesan salad

Lynne’s fermented porridge bread

Cooks Shed focaccia

Served with Lowe Family Wine Co

2021 Bio-logical Shiraz

2021 Dragonfly White

2021 Dragonfly Rose

All-day coffee

By The Little Marionette 

All-day tea and tisanes

By Apotheca by Anthia

The menu

Read about past events:

About Cooks Shed

Chef Martin Boetz started Cooks Shed (previously Cooks Co-op) to champion the farmers and fishers of the Hawkesbury and the food they produce. 

Martin welcomes weekend diners to the rustic, corrugated-iron shed in the bush of his Hawkesbury property. 

There's an abundance of natural light and a good cross-breeze – the doors that are big enough to drive a tractor though.

Getting there

Sackville is on the Hawkesbury River, near Wilberforce. 

It’s 70 kms and a cruisy one-hour drive from Sydney’s CBD.

Date Saturday, November 20, 2021

Time 10am to 4pm

Place Cooks Shed, 2 West Portland Road, Sackville


1. Attend the event in person 

$330 Includes full-day program, all-day refreshments, lunch with wine, and a book gift.

There is a limited number of in-person tickets and these will sell fast, so please don’t delay. 

If NSW Health Orders change, we may release additional tickets, so we will keep a waiting list.

2. Live Stream in Real Time 

$55 Morning session 

$55 Afternoon session 

Join in, in real time. Follow the events of the day as they unfold.

3. Watch the Recording 

$55 Morning session 

$55 Afternoon session 

View the event at your leisure and at a time that suits. The recording will be available until midnight Sunday, November 28, 2021. We will let you know when it's uploaded. 

Event details

EXTRA seats have been released. Bookings essential

Like all Martin's menus, the dishes for our dinner are based on seasonal Hawkesbury ingredients. 

We'll enjoy shared platters of salt & pepper Hawkesbury school prawns, smoked trout rice cakes, topped with chilli jam and chickpea & tomato curry with raita & spiced pappadums.

Food & Words will finish at 4pm, but there's no need to rush off because chef Martin Boetz is cooking a family-style dinner. 

There is no lovelier time of the day than twilight at the Cooks Shed. 

The bar will be open and dinner will be served at 5.30pm.

Book for dinner when you book your Food & Words ticket.

Stay for an early dinner

Thank you to book publishers... 

Food & Words is proud to work with

It's a full-day talks program, featuring authors, farmers and food practitioners. It's also a sensory and gustatory experience, with good food and wine, bespoke tea and coffee, and other special treats served throughout the day. 

We'll send regular newsletters and post on social media whenever we have breaking news, so make sure to sign up to the newsletter or follow us on Instagram or Facebook to be in the know.

The 2021 event has been cancelled.

Food & Words is one of a kind. 

Founded in 2012 by food writer Barbara Sweeney, the event brings writers, thinkers, readers and soothsayers together in one room, for one day, to discuss the all-important topic of food.

The event has been described variously as 'a gastonomic day-spa' and the 'best and only event
of its type dedicated to ideas, celebration and development of our food culture

The program

Our Courses

'Each weekly get-together was a warm celebration and such an incentive to keep writing.'  —Susan M, Write with Intent student