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 

We're holding the event at Martin Boetz's Cooks Shed, right on the Hawkesbury River at Sackville. It's a large, rustic and beautiful space in a bush setting and, with all that fresh air, the right venue for the times. 

We'll comply with NSW Health guidelines regarding the size of the audience and requiring proof of your double vaccination.

Because it's a small event, we're offering, for the first time ever, a live stream option. You can tune into the event from the comfort of your home – wherever that is – and follow the action as it unfolds.  

We're back.

After a covid-19 enforced hiatus in 2020 and an earlier cancellation this year, Food & Words is back with a small, pop-up event on November 20, 2021.

If you've ever been to Food & Words, you'll still recognise us, even though some things will be different. Expect the same enticing program of talks and outstanding all-day food and drinks experience. What's different? A new venue.  Smaller crowd. Virtual guests. Live streaming.

New 2021 date – November 20. 

The afternoon session includes:

Australian food

Chef Ross Dobson, author of Australia, The Cookbook and food writer Paul Van Reyk, author of True to the Land, A History of Food in Australia discuss the national menu.

Social Creations

Three cooking creatives – Emiko Davies (joining the conversation from her home in Italy), Belinda Jeffery and Lucy Tweed – discuss the power of the alogorithm.

More speakers to be announced.

Food & Words is proud to announce the following speakers.

The morning session includes:

Charity begins at home

Chef, restaurateur and charity ambassador Neil Perry in conversation with Joanna Savill. 

They will talk food, writing the perfect recipe, cookbooks, the Rockpool Foundation's Hope Charity and the effect of the pandemic on hospitality. Neil will appear virtually from his new Double Bay restaurant Margaret.

The 2021 speakers

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


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. 

There's a small chance that additional tickets may be released closer to the time, so we'll keep a waiting list.

Live Stream 

Morning session $55

Afternoon session $55 

We'll live stream the event, so join us in real time. Or, view it at your leisure. You'll have online access to the event recording up until midnight Sunday, November 29. 

Event details

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

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