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

Writers’ Festival

Can you remember how it felt, back then, to leave the house? Connect with friends? 


What an experience.


We streamed that 2021 event, which meant people from all over the world join in the day.


We've been in a forced hiatus ever since because of the lingering effects of the pandemic on the events and hospo industries, and the wish to be financially  sustainable in a financially challanging climate. 


We want Food & Words to be affordable and it's becoming increasing tricky to make the sums work in our favour. 


So, we're working on a longer lead plan for the next event and envisage holding Food & Words again in 2024.


To be the first to hear the announcement of the location and dates, sign up to the newsletter. 

Food & Words, the annual writers' festival, is possibly the smallest writers' festival in the world and the only dedicated food writers festival that we know of. It provides a forum for Australian food writers and a place for hungry readers to gather. 


The festival was founded by food writer Barbara Sweeney in 2012 and ran annually in Sydney for eight years – until rudely interrupted by the global pandemic Covid-19.


Everything has been a bit wobbly since then. We took the lockdown on the chin and had a quiet break in 2020, emerging the following year excited about what was to come.


On the invitation of kind Food & Words friends, we thought we might make it to Canberra, but alas that felt too risky, what with border closures and other restrictions.


Luckily, when things calmed down a little in November 2021, we were able to stage a scaled-down pop-up in chef Martin Boetz' famed Cook's Shed on the Hawkesbury River – which proved to be beyond exciting.

Food & Words

Do you have an idea for Food & Words?



We're exploring ideas that will take Food & Words into the future.

If you have any suggestions, we'd love to hear them.



has been cancelled

Food & Words 2022

A note from Barbara

Also, the uncertainty of the past three years has taken its toll – on my small enterprise along with many others in the event space and in hospitality. To get back on track called for more than I had to give.


I hoped to celebrate the 10th festival with cake, but that's not going to happen now. Let's hope it will be on the menu next time round and that you'll be there to share in it. 


Thank you for your support,


Barbara

Hello there,


If you've arrived on our site today to book a ticket for the Food & Words writers' festival, I'm sorry to say the festival has been cancelled for 2022.


It wasn't an easy decision to make. The writers' festival is the highlight of the year here at Food & Words. 


About a month out from the festival a few small things happened that made me realise I was not tracking well enough to guarantee the very best Food & Words experience for the speakers and audience.

Ticket

The festival ticket is $330


This includes the full program of speakers, morning and afternoon tea, refreshments, and picnic lunch.



Date

Sunday, October 9, 2022


Time

10am to 4pm


Place

Enid Cook Room, Level 1, 405 Crown Street (above the library), Surry Hills, Sydney.


Program

Food & Words is a one-day program featuring 12 speakers. 


Speakers are being announced weekly. For details, visit the Speakers page.


Festival details

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


 

Lunch


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 festivals

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


Tickets


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

Writing Courses

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