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Five Savoury Flavours at The Forage

Astrid O'Neill

“Our vendors are supportive, generous and are producing some of the best food products in Australia.”

The Forage  is a showcase unlike any other in Canberra. In fact, it’s been called ‘the beating heart of the Canberra food scene’.

Run seasonally (four times a year), this street-style food and entertainment event gives our local businesses an opportunity to creatively perform for and feed our community in a fun, festival-style environment.

Belinda Neame is the creative force behind The Forage. She owned a cupcake shop at Gold Creek called Cherry Seed, which made her acutely aware of small business challenges – especially the need to target the right demographic in order to increase awareness and traffic flow.

“I had been to a few other cities around Australia that had started to tap into the street food and food truck scene,” says Belinda. “Canberra wasn’t doing anything at that stage and I knew we had a niche market that needed to be activated.’

Belinda credits her love of food and local business combined with her conference management background for success in kick-starting The Forage.

“We want people to come, stay, enjoy the food and be part of a community,” Belinda says. “We also want to provide everyone who participates in The Forage – vendors, musicians, suppliers – with a platform 33for them to build their business.”

Over the last two-and-a-half years, The Forage has swelled from 2,500 people to around 10,000. In doing so, it has helped local businesses to grow.

“Our vendors are supportive, generous and are producing some of the best food products in Australia,” says Belinda. “We’ve had several vendors come and go, taking their street food offerings and opening shop fronts. These include Dinner Rush (their shop front in Narrabundah is called The Kitchen); New York Minute (now with a shop front in Binalong); The Muesli Bar, which is opening as a shop front later in the year; and Nookie Espresso Bar, which will occupy a space in the Sydney Building.”

Recently, Six8 Roasters formed part of the new collective space in Yass, Trader & Co – a move that Belinda says ‘screams community and passion’ a is ‘a reflection on the type of community we have here in Canberra’.

This relatively new heart of the Canberra food scene will continue to beat on.

‘I have so many opportunities for The Forage coming at me at the moment,’ says Belinda. ‘We are working on some smaller collaborative, pop-up style events, a very cool project with the ACT Government on the activation of the city, and some other really exciting event prospects for later in the year. You’ll have to stay tuned as it’s all a little bit under wraps at the moment!’

See the best that the Canberra region has to offer on this Saturday July 2 at the Little National between 2pm and 7pm.

We’ve covered the sweet highlights of The Forage, but don’t forget about the main course!

Bush Taco Girls Tacos

Bush Taco Girls

The Bush Taco Girls offer tasty vegan twists on the classic Mexican taco. Mushroom in a taco? We can’t wait to try it. Their Troppo ‘Shroom features lime-coriander-marinated mushroom with pineapple, corn, mango and mint salsa.

2 Smoking Barrels

2 Smoking Barrels

Located at The Illawarra Brewery in Wollongong, 2 Smoking Barrels plays an important role in keeping the genuine beer house atmosphere alive. They match fine craft beers with delicious American barbecue food – like pit-smoked short ribs.

BentSpoke Brewing Co. 

Bentspoke

This microbrewery and taphouse in Braddon boasts 18 different varieties of beer and cider that are brewed on the premises. Some drinks are seasonal, some are one-offs, and others endure as popular fixtures. BentSpoke brings their winter-appropriate warm cider to The Forage, so why not wrap your chilly hands around one?

The One 

The One_feature

Tom Luxton and his partner Chris Allen bring fine-dining techniques to Canberra street food with their venture The One, at Westside Acton Park. Chris draws on his experience in the kitchens of highly rated restaurants – including Water’s Edge and Les Bistronomes – to create amazing pressed buns and Thai-style tacos filled with tender, slow-cooked pork belly and beef short rib.

The Canberra Distillery 

Canberra Distillery

The Canberra Distillery is a small local distillery that focuses on quality rather than quantity. They don’t do what many modern distilleries do and purchase ethanol from industrial facilities then re-distil it to add flavour; rather, they create their signature gin by starting with the raw ingredients (water, yeast, grain, potato, fruit or sugar).

the essentials 

What: The Forage: Winter Feast
Where: Little National carpark, 21 National Circuit, Barton
When: Saturday 2 July from 2pm until 7pm
Web: www.facebook.com/theforage

Astrid O'Neill

Astrid O’Neill has joined the HerCanberra team for a writing internship. Previously she’s studied at the University of Canberra and the University of Oxford, and worked for a bold little New York publishing company. She’s a Southsider at heart but now lives in Braddon with her fiancé, where they’re often planning their travels over a local brew. More about the Author

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