Staycation Spring 2017 Masthead 2
Taste Riverina Festival_feature

TASTE RIVERINA: 10 events you won’t want to miss

Amanda Whitley

Taste Riverina is a month-long ‘menu of events’ which celebrates the year’s harvest, showcasing food, wine, beer and agricultural produce and experiences.

I’m a Riverina girl, born and bred. With my early years spent in Tarcutta, grandparents in Temora, and stints in both Narrandera and Griffith, I’ve seen much of this sprawling region. And eaten it.

Years ago, I worked for the Riverina Food Group and had the privilege of meeting many of the region’s food producers. They all have a story, and an enduring passion for locally produced food…and with good reason.

The Riverina is known for its diverse range of produce, from rice to citrus, lamb, beef, wheat, canola oil, olive oil, grapes, potatoes and pistachios — it’s not called the ‘foodbowl of Australia’ for nothing. And that’s why, when it comes to exploring the region’s food industry, you’re going to need more than a weekend.

Taste Riverina is a month-long ‘menu of events’ which celebrates the year’s harvest, showcasing food, wine, beer and agricultural produce and experiences. Held throughout October, the line-up includes events all over the region, including agricultural tours, cooking classes, food treks, dinners, cafe specials, recipe competitions, local festivals, degustation menus, picnics, and live music.

Whether you’re up for a day trip from Canberra to the easternmost Riverina towns, or a weekend exploring destinations further west, there’s a whole month of delicious events waiting to be discovered. We’ve picked out 10 we reckon you won’t want to miss.

GEARS AND BEERS FESTIVAL – WAGGA WAGGA

Gears and Beers Festival

Canberra is full of keen cyclists, foodies and craft beer aficionados. The Gear and Beers Festival combines all three in a celebration of the Riverina’s handcrafted beers and ciders.

Ride with family and friends in the cycle challenge, then meet at the finish line (Victory Memorial Gardens) for an afternoon of live entertainment and local food, washed down with beer, cider and locally-roasted coffee.

7am to 6pm, Sunday 2 October, 2016. Victory Memorial Gardens Baylis Street, Wagga Wagga.

Find out more here.

BRUNCH IN THE ARTS PRECINCT – COOTAMUNDRA

Taste Riverina Festival 2

Cootamundra is a charming country town with a vibrant arts scene. Explore the Arts Centre Cootamundra while enjoying local foods and produce at an al fresco brunch, served under the beautiful deciduous trees that line Wallendoon Street, and the façade of the 1900s building.

9am to 12 noon, Monday 3 October 2016. The Arts Centre Cootamundra 18-20 Wallendoon St, Cootamundra

Find out more here.

‘MAKE IT, BAKE IT, GROW IT’ AT SPIRIT OF THE LAND FESTIVAL – LOCKHART

'Make it, Bake it, Grow it' at Spirit of the Land Festival

‘Make it, Bake it, Grow it’ is part of Lockhart’s vibrant Spirit of the Land Festival — think everything from incredible farm art sculptures, fine arts, photography, open gardens, heritage train rides, markets galore, live music, entertainment and fabulous wool art!

Make it, Bake it, Grow it encourages visitors to taste and purchase great regional produce while ‘Paddock to Plate’ farm tours offer a first hand insight into food and farming.

Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 October, 2016. Green Street, Lockhart.

Find out more here.

LEETON CHILL & GRILL – LEETON

Leeton Chill and Grill

It’s River(ina) Cottage Australia, as celebrity chef Paul West pops up at Leeton Chill and Grill — a relaxed food event featuring local produce and music at Mountford Park. Watch Paul West cook on stage using local produce, mingle amongst the great array of local stalls with eateries serving local produce for $5 each dish, and buy fresh local produce from the Leeton Farmers and Makers Market.

11am to 2pm, Saturday 15 October. Mountford Park Jarrah Street, Leeton.

Find out more here.

BANQUET OF NARRANDERA SECRETS – NARRANDERA

Taste Riverina Festival_feature

Still have room for more? Just down the road in Narrandera (town of many trees and home to one of the world’s largest playable guitars), you’ll find a signature event celebrating local and fresh produce through a three course banquet. The creation of local Narrandera Chef Corey Hammond, it’s an opportunity to meet local producers, hear their stories and take the journey from paddock to plate.

7pm to 11pm, Saturday 15 October. Arts and Community Centre Cadell Street, Narrandera

Find out more here.

TASTE COLEAMBALLY FOOD & FARM FESTIVAL – COLEAMBALLY

Taste Coleambally Food and Farm Festival

An hour west, Coleambally is bringing people up close and personal with food, fibre and locally grown produce with a great line up of events. This small town is coming alive with everything from cocktails, art, farm tours, a 50 Mile Meal and more. Sunday’s Festival Trail boasts a Poets’ Breakfast, Rodney Dunn’s Cooking Demos, Kids Craft, music, an Indigenous Bush Tucker Expo, Food & Fibre Regatta, Coly Cook Off more!

Friday 21 to Sunday 23 October. Coleambally Town Square Brolga Pl, Coleambally

Find out more here.

COOKING WITH CITRUS – WAGGA WAGGA

Cooking with Citrus

The Riverina is Australia’s largest producer of citrus, so there’s no better place to find out how to get the most out of your lemons, limes and oranges. Food I Am will lead a class centred in the tangy, sweet, vibrant flavours of citrus and participants will make everything from Lemon and Lime Curd to Orange Olive Oil Cake. Class includes ingredients, tuition, recipes, food styling tips, light lunch with regional wine, and take home produce.

10am to 2pm, Saturday 22 October. Food I Am 29 Kunzea Plc, Springvale

Find out more here.

MUSIC, FOOD & WINE IN THE VINES – TEMORA

Music Food and Wine in the Vines

You may know it for planes and Paleface Adios (or that could be me showing my age), but Temora is shaping up as a culinary destination this October. Music Food & Wine in the Vines offers up great musical talent, culinary delights, wine, and craft beer. Take along a chair, a rug, pack an esky of your favourites, and bring some cash to splash on local food and wine. It’s set to be a great spring afternoon.

12 noon to 8pm, Saturday 22 October. Koorambi Winez 62 Bundawarrah Rd, Temora.

Find out more here.

12 COURSE BACON DEGUSTATION DINNER – WAGGA WAGGA

12 Course Bacon Degustation Dinner

Bacon lovers, this one is for you! Knights Meats is famous for their eight (!!!) delicious flavours of bacon, handcrafted onsite using 100% Australian Pork, so they’re honouring this magical ingredient with a 12-course bacon themed degustation dinner. From savoury to sweet, every course is inspired by bacon and brought to life by Knights’ French-trained chef.

7pm to 11pm, Saturday 29 October. Knights Meats & Deli 187 Fitzmaurice Street, Wagga Wagga.

Find out more here.

CELEBRITY CHEF DINNER AT LIMONE –  GRIFFITH

Celebrity Chef Dinner at Limone

Who says you have to travel to Sydney (or Italy, that matter) for great Italian food? If you’ve never been to Griffith, you’re in for a treat — this vibrant country town punches above its weight in the culinary stakes, and that has much to do with its Italian heritage. Celebrity chefs Giovanni Pilu (Pilu @ Freshwater) and Alessandro Pavoni (Ormeggio) will be joining the team at Limone Dining to create and cook a delicious meal with matching beverages. It’s a rare opportunity to gain insight into the lives of two of Australia’s leading Italian chefs.

7pm to 11pm, Saturday 29 October. Limone Dining 482 Banna Avenue, Griffith.

Find out more here.

BUT WAIT…THERE’S MORE

This is just a small selection of what Taste Riverina has to offer. Visit www.tasteriverina.com.au to discover a full list of events, and plan your visit to feast, taste and learn.

the essentials

What: Taste Riverina
When: Friday 30 September to Monday 31 October 2016
Where: Various venues across the Riverina
Web: www.tasteriverina.com.au

user

Amanda Whitley

Amanda Whitley is the founder and director of HerCanberra. In her 'spare time', she instructs zumba, loves to cook (and eat), and wrangles two gorgeous little girls. She's done everything from present the tv news to operate a stop and go sign and is passionate about connecting Canberra women. More about the Author

MEJ Leaderboard