Last month I was fortunate enough to attend the Taste of Sydney, a 4-day food festival held at Centennial Park.  I'm a fan of food festivals but they're definitely something you have to learn how to maneuver through.  It's a bit like a music or film festival in the sense that you need to plan ahead, find out what you want to get out of it, research the vendors, chefs, and restaurants that are attending. I brought my cash, credit card, hunger and taste palate ready to tackle this.

This was part of a series of demonstrations from Sydney's culinary masters.  Here, Romeo Baudouin from Victor Churchill Family Butcher's teaches the audience about charcuterie.  An (almost) whole pig was brought out, divided, and cut.  As he was doing this, Baudouin explained what each part was used for.  It was definitely very informative and a great learning experience.

Initially, I jumped in, anxious to try the food from the restaurants after scanning the menu.  I decided to start out with a salad accompanied by grilled salmon on skewers but it turned out to be a disappointment.  It looked better than it tasted, unfortunately.  I moved on to the vendors, sampling wines, liquors, cheeses, meats, and various snacks.  It worked out a lot better because you were able to taste before actually deciding what you wanted to buy.  In the end, I ended up with some treats that left me satisfied for a couple days:
  • Milawa Cheeses
    • King River Gold: a small round, washeed rind cheese that had a soft, smooth texture (cow's milk).  Mmmm!
    • Milawa Camembert: another cow's milk cheese that is a velvety, white mold made in the Normandy style that develops a mushroomy aroma and a mild salty flavor.
  • Regal Smoked Salmon
    • Wood roasted (hot smoked) Pepper Salmon
For those who would like to attend a food festival, there is one coming up in June in LA (other locations and dates discussed below) called Taste of the Nation.  What's great about Share Our Strength, the organization that runs this festival, is that 100% of the proceeds/ticket sales goes towards ending childhood hunger.  Tickets can be bought here or you can also volunteer so mark your calendars and get involved--someway, somehow:

Taste of the Nation Los Angeles
June 12, 2011
1:00 - 4:00 PM
Media Park in Culver City
9070 Venice Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232

Other dates and locations are also available such as 4/7 San Francisco (CA), 4/14 Boston (MA), 5/22 Laguna Beach (CA), 5/23 NYC, and many more.  Check their website for more info:

Keep eating!