Fabulous Forever Feast: Noosa Eat & Drink Festival
Noosa’s signature foodie festival will look a little different in 2021 but as Deb Caruso discovers, the show will go on, starting with a Summer Celebration.
Noosa’s signature foodie festival, the Noosa Eat & Drink Festival will look a little different in 2021, evolving from the annual four-day event in May to a series of events throughout the year in conjunction with a range of local foodie partners.
Expect a series of long lunches and experiences held throughout the region with options to suit everyone; restaurant events featuring guest chefs at your favourite Noosa restaurant; fun and fundraising events celebrating local food; and a potentially pared-down Festival hub mid next year.
Adapting to the unstable environment created by COVID-19, event organisers have redesigned the event with the health and safety of guests, staff, festival partners and importantly participants as a top priority.
Tourism Noosa CEO Melanie Anderson said the decision not to hold the usual large-scale event (which may or may not actually be able to be run due to COVID restrictions), presented an opportunity to think outside of the box.
“Planning for the annual event would normally be well and truly underway at this time of year for our festival team, but there is a very real reality that we may not be able to host our usual large-scale festival which usually attracts more than 10,000 visitors across the four days.
“With this in mind we have reimagined what the festival could look like, and in collaboration with our festival partners and industry, have redesigned the festival into a series of smaller, more frequent events throughout the year, which will ultimately provide more opportunities to enjoy the Noosa Eat & Drink experience.”
She said one of the primary goals of hosting the festival was to bring visitors to the region in a traditionally quiet time and to showcase the incredible restaurants, breweries, distilleries and producers.
“By hosting several events throughout the year, we will have more opportunities to do this, getting visitors and locals out and about across our region more frequently,” she said.
Noosa Eat & Drink experiences will feature charity partnered events as well as signature Noosa Eat & Drink events, such as the to-be-announced Summer Celebration and a new-look Festival scheduled for mid next year.
Festival Manager Lee Huber said the series of events would allow them to think differently about the festival and present opportunities for different collaborations.
“We will be working with existing festival partners, visiting chefs, restaurants, our food and drinks industry groups and select charities to curate some really exciting experiences,” she said.
“The change has been well received by Noosa’s new Food & Drink Tourism Advisory Group which brings together the region’s various food and beverage groups to support and develop the industry within the Noosa region.”
Brent Ogilvie from Ogilvie Group which owns Rickys, Wood Fire Grill, Locale, Aromas Noosa and Maravista Farm said: “It’s great to see the festival evolving like this and being able to continue showcasing Noosa’s wonderful food, produce and drink offerings, especially in these challenging times.”
Slow Food Noosa’s President Carolyn Winkler said the Festival was an integral part of Noosa’s food scene and the changes to a series of events was an exciting one, potentially allowing more opportunities to showcase the region and its champion producers and chefs.
The new-look, ‘always on’ Festival is off to a cracking start with The Noosa Cup, a collaboration with Noosa Chances for a Charity Race Day to be held at Sunshine Coast Turf Club on 4 October. The event will bring fine food and fashion to the field and is expected to sell-out quickly with Matt Golinski preparing a three-course lunch to be served with Pol Roger Champagne and premium beverages in the Champagne Garden and The Pavilion.
Guest speakers will include Bart Sinclair OAM, Noosa Mayor and self-declared ‘racing tragic’s wife’ Clare Stewart, Group 1 Winning Jockey Damian Browne, Co-owner of 2019 Melbourne Cup winner Vow and Declare, Anthony Lanskey; and Trainer and Tipster Joe Cleary. The theme is White Elegance with the White Orchid chosen as the Flower of the Day. Noosa Alive is also supporting the event with singer-songwriter Emma Tomlinson set to entertain and a Gala Bid and Live Auction assisting Noosa Chances to continue to support Noosa’s talented and inspiring young people.
Noosa Chances CEO Tara Bell said they were thrilled to have the Noosa Eat & Drink Festival organisers collaborating with them for their fundraising event. “The addition of Matt Golinski to our line-up for the day will put Noosa’s dining scene in the spotlight and provide a great taste of the Noosa Eat & Drink Festival experience,” she said.
“With the Noosa Eat & Drink Festival evolving, we are excited to collaborate with local charity Noosa Chances on this special day, raising funds for Noosa’s talented and inspiring young people. We are also counting down the days to the Summer Celebration event, our first stand-alone event which will be a true celebration of Noosa,” Festival Manager Lee Huber said.
“Our focus is very much about supporting our local food tourism industry and continuing the Noosa Eat & Drink Experience in unique ways.”
Details for the second event, scheduled for late 2020 will be announced shortly. While we can’t reveal too much at the time of going to print, the Summer Celebration will be an event to make your mouth water! To be the first in the know, follow Noosa Eat & Drink at instagram/noosaeatdrink and subscribe to the newsletter at www.noosaeatdrink.com.au
About Noosa Chances:
Noosa Chances believes all young people deserve the chance to realise their potential. They provide young people who live or study in the Noosa Shire the chance to fulfill their potential and overcome financial barriers to success by providing education scholarships through local Noosa schools and tertiary institutions and offer ongoing support.