The capital of New South Wales and one of Australia’s largest cities, Sydney is never short on thrills. It’s also the place to be for a multisensory food-discovery trip with award-winning international chefs.
Sydney is set to be transformed as Vivid coats the city in light, art and creativity from May 26 to June 17. See the city’s harbour and landmarks lit up with mesmerising art displays and 3D light projections, catch cutting-edge music acts from Australia and the globe, and hear from leading creatives and thinkers at talks, panels and more. For the first year, you can also taste the city in a new way with big-name, multiple award-winning chefs cooking up dazzling feasts for the festival.
With globally recognised restaurants, a diverse neighbourhood dining scene and world-class produce, Sydney is an internationally acclaimed food destination. This year, for the first time, Vivid Sydney is celebrating the city’s vibrant food culture with this Vivid Food program of multisensory meals.
The festival brings together award-winning chefs from big-name Sydney and overseas restaurants, the best local producers, and artists to showcase Sydney’s dining scene. Expect one-of-a-kind menus from leading international chefs, multi-sensory degustations, fire-pit feasts plus installations and artworks across some of the city’s finest bars and restaurants. And as Sydney’s chefs cook with more creativity than ever before, the city’s mixologists and bartenders will be matching them by shaking things up on Vivid Food’s drink menus.
Let fire take you on a journey through the cuisines of the world at the Vivid Fire Kitchen, a barbecue of epic proportions that brings together 15 legendary barbecue chefs from Sydney and abroad, including Lennox Hastie (featured in Netflix’s Chef’s Table), Dave Pynt, the Michelin-starred chef of Singapore’s Burnt Ends, and reigning World Barbecue Champion Sterling Smith.
Taste something you’ve never tried before with the Vivid Chef Series, which pairs famous Sydney restaurants with cutting-edge global chefs. Rishi Naleendra of Michelin-starred Cloudstreet in Singapore is joining his former mentor Brent Savage at the all-vegetarian restaurant Yellow for a Sri Lankan-inspired feast using NSW premium produce. Prateek Sadhu, a former chef at Noma and The French Laundry, will be bringing his cooking philosophy – a love of hyper regionality and lost ingredients – to Nelly Robinson’s (two times Gault Millau chef of the year nominee) kitchen at NEL, a lauded fine diner in an inner-city basement. Or book a table at Good Food Guide 2023’s New Restaurant of the Year, Kiln, as chef Mitch Orr matches up with Jeremy Fox, chef/owner of LA restaurants Rustic Canyon and Birdie G’s, mixing flavours from Eastern Europe, Southeast Asian and Italy. Plus, Cape Town chef Mmabatho Molefe and London’s Jackson Boxer also fly in for this collaborative series.
The innovative art gallery and events space Carriageworks will be hosting a special edition of their popularNight Market— a one-night-only event showcasing more than 50 of Sydney’s leading restaurants, bars and producers. Curated by sustainability-focused chefMatt Stone, the market will celebrate nature, native ingredients and locally sourced produce.
At the unique event Play with Your Dinner, everything is art and (almost) everything is edible.Executive chef of famed Sydney Thai restaurant Chin Chin Matt MacLeodpairs a four-course menu with a ‘watercolour’ painting session using chilli oil, beetroot sauce and more ingredients from your dishes. Just as Chin Chin’s recipes highlight the finest NSW produce, so will your paintings. With a professional artist offering guidance, you’ll create artwork inspired by the state’s beautiful natural abundance that you can hang on your wall back home.
For a quintessential Sydney, experience remixed, check out the multi-sensory Light Up Your Senses from BridgeClimb Sydney, the tour operator that scales the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge. Designed by Australian celebrity chef Luke Mangan, you’ll find yourself snacking on premium cheese and drinking fine NSW Riverina wine with majestic views from the Sydney Harbour Bridge’s South East Pylon. Providing one of the best vantage points of Vivid Sydney, the pylon, which has its own fascinating history museum, lets you take in the sheer scope, size and beauty of the Light Walk from above.
Onto Sydney’s next icon, the Sydney Opera House. The landmark’s local venue Opera Bar is hosting The Taste and Sound of Sydney, where executive chefFernando Sanchez’sproduce-driven menu will be styled to represent Sydney’s sea and gardens and will combine native ingredients with international influences.Opera Bar will also feature live music every night of the festival with emerging artists bringing indie pop and acoustic, singer-songwriter tunes. The iconic bar is also an incredible point from which to gaze at the spectacular Vivid Light displays dancing across the Sydney Opera House sails. This year the light art honours the late John Olsen, one of Australia’s most renowned and respected painters.
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