Whatever your battle plans are for next weekend, make sure they involve a visit to Rootstock Sydney, which is on at Carriageworks in Eveleigh. Since its debut last year, this artisanal food and wine fair has upsized and is now taking place over two days, with an impressive program of masterclasses, workshops and markets.
Each night, a knockout line-up of chefs will create dishes tailored to their favourite wines – this cast list includes Pasi Petanen (Cafe Paci), Mat Lindsay (Ester), James Parry & Daniel Puskas (Sixpenny), Mitch Orr (121BC), Clayton Wells (Momofuku Seiōbo), Mike Eggert and Jemma Whiteman (Pinbone) and more. The whole crew from Garagistes will be closing the restaurant in Tasmania and is heading to Sydney, just for this event.
On Sunday, there’ll be a marketplace, which sees great eateries colluding with producers: Mary’s teams up with Krinklewood Farm, Vini with Highland Gourmet Potatoes, Pasta Emilia with Kurrawong Organics, Biota Dining with Pecora Dairy and more. Hartsyard will create dishes from its kitchen garden – and, to opportunistically riff off this segueway – to really get the lowdown on Rootstock Sydney, it’s worth taking a listen to my latest podcast, which features one of the festival’s organisers, Mike Bennie.
You may have sipped from Mike’s drinks list at Hartsyard (co-created with good guy, Ned Brooks of Moon Park) or you might have read his writing in Time Out Sydney, Gourmet Traveller Wine or Men’s Style. As an award-winning wine writer, he’s had some amazing adventures: he’s conquered 600-metre cliff drops – just to visit a vineyard on top of a Swiss mountain (and yes, dangling from those scary ledges proved worth it) to enduring 10-star hangovers after testing up to 40 wines a day. In the podcast, he chats about the 8000-year-old wine-making traditions of Georgia and why orange wine is a big deal (both topics that tie into Rootstock Sydney), and we also take an irreverent look at whether you should get wine advice from rap music. Don’t worry, you needn’t be a wine buff to listen – because Mike is so accessible and witty, it’s a fun and insightful chat. It also covers Mike’s favourite places to eat in town, plus the restaurant opening he’s most excited about this year – the new place that Luke Powell (Mary’s, Tetsuya’s) will be running in Chippendale.
You can listen to my podcast on iTunes or download it via RSS or directly. And thanks to all the people who have left some kind words about previous podcasts in the iTunes store, it means a lot. See you at Rootstock Sydney.
Rootstock Sydney, February 8-9, Carriageworks, 245 Wilson St, Eveleigh NSW rootstocksydney.com