For the past 22 years, every October, Sydney’s food scene is put front and centre for Good Food Month to celebrate the very best of NSW culinary talent. And this year, the need for support and praise is more significant than ever before.
“This year’s Good Food Month celebrates the crucial role that food plays in our lives – not just as a form of nourishment but a necessary source of connection,” Venessa Cowell, Head of Nine Food Events, said in a statement.
“It has been a truly challenging year for hospitality; chefs, restaurants, producers and suppliers (were) devastated by the impact of bushfires, floods and now the global pandemic.
“If nothing else, this whole year has led me to feel a greater responsibility for the people that rely on our businesses trading and more gratitude for all our guests that support us.” – Danielle Alvarez, Fred’s
“We are honoured that we can support local culinary talent and provide special dining experiences for Sydneysiders in a safe and socially responsible manner.”
Good Food Month will be donating a portion of ticket sales, with A$5 per ticket going to a charity of each of the feature event chefs’ choosing, including OzHarvest, R U OK? and Hope Delivery.
Additionally, Nine and Citi, Good Food Month’s presenting partners, will match the amount donated through ticket sales at the end of the month to support the industry and chefs’ chosen charities.
The event takes over restaurants across the city, features pop-up restaurants and offers dishes from some of the world’s best chefs. There are also pasta festivities, seafood delicacies and the return of the Night Noodle Markets.
A few highlights from this year’s program include the newly published cookbook authors Danielle Alvarez, Head Chef at Fred’s Paddington, and Elizabeth Hewson from Fink Group.
Guests can also expect lots of seafood too at a Hook, Wine & Drinker dinner, serving premium oysters, chardonnay and entertainment courtesy of the three hosts: Neil Perry and seafood connoisseurs Stephen Hodges and John Susman.
“This year’s Good Food Month celebrates the crucial role that food plays in our lives – not just as a form of nourishment but a necessary source of connection.” – Venessa Cowell, Nine Food Events
Additionally, over 40 events will take place across Sydney and more broadly across NSW for this year’s Friends of Good Food Month series.
Sydneysiders can enjoy a pasta degustation at Big Poppa’s, cool climate wine dinner at The Restaurant Pendolino, jazz at Restaurant Hubert and Japan’s finest flavours at No.5 Restaurant & Bar.
Some events this year will look a little different as the Friends of Good Food Month restaurant partners implement COVID-19 safety measures recommended by the NSW Government.
“It’s more important than ever to support the hospitality industry, and what better way than to get involved in one of the exciting events that form part of the Good Food Month calendar for 2020,” Samantha Elliott, Head of Digital Sales and Marketing at Citi Australia, said in a statement.
“It might look a little different this year, but our restaurant partners should be applauded for their resilience and innovation as they continue to live up to Sydney’s world-class reputation as a dining destination.”
Good Food Month recommends booking in advance as many events have limited tickets available.
Insight into Good Food Month
Danielle Alvarez, Head Chef at Fred’s
Having trained and worked at some of America’s most prestigious institutions, including Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry and Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse, Danielle brings a wealth of expertise to her current role as Head Chef of two-hat restaurant Fred’s in Paddington.
“The mere fact that we are having a Good Food Month feels like something to celebrate,” Danielle enthuses.
“It’s clearly been a tough year for our sector, so to continue to operate at Fred’s and finally be releasing my first cookbook feels very lucky. I want to continue to celebrate that and champion the things I have always championed: support for small local farms, support for our fisherman, support for our entire supply chains and for our staff,” Danielle tells The CEO Magazine.
“If nothing else, this whole year has led me to feel a greater responsibility for the people that rely on our businesses trading and more gratitude for all our guests that support us.
“I’ve always enjoyed storytelling through food. I find cooking incredibly therapeutic, and there are always delicious results.” – Elizabeth Hewson, Fink Group
“It’s a massive industry, and I think we all just want to get back to doing what we do best which is feeding our guests delicious food and making people welcome, relaxed and safe.”
Danielle will be celebrating the launch of her new cookbook Always Add Lemon with an intimate dining experience at The Apartment at Hotel Centennial on Sunday 18 October.
“I am most looking forward to my cookbook launch event where I’ll be demonstrating a few of my favourite recipes from the book,” she shares.
Cooking is all about creating joy and tasting the love in the dishes, the chef explains. “I take a lot of pains to find and use the best local ingredients, and I want you to taste those ingredients purely, but perhaps a bit amplified,” Danielle says.
“It’s simple and understated but to me, very satisfying – it’s the food I want to eat.”
Elizabeth Hewson, Marketing and Brand Manager at Fink Group and home cook
“In my day job as Marketing and Brand Manager for Fink – which owns and operates some of Australia’s best restaurants including Quay, OTTO, Bennelong and Firedoor – we normally are involved in some way with Good Food Month,” Elizabeth says.
“It’s surreal to be on the other side and have my project – Saturday Night Pasta – take centre stage in an event.”
Along with deliciously prepared meals from Elizabeth’s new book Saturday Night Pasta: Recipes and Self-Care Rituals for the Home Cook, guests will also be treated to the sounds of classic American jazz including Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Nina Simone and Louis Armstrong in the surrounds of Eleven Bridge.
Attendees will receive a pasta starter pack that includes Australian heritage flour, Mutti tomatoes, Olsson’s salt, Italian extra virgin olive oil and a copy of Elizabeth’s book.
“I’ve always enjoyed storytelling through food,” Elizabeth shares. “I find cooking incredibly therapeutic, and there are always delicious results.”