Six bars, 12 food vendors, fire-pits and live music: Tasting Australia’s Town Square is back in 2021 with a new look.

The free-to-enter festival hub, situated in Tarntanyangga/Victoria Square, will also be home to Town Square Kitchen, which takes over from the Glasshouse Kitchen of previous years. As before, it will be the setting for a series of flagship high-end dinners. Highlights include a focus on Mayura Station’s rare cuts with chefs Analiese Gregory, Jake Kellie and Mark Wright; a vegetarian dinner with Kane Pollard, Mark Labrooy and Paul Carmichael; and a celebration of global cuisine with Tasting Australia Patron Cheong Liew, Mat Lindsay, Louis Tikaram and Carmichael.

The square will also house a dedicated artisan area where festival-goers can observe local makers at work; watch barrel charring by MasterCask and knife forging by Dogboy Knives.

Outside of the ticketed events, the kitchen will be open to the public. “We encourage people to take a plate from one of our food vendors, share a drink with friends or simply enjoy the surroundings at Town Square Kitchen,” says festival director Simon Bryant.

The East End Cellars Masterclass series will also return to Town Square in 2021. “Wine, beer, spirits, champagne – it’s all on the table,” says beverage director Nick Stock, “whether you’re an avid connoisseur or eager to learn more.”

“This year you’ll find events uniting stars from across Australia and New Zealand. We’ll honour local legends and travel beyond our shores to revel in treasures from wine regions including Burgundy, Barolo and the Jura. Sip premium champagne, embrace all things distilled or raise your glass to our craft brewers.”

Town Square vendors are still to be confirmed. The wider Tasting Australia program was released in December.

Tasting Australia runs from April 30 to May 9. Tickets to the Town Square Kitchen and East End Cellars Masterclasses are on sale today.