It’s not all Dagwood dogs and fairy-floss at this year’s Big Day Out. This time there’s something for the more flavour-minded weaving between stages at the king of music festivals. Sydney’s favourite ‘culinary outlaws’ Ben Milgate and Elvis Abrahanowicz, of Bodega and Porteño fame, have joined forces with Big Day Out to wrangle an A-grade line-up of chefs to create Chow Town, a concept that originated at Lollapalooza in Chicago and has now partnered with Big Day Out.
It was something that the boys were more than pleased to be part of. “Hopefully it’ll be a long partnership,” says Milgate.
Chow Town will be a chill and eat area that promises to bring new flare to the festival snacking experience. “We’ve got a Texas smoker to cook our brisket in and a huge row of tents and tables chairs – it’s a hang out area to get away from it all and smash some good food.”
In addition to Milgate and Abrahanowicz, the chef line-up includes: Surry Hills favourite Longrain’s Louis Tikaram, the trio from Bronte’s Three Blue Ducks (Mark LaBrooy, Darren Robertson and Shannon Debrecency), Gregory Llewellyn from Hartsyard in Newtown, Jonathan Barthelmess from The Apollo in Potts Point, and Alejanandro Urbina from Rojo Rocket at Avoca on the central coast.
The menu offers Porteño’s wagyu beef brisket with slaw, chorizo quesadillas and tuna tostadas from Rojo Rocket and Hartsyard’s country fried chicken legs with hot sauce.
“It’s just fun, good, tasty food,” says Milgate. “Other festival food will be available – I might even indulge in a Dagwood dog – but this is a chance to eat better and healthier. It’s not all pingers and bad food.”
While the boys will be fronting the show for the Sydney gig this Friday, they’re not on duty for the festival in other states, where their hand-picked chefs from those locales will take centre stage instead.
“We chose everyone and worked with people in each state to work out who would be best,” says Milgate. “Most people were stoked to be involved.” And we think festival-goers will be just as stoked to have them.
The Big Day Out is on Friday January 18 at the Showgrounds. bigdayout.com