Synonymous with food and wine, the Orange district lies almost four hours west of Sydney. It’s home to a cluster of award-winning restaurants, bars and cafes that showcase the exceptional produce grown on the town’s doorstep. Now in its 24th year, F.O.O.D (Food of Orange District) Week brings together the best from Orange, Cabonne and Blayney for more than 80 events across 10 days. “I believe in what we have here and I want people to be able to share the enjoyment of it,” says James Sweetapple, president of F.O.O.D Inc.
Meet with growers, famers and makers from the region to find out how and why food ends up on your plate. “Part of what we want to do with F.O.O.D Week is educate,” says Sweetapple. There are a variety of free and ticketed events on offer. Here are Broadsheet’s top picks.
Ever wondered what to do with fresh chestnuts, or how smallgoods are cured? Find answers at F.O.O.D HQ. Hosted at The Agrestic Grocer, every day a different local producer will give a talk and demonstration. Guests include Huntley Berry Farm, Smoking Brother’s Catering, Brittle Jacks Chestnut Farm, Small Acres Cyder and Second Mouse Cheese Co, to name a few.
When: April 10–19 (except April 11 and 18), 11am–12.30pm
Where: The Agrestic Grocer, 426 Mitchell Highway, Orange
F.O.O.D Week Night Market
Make the most of the fresh country air with an evening dining al fresco at the night market. There’ll be more than 50 stalls by local providores, restaurants, cafes and chefs – and every dish will focus on a local hero ingredient.
When: Friday April 10, 5.30pm–8.30pm
Where: Robertson Park, McNamara Street, Orange
Cost: Gold coin entry
Sunset Tour & Taste at Cargo Road Wines
Follow F.O.O.D Inc president James Sweetapple for a tour through his vineyards at Cargo Road Winery. On the walk you’ll touch and taste the grapes, learn about the cool climate and wine-making process, and most importantly, sample a couple of signature drops.
When: Saturday April 11, 3.30pm–6pm
Where: Cargo Road Winery, 1064 Cargo Road, Orange
Cost: $20 per person
To book call 0428 656 100
The 100 Mile Dinner
Forget foreign fare and celebrate delicacies closer to home. Based on the 100-Mile Diet , everything served at this dinner under the stars comes from within a 100-mile radius. Luckily, the neighbouring towns of Bathurst, Molong, Mudgee and Cowra all fall within the bracket.
When: Monday April 13, 6.30pm
Where: The Village Green, Molong
Book at orangefoodweek.com.au
Bucket Science with Percy’s
Wine enthusiasts can try their hand at winemaking for a night, blending the latest vintages from Printhie Wines into a wine that’ll be bottled and sold. Canapés and drinks will also be served on the night.
When: Thursday April 16, 6pm–9pm
Where: Percy’s Bar & Kitchen, 120 Summer Street, Orange
Book at trybooking.com/GLRI
Work up an appetite with a leisurely 3.6-kilometre amble through vineyards, eating local food and tasting wine every 500 metres or so. Sponsored by NSW Department of Primary Industries, there’ll be plenty of opportunities to learn about the produce and the region’s cool climate.
When: Saturday April 18, 11.30am–6pm
Where: Buses depart Orange Civic Theatre, 135 Byng Street, Orange and the walk begins at Balmoral Vineyard
Book at orangefoodweek.com.au
Sunday Producers’ Brunch & Market
Cap off the festival with breakfast and take a little bit of Orange home with you by stocking up on locally grown goodies before you hit the road.
When: Sunday April 19, 8.30am–12.30pm
Where: Cook Park, Summer Street, Orange
F.O.O.D Week runs from Friday April 10 to Sunday April 19. View the full program at orangefoodweek.com.au