In late November the entrance to Carriageworks will be transformed into an Indigenous Australian kitchen for Rootstock Sydney. Behind the stacks of native produce there’ll be rows of local cheesemakers talking about and selling their specialty goods. Deeper in you’ll find the chefs and owners of Brickfields, MoVida Sydney and Ester each with a farmer at their side and a collaborative creation in their hands.
“The food part of the festival is going to be massive. Much bigger than last year,” says Giorgio De Maria, previously of 121BC and one of the festival’s co-founders. This year’s festival will have three additional sections; an Indigenous food bazaar, a cheese market and a coffee pavilion. De Maria says while the wine half of the festival will feature sustainable, organic wines from all over the world, the food section will be a collection of Australia’s best.
“The first area is the Indigenous food area. There will be a big focus on trying to educate people about what Aboriginal people were doing in the past,” says De Maria. He and the other festival organisers have been working with Indigenous author and farmer Bruce Pascoe to showcase some of Australia’s native ingredients and recipes. Members of the Yuin nation will be running stalls serving a traditional Aboriginal meal.
Rootstock Sydney’s cheese market will have eight to 10 stalls, each with three specialty cheesemakers. “That's the idea behind Rootstock,” says De Maria. “You can actually meet the producers.” At the marketplace, or “chef and produce” section, there’ll be 20 different product-focused stalls, each with a chef and a producer on hand. “The producer will be selling his product and the chef will be cooking one dish using that product. We’re trying to respect existing relationships between chef and suppliers, trying to encourage the importance of chefs dealing directly with suppliers.”
The line-up includes Sagra, who will be working with Martin’s Seafood to make a whole squid pasta. Hartsyard will be barbecuing ribs with Breakout River Cowra Lamb, Flour & Stone will be teaming up with Rabbit Hole Teas on a range of tea pastries, Bird Cow Fish will be joined by Martin Boetz and Cooks Co-Op to make a paella, and Brickfields will be making focaccias with the supplier Flinders Range flour. There’ll also be stalls from Mary’s, Pinbone, who are taking a break from the restaurant game for a while before a new project, and who will present an entirely foraged produce stall, Pasta Emilia, Cornersmith, Feather and Bone, RivaReno Gelato, Pepe Saya Butter, Ester, LuMi Bar & Dining, Love Supreme, MoVida Sydney and Melbourne's Clever Polly's.
As well as Rootstock Sydney’s range of organic and sustainable wines for sale and for tasting, the festival will run a coffee bar where 12 of Australia’s best roasters will brew draught coffee, syphon, AeroPress, espresso and cold drips. “All these roasters are going to work together, it's a collaborative bar. Each style will have a different roast from one of these roasters in rotation.” The bar will also host a one-off traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony.
“Duncan Welgemoed from Adelaide’s Africola is going to slow cook a whole cow over charcoal. We're going to start it on Saturday and serve it on Sunday night for our closing party.” De Maria says the feast will utilise every cut, off-cut and organ the cow provides.
Rootstock Sydney will run from Saturday November 28 until Sunday November 29 at Carriageworks in Eveleigh. Tickets are on sale now through Rootstock's website.
Rootstock Sydney is a not-for-profit organisation and festival and relies heavily on the support of a vibrant community for its success. The team are currently scouting for volunteers to help the chefs, winemakers, producers and festival organisers run things smoothly. You will be able to enjoy the event as part of being a volunteer. To register your interest and for more information, see rootstocksydney.com/volunteer.
Broadsheet is the proud media partner of Rootstock Sydney.