Some of Sydney’s most exciting providores will form the food line-up at the Underbelly Arts Festival, to be held on Cockatoo Island over August 1–2.
Artistic director Eliza Sarlos recruited Lee Tran Lam to curate the food over dinner. “She knows I’m bit of a food nerd,” says Lam, downplaying her impressive credentials, which include writing the popular food blog The Unbearable Lightness of Being Hungry.
“In the way that the festival showcases talented artists that are worth your attention, we wanted to single out locals who are doing things with food that are worth going out of your way and getting on a ferry for,” says Lam
Lam pins part of Rising Sun Workshop’s appeal on its “one-of-a-kind” ramen and its unique story. “How many ramen bar/communal motorcycle workshops are out there?” she asks. “It is really exciting to have Rising Sun on board because it's been nearly a year since their Newtown pop-up closed and they're still busy working on getting their new permanent site to open later in 2015. So this is a chance for ramen-denied Rising Sun fans to finally get their long-awaited noodle fix!”
The festival’s spectacular setting created a specific set of challenges for Lam. Everything has to be loaded onto a barge and ferried to Cockatoo Island two days before the festival, a logistical detail that put limitations on the food the vendors can serve.
“Andy Bowden was thinking of making deep-fried cheesecake but he can’t bring a deep fryer onto the island because there’s nowhere to dispose of the grease,” says Lam.
Rising Sun’s famed ramen stocks posed another problem. “You can’t put that on a barge two days before the event,” says Lam. Nick Smith will be camping out on the island days before the festival to make his stocks: the Dark, a shoyu bone broth, and the Monk, a vegetarian-friendly, spicy miso-style stock.
Sydney brewery Young Henrys will run a bar serving locally brewed beer and its own Noble Cut Gin.
Underbelly Arts runs from August 1–2 on Cockatoo Island, Sydney Harbour.