In Sydney we’re big fans of festivals of all shapes and sorts. Music, film, surfing, drinks, you name it. So it comes as no surprise that come February 1–2, The Royal Botanic Gardens will host a festival dedicated to the ruby jewels of summer – tomatoes.

Whether you enjoy your tomatoes raw, in a sauce for pasta or pizza or in liquid form spiked with vodka and tabasco, there will be something for everyone to learn, compete in – and most importantly eat – at the festival.

Listen to wise words from esteemed Italian chef, Pietro Demaio at his masterclass on how to re-create the Italian midsummer magic in your own home by pressing your own tomatoes and preserving them.

For the more advanced and green-thumbed among us, put your homemade tomato passata (sauce), chutney or simple home-grown tomatoes up for competition and win yourself a nine-week Italian language class. Those less ambitious (and more hungry) can get involved too and sign up to judge the competition.

To top off the festival experience, head to the Royal Botanic Gardens Restaurant for a cocktail party on January 31 to dance while sipping on the finest Bloody Mary the festival has to offer.

Here’s what’s on show and where:

Cocktail party - Botanic Gardens restaurant, 6pm-9pm, January 31, 2014.

Pietro Demaio Cooking Masterclass - Botanic Gardens, 10am-12pm, February 1-2, 2014.

Tomato Taste Test - Royal Botanic Gardens, 11am-1pm, February 1-2, 2014.