9 February 2024

Fill your belly when annual foodie festival returns to the Sapphire Coast

| Claire Sams
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The South Coast is known for its food and wine - and it will be showcased in this multi-day food festival.

The South Coast is known for its food and wine – and it will be showcased in this multi-day food festival. Photo: David Rogers Photography.

An annual festival dedicated to the best of the regions’ food and wine is set to make its return for another year.

EAT Festival committee member Natalie Godward said behind-the-scenes work was already underway in the kitchens as businesses, restaurants and producers prepared for March.

“The volume of food that is put together for the festival is pretty high,” she said.

“Menus are starting to be thought out and produce is starting to be sourced or put away.”

The EAT Festival will return to Merimbula on 10 March from 10 am to 2 pm, to showcase what the town’s food and wine scene has to offer.

The day will also feature the return of the ‘oyster and spoon race’, where six chefs, producers and foodies will go-head-to-head to see who is fastest.

Ms Godward said the appeal of EAT Festival for attendees was simple: good food and wine in a beautiful location.

“We do get a lot of Victorians and Canberrans and locals from across the South Coast – they just come from everywhere,” she said.

“It just doesn’t get much better than filling your belly on a long weekend on the water’s edge with the sun shining.”

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As well as the main event, there will once again be EAT Partner events from 7 to 10 March.

“Those events spread all the way from Bermagui and Cobargo down to Eden,” Ms Godward said.

“They make it into a bigger festival.

“It is really about our region and celebrating the produce and food scene in our region.”

In 2024, the partner events include a seafood showcase, a six-course degustation with Canberra region wines and a dinner tour of Eden’s best restaurants, as well as other opportunities.

Attendees can also head back to school (that is, the oyster shucking school) to learn a new skill in Pambula Lake.

“There will be some of the tried and tested – and amazing – things that we always have, but there’s a few new events this year too,” Ms Godward said.

“We’re going to let that evolve and reveal them over the next few weeks.”

EAT Festival

EAT Festival is drawing producers, restaurants and other foodie businesses from across the Sapphire Coast together for another year. Photo: Supplied.

The festival is a chance to taste something special, Ms Godward said, and maybe find some new favourite producers along the way.

“A lot of the stallholders aren’t normally stallholders – they’re restaurants, cafes, businesses and producers that don’t go to markets,” she said.

“This is a really unique way to experience the entire taste of the Sapphire Coast in one go.”

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Ms Godward said EAT Festival had grown since the first seeds were planted more than a decade ago.

“It was an idea that a few of us had while sitting around a table, probably 12 years ago now,” she said.

“It’s great to see how it’s grown into a real representation of the local food scene.

“Celebrating local produce, chefs and artisans has always been our mission.”

While the Sapphire Coast was always known for its seafood, Ms Godward said that the region’s other food offerings had become increasingly popular.

“We’ve always had a pristine area and the ability to grow great oysters and seafood,” she said.

“There’s more provedores and more artisans doing amazing things with food and drink in recent years.

“The festival is growing in terms of size, but also growing across our region are the signs that the food scene across our region is growing bigger and better.”

The EAT Festival will be held across several days in March, with events planned from 7 to 10 March. Further information and tickets to the events are available online.

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