Rootstock Sydney 2015: beyond the glass

From top: Giorgio De Maria, James Hird and Mike Bennie

From top: Giorgio De Maria, James Hird and Mike Bennie

You've heard of Rootstock, the Sydney festival of artisanal wine that celebrates everything cool and unusual in the glass. And it's always had good food, whether it was the Pinbone kids' stall at the original 2013 event (replete with the in-jokey likes of Radicorn, a mingling of prawns, corn, and wine from Friulano vintner Stanko Radikon), or Pasi Petanen's 2014 raw beef pizza, cardboard box and all.

This November, though, they're stepping it up. Taking the long view of the idea of artisanship, they're making indigenous culinary culture a focal point. The Gurandgi Munjie (or Food of the People) pavilion celebrates the food of the Yuin people, traditional owners of the land of the south coast of New South Wales, and will display aboriginal artefacts alongside a bank of native produce. Bread will be baked with native grains and over the course of the weekend a midden will be made with shells left over from a meal of oysters, pipis, mussels and blood cockles prepared by Yuin cooks.

Bruce Pascoe - writer, editor, indigenous farmer and the author of Dark Emu - has consulted on the program and will be speaking at the event; other guest speakers who aren't winemakers, wine writers or sommeliers include Holy Goat cheesemaker Carla Meurs, brewer Ashley Huntington of Two Metre Tall brewery, and architect Richard Leplastrier.

The local chefs are all collaborating on their dishes with a producer - MoVida with Flinders Island wallaby, for instance, and Mary's with Krinklewood biodynamic beef.

Then there's the latest addition to the line-up: a breakfast at 10am on Saturday 28 November cooked by David Moyle of Hobart hotspot Franklin with the assistance of - gasp - Magnus Nilsson. Nilsson, the chef of Fäviken, the acclaimed ultra-locavore restaurant in the wilds of northern Sweden, is in town promoting his new Nordic Cookbook, and will talk about food traditions from his part of the world. It's $50 a head, or $80 with a copy of the book.

But there's more. So much more. A raw milk and artisan cheese pavilion, a "one-of-a-kind master collaboration" of top baristas, including Noma's coffee guy, Tim Varney, in the coffee pavilion, plus the Laboratorio, where activities will include discussions of mushroom growing, sea salt production, oyster gathering, natural beekeeping and cheesemaking.

Oh, and there'll be some wine there, too.

"Though Rootstock Sydney is generally thought of as a natural wine festival and big wine party, there's a big, broad, wild and wide-ranging food program that's pretty mind-boggling in its scope and scale," says co-founder (and GT contributor) Mike Bennie. "The food program this year almost outscales the insane wine program."

And its impact will be felt beyond the festival weekend: "Rootstock Sydney is assisting with promotion and crowd-funding initiatives to support the Gurandgi Munjie project, which aims to establish lands in NSW to grow traditional food plants of their culture," says Bennie. "It all fits into our overarching theme of exploring produce and sustainability through process and provenance."

Rootstock Sydney 2015, 28-29 November, Carriageworks, 245 Wilson St, Eveleigh, NSW. Access to the market and the pavilions is free; tickets for talks and wine tastings start at $20. 


Newsletter

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

Latest news
The GT x STILY Christmas Boutique is now open
21.11.2017
Christmas gifts at the GT x STILY Christmas Boutique
17.11.2017
Support young chefs raising money for mental health
16.11.2017
The 2017 Margaret River Gourmet Escape program
09.11.2017
The GT x STILY Christmas Boutique is back
01.11.2017
Where to watch the 2017 Melbourne Cup
24.10.2017
The Gourmet Traveller podcast

Each fortnight we round up the most interesting characters from the food world for your listening pleasure. We chat to chefs, cooks, authors, bar tenders and baristas - anyone who has something new and interesting to say about the way we like to eat and drink.

Listen
Recipe collections

Looking for fresh dinner ideas? Not sure how to make the most out of seasonal produce? Or do you need to plan the perfect party menu? Our recipe collections have you covered.

See more

You might also like...

On a high note

Australia’s restaurant stars took a well-deserved night off ...

Sanpellegrino Cafe Society awards

Sanpellegrino announces the winners of its Sydney Cafe Socie...

Jaeger-Le Coultre 180th birthday

Swiss watch company Jaeger-Le Coultre celebrated its 180th b...

NICI cocktail party

The National Indigenous Culinary Institute introduced its ne...

Best at Est

Est's crack troupe of waiters is ferrying an extra-special l...

Absolut Oz launch party

Bondi's Bucket List might not quite be East Egg but that did...

2014 Sydney Carnival at Royal Randwick

Randwick gets a taste of Melbourne Cup glamour this autumn r...

Taste of Sydney 2014

Time to strap on the eating boots, folks: Taste of Sydney is...

Calvisius caviar launch

It's one of those "tough job, but someone's got to do it" mo...

Little Sydney 2014 recap

The Little Sydney marquee space at Royal Randwick, featuring...

Sydney Festival 2015

Sydney Festival director Lieven Bertels shares his pick of t...

GT reader dinner: Billy Kwong, Sydney

Billy Kwong has reopened in new Potts Point digs and you can...

Nespresso launches decaf

Nespresso has released a new range of decaffeinated Grands C...

March into Merivale 2015

It's time for March into Merivale, the hospitality group's i...