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Food & Words food-writing festival

Long Chim's David Thompson

Long Chim's David Thompson

The annual food writers' festival is back with a strong line-up that includes Long Chim's David Thompson and GT columnist Paulette Whitney.

Some of Australia's best chefs, writers and growing fanatics have graced Sydney's Food & Words in recent years. And this year the line-up at Australia's only festival dedicated to food literature once again brims with diversity, talent and just the right amount of audacity.

Ticking that last box neatly is Thai food authority David Thompson, back in his hometown to open Long Chim, his first Sydney restaurant in 17 years. The program says he'll be sharing insights from his first forays into cooking Thai food, and discussing the cookbooks that inspired him. Anyone who has attended a cooking class with Thompson (or Gourmet Traveller's Restaurant Awards in August), however, knows that while the chef is unfailingly erudite, sticking to the script is seldom top of his agenda.

Seafood expert and GT columnist John Susman is also on the bill, speaking about his epic soon-to-be-published guide to selecting and preparing Australian seafood. You'll also hear from Georgina Reid, editor of online magazine The Planthunter, and Biota chef James Viles, who will chat about his hunting expeditions, then cook lunch for hungry attendees.

If you like food talk with something of a political edge, you won't want to miss GT columnist (and Instagram sensation) Paulette Whitney. The Tasmanian market gardener regularly writes from a producer's perspective on everything from offal to stalking plants on Instagram, but the focus of her talk for the festival will be soil and the effect of climate change on farmers, and also possibly radishes.

A forum like Food & Words, Whitney says, is a great platform for growers to communicate directly with the public. "A lot of us are out here in paddocks alone, healing soil and plants, but most people aren't connected to that and they don't know what we are trying to achieve."

Food & Words, 10 September, 10am-4pm, tickets $265, The Mint, 10 Macquarie St, Sydney, NSW, foodandwords.com.au

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