Culture

Vivid Sydney’s food program is back for 2024

Fire cooking, headline chefs, night food markets and more are set to descend on the city for Vivid Sydney 2024.
Vivid Sydney Light projections by artist Julia Gutman on the Sydney Opera House sails

'Lighting of the Sails: Echo (2024) by Julia Gutman projected on the Sydney Opera House sails

Sydney’s nights of lights and culture returns in 2024, with a strong food program underpinning Vivid Sydney 2024. Last year the Southern Hemisphere’s largest multi-artform festival added a food pillar to its program, and it’s coming back for 2024. This year’s theme of ‘humanity’ will be interpreted through programs of light, music, ideas and food across 23 nights from 24 May to 15 June.

“Vivid Food explores how food is often at the core of the human experience, acting as both a vibrant expression of diversity and a powerful connecter,” said Festival Director and Vivid Food curator Gill Minervini.

Highlights include Vivid Residence, with Manoella Buffara of Manu Restaurant coming for a restaurant takeover. Best known as Manu, and for her trailblazing eponymous restaurant, Buffara will hit the pans at Kiln, located on the top floor of the Ace Hotel, meaning guests will be treated to both a boundary-pushing Brazilian degustation as well as views of Vivid’s lights and installations. Working with Kiln’s chef Mitch Orr to craft an unforgettable fine-dining experience. 

Fred’s, Aalia and The Charles Brasserie will host Michelin-starred chefs including Max Coen, Sally Abé and Ivan Brehm for the Vivid Chef Series; while Vivid Fire Kitchen will host Christine Manfield, Lennox Hastie and Oscar Solomon (Cho Cho San, Greca and Yoko); while Jess Pryles will fly in from Texas and Niklas Ekstedt from Sweden. 

As the Opera House, bridge and city lights up, restaurants will be turning it on for Vivid-goers, including Aria. The much loved formal restaurant will change things up morphing into the Aria Snack Bar. The menu includes gildas; crab croustades with trout roe and kombu and wagyu cheeseburgers; prawns with black lime and fermented chilli and includes a cocktail or wine, with bookings essential. 

Some highlights from the Vivid Food program include Refettorio OzHarvest hosting a special chef series, dubbed Our Shared Humanity, where the likes of Christine Manfield, Peter Gilmore, Darren Robertson, and Mitch Orr will each use entirely rescued produce to create a three-course meal. Ultimo’s The Goods Line will serve as a new venue for Vivid Fire Kitchen, exploring how fire is globally and historically so important to cooking and community. Danielle Alvarez will host a women-focused celebration of Australian wine-making and dining, taking place in the Sydney Opera House’s Yallamundi Rooms.

Over at Carriageworks the Warakirri Dining Experience will see a thoughtful First Nations dining experience interweave storytelling, dance and cooking, by Ngemba Weilwan woman and chef Sharon Winsor. In Chippendale, Plate It Forward‘s Kyiv Social will host a one-off 10-course degustation to celebrate the joy and humanity found at Ukrainian family tables. And Sydney Place and Bulletin Place, both just a short stroll from Circular Quay, will transform into a culinary hub with more than 20 restaurants and bars that make up VividPlace Food Trail.

Plus, you can dine inside the Sydney Harbour Bridge thanks to another run of Luke’s Table at the Pylon Lookout; pick up gelato scoops at the pop-up Messina Milk Bar; and catch the dazzling lights sans crowds, paired with a special food and drink offering, at Bennelong’s bar.

For the full Vivid Sydney 2024 program, head to vividsydney.com

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