The Carriageworks Summer Night Market returns to Sydney on Friday 15 February, with a line-up of food stalls and cooking demonstrations focused on community and compassion.
Curated by chef Kylie Kwong, the market is her "creative response" to Until, the monumental installation by American artist Nick Cave currently on show at Carriageworks. Cave's shimmering spectacle of crystalline chandelier clouds belies a more complex interrogation of US gun violence and race relations, and after a one-day "call-and-response" workshop with the artist (alongside other Australian creative luminaries like Romance Was Born designers Luke Sales and Anna Plunkett, and singer-songwriter Ngaiire), Kwong has decided to imbue the food market with a sense of "sharing and storytelling."
"I felt really inspired by Nick's message in Until and immediately thought of my own practice as a cook," Kwong says. "What do I stand for and what best ways can I positively contribute to the community?"
The line-up of over 60 stalls from Australia's best chefs and producers will pivot on this message of community spirit and social good. Attica's Ben Shewry, for example, will host a cooking demonstration using native Australian seafood sourced from Josh Niland's Fish Butchery; the cooking fire will be kindled by Dwayne Bannon-Harrison, founder of Ngaran Ngaran Culture Awareness, an organisation based on the NSW south coast that shares and promotes First Nations traditions.
Female chefs and bakers from refugee-run restaurant Four Brave Women will share the food and stories from their Iraqi, Iranian, Syrian, Ukrainian and Russian backgrounds, while Sydney MAD Mondays, a local spin-off of René Redzepi's food symposium MAD, will present talks on global cooking and social conscience by Wayside Chapel, journalist Caroline Baum and MAD Australia project manager Bella Napier.
Other food stalls appearing at the market include vegan restaurants Alibi and Paperbark; Merivale's glam Newport hang, Bert's Bar and Brasserie; mod-Indian eatery Don't Tell Aunty; Rockpool Dining Group's Bar Patron, Rockpool Bar & Grill, and Rosetta; and Japanese restaurant Sokyo; as well as South Australia's The Summertown Astrologist.
On the drinks front, market punters can expect drops from natural-wine purveyors P&V Wine + Liquor Merchants, Dear Saint Éloise, and Byron Bay's Jilly Wines, plus beers and spirits from Archie Rose Distilling Co, Young Henrys and The Grifter Brewing Co.
"We want to continue to spread Nick Cave's important message of community and compassion through our food offerings, in which local and global issues will be highlighted via the ingredients we choose, via the stories we share on our plate," Kwong says, who recently announced the closure of her long-running restaurant Billy Kwong.
In keeping with the theme of social consciousness, the market will be a plastic-straw-free event, and will feature a stall from Sydney Doesn't Suck, an environmental initiative spearheaded by City of Sydney councillor Jess Miller.
Tickets to the Summer Night Market are on sale now at carriageworks.com.au. Entry is $10 and children under 12 are free.
Friday 15 February, 5pm-10pm, Carriageworks, 245 Wilson St, Eveleigh.