Orange Food Week returns in March with a mixed bag of 80 events (NSW)

Australia’s longest-running regional food festival, The Orange F.O.O.D Week (Food of Orange District), returns again this year and will run from 31 March – 9 April. This hugely popular regional food and wine festival, now in its 26th year, offers foodies from around the country more than 80 events, including 6 signature events, all of which promote and spotlight the food and produce of the Orange region.

Some of its key events include the F.O.O.D Week Night Market held on 31st March, its opening night; the 100 Mile Dinner, held under the stars in Molong and featuring food and wine from Mudgee, Young, Cowra, Canowindra, Orange, Molong and Bathurst; the daily F.O.O.D HQ, a good place to meet local food producers and the Sunday Producers Markets and Brunch.

This year is of particular importance for Orange Food Week, with 2017 being the United Nations International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. Orange Food Week organisers have positioned this year’s festival as sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible, with biodegradable food vessels, sustainably produced paper for all printed festival material (including a commitment to use mostly digital communication for festival programme items) and carrying out an Environmental Audit of this year’s event to use as a blueprint for future events.

The Orange F.O.O.D Week has now become one of Australia’s top ten food festivals, beloved by both locals (naturally) and visitors. In the early 2000s, the week-long festival was made up of 40 events, which, in its time, was an outstanding effort, and made the nation sit up and pay attention to the region’s thriving food, wine, art and tourism industries. 27 years in and the event has grown into what is easily one of the most anticipated food and wine festivals of the year.

Over the ten day event, Orange will pull out all the stops in showcasing its 38 vineyards, 42 cafes and numerous fine dining venues, including Tonic (Chef Tony Worland), Racine (Chef Shaun Arantz) and the hatted Lolli Redini (Chef Simonn Hawke).

Some of the festival’s returning signature events include:

F.O.O.D HQ
Runs daily from 1st to 9th April (except Saturday 8th April), 11am–12:30pm
Location: The Agrestic Grocer, 426 Molong Rd, Orange
Free event | Enquiries: Catherine Cheney 0407 259 626

This is your chance to speak to event volunteers for information about the food and produce you’ll see during your stay in Orange. Meet local producers and chefs and buy the produce.

F.O.O.D Week Night Market
Friday 31 March, 5:30pm–8:30pm
Location: Robertson Park, McNamara St, Orange
Gold Coin entry | Enquiries 02 6360 1990

More than just a regular ole market, this one is instead filled with the Orange Region’s best chefs, cooks, caterers, providores, wine, cider and beer makers. Best enjoyed with provided live music, and communal dining alfresco.

100 Mile Dinner
Monday 3 April, 6pm for 6:30pm start
Location: Molong Village Green, Orange Civic Theatre, 135 Byng St, Orange. Buses depart rear
$125pp (Bus extra $20pp) | Bookings www.orangefoodweek.com.au, or contact Edwena Mitchell 0419 642 053

In its fifth year, the 100 Mile Dinner allows guests to experience food and wine from Bathurst, Cowra, Molong, Mudgee and Orange, all brought to you by local chefs and cooks. The ticket price includes all food and beverages.

F.O.O.D Train
Departs, Friday 7 April from Central Station (Sydney) at 7:18am and Returns Sunday 9 April at 9pm
Location: Sydney to Orange
$890pp | Bookings www.orangefoodweek.com.au, or contact Sheelagh Tancred 02 6361 7836 and 0428 148 220

A weekend devoted to the food of Orange offers the perfect way to experience this festival. Starting with breakfast on board the Orange-bound train, you’ll then be accompanied on a tour of the food of the region, including lunch and fine dining. Included in your ticket price is access to the Forage event, breakfast in Cook Park and lunch at Lolli Redini. This also includes two nights’ accommodation at a centrally located venue.

Forage
Saturday 8 April, 11:30am – 6pm
Location: Start at Orange Civic Theatre. Buses depart rear of Orange Civic Theatre, 135 Byng St, Orange.
$115pp | Bookings www.orangefoodweek.com.au, contact James Sweetapple 0428 656 100

Stroll through vineyards and taste the region’s food and wine. This 3.6km stroll takes you through Balmoral Vineyard and Koomooloo Vineyard, and then onto Mount Canobolas. You will then finish your day at North Face Vineyard. Guests will be treated to wine tastings and tasting plates every 500m, delivered by local producers.

Sunday Producers’ Market and Brunch
Sunday 9 April, 8:30am – 12:30pm
Location: Cook Park, Summer St, Orange
Free event | Contact Richard Dowling 0412 199 404

Enjoy brunch prepared by some of the region’s best chefs and food producers in Cook Park, experience cooking demonstrations and purchase some local produce. Go into the draw to win the F.O.O.D HQ Raffle (drawn at 11am).

For full details and more information about the event head to the official website HERE

Images supplied.