From pop-up bars to hat swaps, here’s a taste of what you can expect from this year’s festival.
The James Street Food & Wine Festival is back for a sixth year of showing off the precinct’s best dishes and drops during a four-day culinary celebration.
Market Day on Sunday, July 30, will see restaurants and bars spring up between 10am and 6pm under the fig trees on the section of James St that lies between McLachlan and Robertson streets.
Beginning on Thursday, July 27, the festival will offer a lavish schedule of in-venue collaborations, tastings and master classes.
This year, the street will welcome founders and owners of internationally acclaimed microbar Bar Gyu+ (aka “The Fridge Door”) from Niseko, Japan. They will join James Street locals for several events including a sake dinner collaboration with Harveys Bar + Bistro and a whisky tasting pop-up bar with Jerome Batten, owner of Maker at Fish Lane.
Other events on the schedule that are not to be missed include a collaboration dinner dreamed up by the chefs of Gerard’s Bistro in The Valley and Embla in Melbourne; a seasonal five-course dinner at King Arthur Café; a fine-foods spread at Scrumptious Reads; and Bucci Restaurant’s Vacation Series, celebrating traditional dishes from Lombardia and Milano in Italy, to name a few.
Ben Williamson, from Gerard’s Bistro, spoke to Style about what to expect and what not to miss at this year’s festival.
What has been your favourite aspect of the James Street Food & Wine Trail?
I love the way it brings together the precinct and showcases the collective creative energy which is James Street.
What are you looking forward to the most at this year’s festival?
I’ll be presenting on the ILVE stage with Salwa Moubarak (mother of the Moubarak boys, owners of several cool venues around town) this year. It will be a riot. She hates everything I do. I’m just never good enough!
This year, Gerard’s will be doing a “hat swap” with Embla. What can locals expect from this event?
Luckily the festival this year coincides with Fairfax’s Good Food Month and their hat swap dinner falls within the JSFW festival. Embla’s Dave Verheul is doing some of the most delicious and interesting cooking in the country right now. Plus, with Christian McCabe’s incredible knowledge and palate being applied to the wines, it will be the hottest ticket in town. They also just ranked eighth in the country in the Financial Review’s top 100 restaurants. Here’s Brisbane’s opportunity to find out why.
What creations have you decided to serve up on the Sunday in the Gerard’s pop-up stall?
We’ll be bringing the heat to the street with popcorn bekaa chicken cones and merguez hot dogs, beats by Salim Shady.