Watching the food and wine scene blossom and grow over the years in my home town of Canberra has been nothing short of tremendous. The area now boasts a number of award-winning wineries, smokehouses, bakeries, and brewers among a delicious list of local producers. Meeting the makers has been at the top of my list of good things to do in and around the region. Now, the innovators behind a street food event called 'The Forage' have created the ideal opportunity for Canberrans to get up close and personal with the faces and producers behind the businesses and the produce.
Only two 'events' in and with overwhelming growth, The Forage is set to make a 1940’s Hangar at the Canberra Airport its new home for the Spring event on 27 September. Previously held at the NewActon precinct alongside Hustle&Scout fashion market, the experience promises to be bigger and better for the Canberra community.
Belinda Neame, Creator of The Forage, says ‘The Forage is a feast of Canberra’s finest food in a street style environment. Showcasing local (and regional) mobile vendors, wineries, cafes and other foodie outlets. Combining with Hustle&Scout Fashion Market, this Spring event will be a ‘whole’ experience for the Canberra community. With each event, we aim to bring new and exciting elements to ensure we are offering something different every time. We are certainly doing that with the historical Hangar #47 which spills out onto the airspace next to the airport runway,' she added.
Unfortunately, Peter and I missed both of the first two events. We were in Orange, NSW during F.O.O.D Week for the first one, and I was incapacitated with a post-op broken foot for the second. That said, I followed the success of both via social media, and was keen to catch up with Belinda and her colleague, Tegan. Our conversation follows below:
Belinda and Tegan, thanks so much for your time. Tell me please, how and when did The Forage get started?
Our first event was held in April at NewActon and a second event in July. Canberra has a thriving food scene at the moment and it is ever changing and constantly growing. After seeing other places in Australia embracing the street food vibe, we knew Canberra was ready for something similar. I approached my good friend Tegan McAuley, founder of Hustle&Scout Fashion Market, seeking advice on how to get started because we knew Canberra was ready for a regular ‘street style’ food event. Tegan suggested that we run the two events together in April and we haven’t looked back! We fused food and fashion and it has been a huge success!
What's it all about?
Food and community! We are passionate about good food and our local community and we wanted to bring this together to create a ‘street style’ food event. However, it’s not all street food. We also have some complimentary products for you to take home too... like muesli, chocolate, beef jerky, honey, local wines etc.
Have you been happy with the interest shown by locals?
We have been totally blown away and humbled by how the locals have embraced our event. Outgrowing NewActon in only two events was a big compliment! This proves that Canberra’s social community is changing and this excites us. It’s so exciting to see our beautiful city, uniting to build a stronger community by working together. This journey has allowed us to work with some amazing and inspiring people and we couldn’t be more proud to be part of this city!
Is Hustle and Scout part of the same event?
Hustle&Scout and The Forage are separate events but we run them side by side, four times a year. They work perfectly together because we create a ‘whole’ experience for people. It’s not just a ‘market’, it’s an experience that brings the community together. The event gives many opportunities in the food and fashion industry, for our vendors to expose their businesses and products but also for the community to get to know the faces behind what they are buying. It really is a perfect fit – it’s a gathering of friends and family amongst good food and drink, fantastic fashion and retail therapy, exciting local music and entertainment and a vibe that leaves you feeling good.
When and where is the next Forage?
Saturday, 27 September from 2pm-7pm. In the fabulous 1940s Hangar #47, 8-10 Point Cook Avenue, Fairbairn.
Tell me about some of the key stall holders, are they all Canberra producers?
The majority are Canberra producers but we do have one vendor coming from Sydney and one coming from Bega.
Here are just a few of the Canberra vendors you can expect:
Local hot food line-up includes:
· Mr Papa - Peruvian street food
· Dinner Rush – fresh local dinners
· Pialligo Farm Smokehouse – bacon and sausages from the smokehouse
· V Spot Café – vegan goodness
· The Brathaus – German sausages
Local sweet delights will be coming from :
· B St Bakery (a newbie on the Canberra scene)
· Lindsay and Edmunds Chocolates
· Nookie Espresso Bar – hot donuts and chai
· Sweet Bones Bakery for vegan goodness – cupcakes etc
· Dutch Divine (another newbie on the Canberra scene) – specialising in hot Dutch waffle biscuits filled with caramel
To quench your thirst:
· The Fix Cold Pressed Juice
· Bentspoke Brewing
· Trader Nic (a newbie to Canberra and will be a beautiful stand dedicated to Homemade Lemonade)
· Wineries – Majura Winery, Barton Estate and Wily Trout
· Bing Bang pop up bar
Does it cost to attend The Forage?
No, it’s free. There are ATM facilities available too.
Is the parking free?
Yes, it is free. And there are 2,000 spaces available.
Where to from here?
Lots! We have many plans going forward, to develop the event and to make it bigger and better ensuring we provide a new experience every time. Stay tuned!
What: The Forage and Hustle&Scout
When: Saturday, 27 September 2014 from 2.00-7.00pm
Where: Hangar #47, 8-10 Point Cook Avenue, Fairbairn in Canberra
Cost: Entry and parking are free
More: Visit The Forage web site
Note: Images appear kind courtesy of Belinda Neame, creator of The Forage.
Tell me dear readers, do you have a thriving street food community in your part of the world? And locals, have you been to one of The Forage events in Canberra?
Cooking and writing have been a lifelong passion.
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