Every year, once the cold weather looks to be mostly behind us, Adelaide turns off the heater, puts away the winter woollies and ventures, blinking and squinting, outside into the sunshine to celebrate in the best way we know how to – with festivals! With our outstanding produce, we’ve a rapidly growing reputation for celebrating all things food or wine related and this weekend saw over 15,000 of us embracing our cheesiness at CheeseFest 2013 – a massive growth spurt from the modest 800 or so who attended the very first event eight years ago.
Most notable at this year’s event was the age of the crowd, with a strong representation from the 18-35 year old age bracket. Director Kris Lloyd said “It is terrific to see such a young demographic coming to a festival like this, they are young, interested in food, where it comes from, who the producer is and don’t want to be told what something tastes like they want to experience it for themselves. We are very happy with the outcome of this year’s CheeseFest”.
And clearly the locals were happy with the event too, with many enjoying the new features like the Premium Pavillion Degustation Lunch, the Funky Fondue Lounge and the wonderfully cute Indian Pacific Cheese Train. The degustation lunch on Saturday and Sunday featured prime produce from South Australian producers (including Feast Fine Foods Richard Gunner, recently named the nations most Outstanding Providore and Adelaide Food Legend) and was prepared by two chefs who live the Eat Local philosophy, Nigel Rich of The Elbow Room and Brendan Bell of The Kings.
With cheese samples available from both local and interstate cheese producers, ten local beverage producers ready to quench our thirst and a dozen local food producers represented it’s no wonder there were so many happy, smiling faces in Rymill Park over the weekend.
I think we should all be hugely proud of Adelaide’s Kris Lloyd. Her dogged persistence and never-ending energy has made CheeseFest the premium cheese event in Australia and another local food celebration which places Adelaide firmly on the foodie map. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with for next year!
Lambs’ Ears and Honey was a guest of CheeseFest.
By the way – you may have noticed that I’ve tweaked a few things on the site. I’d love to hear what you think of my little facelift.