WITH the weather heating up, so too is anticipation for the 2017 Taste of Tasmania Festival.
This year, the Taste of Tasmania will welcome 73 vendors, including 41 food vendors, 31 beverage vendors and two vendors selling both food and alcohol.
You can expect to see both long-standing favourites and first-timers, not to mention the different ways to guide yourself – and be guided – through the amazing array of produce on offer.
With the 2017 event all about experiencing ‘The Taste’ differently, the festival will feature collaborative stalls for the first time.
These new initiatives have been created specifically for Tasmania’s smaller, younger and/or specialty producers.
Hobart Lord Mayor Sue Hickey said in the short time the team had been together, it had built a wonderful program of quality food and beverage produce, all sure to excite the palates of festival visitors.
“These collaborations have given our smaller, emerging producers the capability to showcase their products in front of our 230,000 strong audience, including roughly 30 per cent from outside Tasmania,” she said.
The collaborative stalls featured this year will be Providore, Botanics Bar and Fromagerie.
The Providore offers Tasmanian’s finest speciality foods in a showcase stall located in The Shed.
The Botanics Bar focuses on Tasmania’s specialty drinks, with an emphasis on non-alcoholic teas, juices and cordials.
You can even head next door to the McHenry Distillery and buy a nip of gin to enhance your tea and create your own cocktail.
At the Fromagerie, you’ll discover artisan cheeses and a gourmet butter and bread option, which will pair beautifully with your glass of Clover Hill sparkling.
Taste of Tasmania festival director Brooke Webb said the focus this year was on breathing new life, colour and theatre into the festival.
“We are developing new culinary experiences and enhancing this by providing a really fun and playful world for people to reconnect with each other,” she said.
“This includes presenting Tasmania’s best musical talent and replacing the buskers and roving entertainment with an expertly curated program of art and entertainment.
“Each part of the festival has been examined and the Taste team have spent a great amount of effort in shaping a thoroughly sensory experience.
“We want to provide a fun environment with an ever changing program to encourage the community to stay for a whole day and keep coming back to experience more of what is on offer.”
A new menu structure will be available at a number of participating stalls.
Tastings will also be returning, priced from $4-$6, alongside small plates priced under $10 that are designed to accommodate multiple dishes from multiple stalls.
In addition to food and drink options, there will be more than 132 artists performing throughout the whole festival.
Entry to the Kids in the Park program will be free, offering quality family time during the school summer holidays.
Tickets for New Year’s Eve entry are now on sale.
All stallholders will be open and the evening’s entertainment will be courtesy of Australian indie-rock stars The Whitlams, Tasmania’s own Monique Brumby and Héloise and calypso funk maestros Might Duke & The Lords.
Celebratory fireworks will be held at 9.30pm and midnight to herald in the beginning of the 2018 New Year.
The full program is available online at tasteoftasmania.com.au
Photo credit: Alastair Bett.