Vivid Sydney will light up the Harbour City’s food scene

The 'Fire Kitchen' installation at Vivid House, Barangaroo during Vivid 2023. Vivid Fire Kitchen brings together Sydney's hottest dining concepts with local and internationally-acclaimed pitmasters and a collection of the finest NSW producers, curated drinks and fire-inspired cocktails for three weeks of flame-fuelled festivities

Vivid is not just about pretty lights. With Vivid Food, some of the hottest names in the culinary world will also be embracing Humanity, the theme of this year’s festival.

Local and international culinary talent across Vivid Residence, Vivid Chef Series and Vivid Fire Kitchen will share a range of diverse and innovative menus celebrating our shared heritage and the rich tapestry of global cultures present in Sydney’s food scene.

There will be a series of dynamic events spanning intimate fine dining experiences through to communal fire-cooked feasts.

Vivid Residence will bring Latin America’s best female chef 2022, Manoella ‘Manu’ Buffara of Manu Restaurant, to take over Peter Conistis’ Campbells Cove waterside venue, Ploós.

Meanwhile hatted restaurants Fred’s, AALIA and The Charles Brasserie & Bar will be among the top dining spots hosting Vivid Chef Series events and unmissable foodie collaborations with Michelin-starred chefs including Max Coen, Sally Abé and Ivan Brehm.

Dorian restaurant offerings.

Vivid Fire Kitchen returns to the Vivid Food program in a new home on the Vivid Sydney Light Walk with the world’s best pitmasters and BBQ heroes including Christine Manfield, Firedoor’s Lennox Hastie, Texas’ Jess Pryles, Michelin-starred Swedish chef Niklas Ekstedt and LA’s Shalamar Lane. They will be firing up The Goods Line with cooking demonstrations offering tasty BBQ fare from tandoor and teppanyaki to First Nations tucker.

Among the highlights, Max Coen of London Michelin-starred Dorian and Ben Greeno of acclaimed Sydney restaurant, Fred’s are uniting for four exclusive dinners that fuse their culinary philosophies from 26-29th May.

Ivan Brehm of Michelin-starred Singapore restaurant, Nouri and Paul Farag of AALIA will collaborate on two exclusive dinners that celebrate global food traditions from 11-12th June.

Sally Abé of The Pem will reunite with Billy Hannigan of Sydney’s hatted The Charles Brasserie & Bar, for three unmissable lunches and dinners from 28-30th May.

The Vivid Food 2024 also includes the Our Shared Humanity series featuring leading Australian chefs Atelier by Sofitel – A Culinary Connection; Vivid Place Food Trail, A Culinary Canvas by Danielle Alvarez, the return of Aster Vivid 2024.

On the Sauce with a bar crawl 

Back for its third year, Local Sauce Tours is hosting a special Vivid lights edition of one of their most popular tours, the Drink & Discover Secret Bar Crawl.

The routes have been curated to showcase some of the city’s best light installations, while avoiding the most crowded areas. Over three hours, guests will visit three “hidden” bars and an expert host will share insider knowledge of Sydney’s history and nightlife.

For $60 per person, the Vivid Lights Secret Bar Crawl includes a guided walk, reservations at each bar, a beer or wine to get you started, and a shared snack to soak up the drinks. Guests will receive a map with Local Sauce Tours’ bar recommendations at the end of the tour.

Routes include:

  • CBD and Darling Harbour, Tuesdays 28 May, 4 and 11 June. Enjoy rooftop views of the light installations in Darling Harbour with a drink in hand. Experience, or rediscover, Sydney’s “Bermuda’s Triangle” of small bars along York, Clarence and Kent streets.
  • Circular Quay and The Rocks: Thursdays, 30 May, 6 and 13 June. Visit some of the fantastic new cocktail bars that have opened in The Rocks in recent years. Delve into a moody basement bar, or sample award-winning gins or native-infused cocktails. Explore this newly revitalised area of Sydney that many locals don’t even know about.

Minister applauds Vivid Food’s successful return

“After a successful launch last year, I am pleased to see Vivid Food returning for a second year,” Minister for Jobs and Tourism, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Music and the Night time Economy, John Graham, said.

“Food is a cultural cornerstone, a fundamental part of the human experience, something we can all share and through that shared experience, enjoy new flavours and perspectives.

“Sydney has a wonderful food scene and Vivid Food is a great chance to explore that local scene. The Vivid Food program will range from headline experiences including the free BBQ demonstrations at Vivid Fire Kitchen. We invite Sydneysiders and visitors from across the globe to join us and enjoy one of Sydney’s great strengths.”

Vivid Sydney festival director and Vivid Food curator Gill Minervini said: “Vivid Food captures the essence of our shared humanity through the global language of food. It’s a celebration of how cuisine can mirror the diversity of cultures, while also being a bridge that connects us all. We’re thrilled to announce the incredible local and international culinary talent joining the Vivid Food program across Vivid Residence, Vivid Chef Series and Vivid Fire Kitchen, who will bring to life the rich tapestry of Sydney’s food scene.

“Our diverse range of Vivid Food events, from intimate dining experiences to communal feasts, promises to bring people together and showcase the unique and collective culinary heritage that makes our city so special.”

But be quick! Some of last year’s events sold out within 48 hours.

“We are excited to bring back another incredible, diverse array of experiences and chefs for 2024,” said Stephanie Calape, vice president of culinary events at IMG, which produces Vivid Residence, Vivid Chef Series and Vivid Fire Kitchen in collaboration with Vivid Sydney.

Joe Avati plate of spaghetti

Joe Avati

Comedy, cocktails and canapes

Award-winning Aussie comedian Joe Avati will also be performing a show on the Vivid trail at Café Del Mar at Cockle Bay on Thursday night, 6 June, with a cocktail on arrival and an array of canapes plus a house beverage package.

In “When I Was Your Age”, Joe Avati asks you to leave your political correctness at the door as he delivers hilarious insights on how times have changed since he grew up as a teenager, the complexities of modern-day parenting and calls out the woke brigade!

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