Vivid Food 2024 set to sizzle with local and international talent for Vivid Residence, Vivid Chef Series and Vivid Fire Kitchen

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Vivid Food
Vivid Food

From near and far, some of the hottest names in the culinary world will appear at Vivid Sydney this year as part of Vivid Food, embracing the festival’s 2024 theme, Humanity, and highlighting food as a fundamental part of the human experience, connecting us through the universal language of cuisine.

This year’s roster of renowned local and international culinary talent across Vivid Residence, Vivid Chef Series and Vivid Fire Kitchen will craft diverse, innovative menus that celebrate our shared heritage and the rich tapestry of global cultures present in Sydney’s food scene, through 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’ waterside venue, Ploós, while 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.

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; LA’s Shalamar Lane and more, firing up The Goods Line with cooking demonstrations and tasty BBQ fare from tandoor and teppanyaki to First Nations tucker.

This announcement bolsters an already impressive Vivid Food 2024 program including the Our Shared Humanity series featuring leading Australian chefs; VividPlace Food Trail, A Culinary Canvas by Danielle Alvarez, and much more, all with a nod to Vivid Sydney, Humanity.

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

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, said: “Following the phenomenal popularity of last year’s inaugural Vivid Food experiences, which saw Vivid Residence sell out within 48 hours, we are excited to bring back another incredible, diverse array of experiences and chefs for 2024. From world-renowned Chef Manoella Buffara’s one-of-a-kind fine dining Vivid Residence experience at Sydney’s Ploós, to Vivid Chef Series’ unmissable mash-up of Sydney and the world’s most exciting chefs, and the star-studded, immersive Vivid Fire Kitchen festival, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.”

Vivid Residence

Culinary artistry meets social responsibility at Vivid Residence as Latin America’s Best Female Chef 2022, Manoella Buffara of Manu Restaurant, Brazil, which was awarded the The Flor de Caña Sustainable Restaurant Award 2023, graces Peter Conistis’ waterfront venue, Ploós, right in the heart of the Vivid Sydney Light Walk. Renowned for putting Curitiba on the global culinary map, Buffara’s approach integrates local produce with a commitment to environmental and social sustainability. During her Vivid Sydney residency, Buffara will showcase her pioneering approach to fine dining for the first time in Australia, celebrating New South Wales’ produce alongside her team and Ploós’s esteemed chefs.

Chef Manoella Buffara said: “I’m incredibly excited to be part of Vivid Food in Sydney, an event that highlights the importance of cuisine in our culture. As the culinary capital of Australia, Sydney becomes a hub for vibrant flavour exchanges, bringing together top chefs and local producers to create memorable food experiences. In the heart of this bustling city, I will launch a pop-up that showcases my love for high-quality ingredients and authentic flavours. Sharing my cooking and stories with Sydney is a true honour, and I look forward to being part of this amazing food event that Vivid Food offers.”

Buffara and the team will create two menus, with a nine-course tasting menu for dinner, and a seven-course tasting menu for lunch. Tickets for the nine-course dinner menu are $420 per person, with the shorter lunch tasting menu costing $320, with bespoke beverage pairings also available. Vivid Residence will run from 24 May to 2 June 2024 offering a unique dining experience in the middle of the Vivid Sydney Light Walk.

Vivid Chef Series

The Vivid Chef Series will take over Sydney’s food scene, with the city’s best hatted restaurants and chefs pairing with some of the world’s most exciting culinary talent to bring the global contemporary culinary scene to Sydney for a limited number of nights.

The series of exclusive dinners will see local and international talent collaborate to create a never-to-be repeated menu that celebrates the best NSW produce and suppliers, imbued with global culinary sophistication.

London chef Sally Abé, who will take over The Charles Brasserie & Bar as part of Vivid Chef Series, said: “As a passionate chef, I am thrilled to be a part of the Vivid Food series in Sydney. It is an incredible platform that celebrates the intersection of art, culture, and gastronomy, allowing me to showcase my culinary skills in a vibrant and innovative setting. I am excited to immerse myself in the diverse food scene of Sydney and collaborate with talented chefs from around the world, creating unforgettable culinary experiences.”

Chef collaborations include:

●       The Charles Brasserie & Bar x Sally Abé | Once comrades in arms on the other side of the globe whilst working at the three Michelin-starred restaurant The Ledbury in London, Sally Abé of The Pem will be reuniting with Billy Hannigan of Sydney’s hatted The Charles Brasserie & Bar, for three unmissable lunches and dinners. The menu will merge Hannigan’s European-inspired cooking style with Abe’s passion for nostalgic British cuisine. Joining them in the kitchen will be head pastry chef Rhiann Mead, who will add her signature sweet and innovative flair to the evening.

●       AALIA x Ivan Brehm | Ivan Brehm of Michelin-starred Singapore restaurant, Nouri and Paul Farag of AALIA (two hatted Sydney restaurant, previously named Gourmet Traveller’s NSW restaurant of the year, 2023) will collaborate on two exclusive dinners that celebrate global food traditions. The dinners will blend AALIA’s expertise in Middle Eastern cuisine with Nouri’s celebration of global food traditions, for a menu that honours diversity of cultures paying tribute to the richness of our collective culinary heritage.

●        Fred’s x Max Coen | Max Coen of London Michelin-starred Dorian and Ben Greeno of acclaimed Sydney restaurant, Fred’s will unite for four exclusive dinners that fuse their culinary philosophies. Chef Coen’s meticulous focus on ingredient-focussed wood-fired grilling will meet Greeno’s farm-to-table approach and hyper-seasonal cooking, for a menu that celebrates the beauty and artistry found in simplicity, all while utilising the best in local produce.

Vivid Fire Kitchen

Vivid Fire Kitchen will light up its new home of The Goods Line across 23 nights, with the world’s best pitmasters and BBQ heroes joining forces with acclaimed local flame-focused restaurants for a festival of accessible fire demos, cooking sessions and exclusive BBQ dishes, with drinks, DJs and entertainment ablaze with Fire Sculptures, Flame Shooters and fire drums. Using the best NSW produce, a line-up of acclaimed local and international chefs will serve up a selection of flame-seared street food from around the globe, from tandoor and Argentinian Asado, First Nations tucker, alongside hearty sausages, tender brisket, charred eggplant, and aromatic satay, offering a nightly multicultural feast.

Guests will enjoy demonstrations combining local produce and raw-fire cooking from chef and restaurateur Lennox Hastie of Sydney’s two-hatted Firedoor who returns for Vivid Food 2024; one of Australia’s most celebrated chefs and culinary ambassadors Christine Manfield; reigning Seafood Champion in the World Food Championships, John McFadden; chef, restaurateur, proud Bundjalung woman and owner of Karkalla restaurant, Mindy Woods; Michelin starred chef of Sweden’s Ekstedt at The Yard, Niklas Ekstedt; Texas-based live fire cook, author, TV personality Jess Pryles; Pitmaster of LA-based My Father’s Barbeque, Shalamar Lane and more.

Australian chef and restaurateur Lennox Hastie who will appear at Vivid Fire Kitchen, said: “For me, food is an integral part of my creative expression because it engages all my senses and allows me to connect with ingredients and people on a deeply personal level. Vivid Food celebrates the rich and diverse nature of our food culture of Australia, reminding us that food is not just about sustenance but a powerful form of connection supporting community, evoking emotions, and creating lasting memories.”

Alongside BBQ offerings and the blazing atmosphere on the Vivid Sydney Light Walk, Vivid Sydney audiences will also be able to enjoy dishes from a curated selection of Sydney’s hottest dining concepts at Vivid Fire Kitchen, from casual eateries to acclaimed restaurants, including Messina Milk Bar, a culinary time capsule that transforms beloved chocolate bars and classic sweets into modern gelato delights. A menu highlight: a warm Milo fudge sundae, specially developed to warm you up on cold winter nights.

Vivid Food is part of Vivid Sydney, the Southern Hemisphere’s leading multi-artform festival, which will run from 24 May to 15 June 2024. Tickets for Vivid Residence and Vivid Chef Series will go on sale Friday 19 April 2024.