The Forage is making a triumphant return after a COVID-19-induced hiatus. This year promises to be bigger than ever with organisers looking forward to a huge celebration of local food at their Winter Solstice event on Saturday (24 June).
Festival founder Belinda Neame says she’s excited to see more local restaurants getting involved in the event.
“This Forage is the biggest it’s ever been. We’ve always been known for the quality of food but by tapping into more local restaurants, we can step that up again,” Belinda told Region.
Many local vendors have created special dishes just for the Forage, and the organisers have also helped facilitate a very special collaboration brew.
“This year, we wanted to do more exclusive products and really work with the vendors to tie those local connections together,” Belinda explained.
“Richard from Bentspoke and Andrew from Miss Van’s wanted to make something that would push the boundaries a little bit, and this beer definitely does that!”
Named ‘Foraging for Spokes and Vans’, the beer incorporates Vietnamese flavours like toasted rice, lemongrass, turmeric and ginger to create a brightly coloured beer that packs a flavour-filled punch! Chief Minister Andrew Barr will officially launch the drink at the opening of The Forage at midday on Saturday. The brew’s said to be “very fragrant, spicy, earthy and malty but damn drinkable!”
Another new addition is the Forage app, where attendees can check out the location and menus of each stall, the entertainment schedule and book a ride on the bus. There’s also a map that details the stalls and options for dietary requirements to help festival goers plan their meals and cut down on queueing delays.
Food highlights to look out for include the epic loaded fries from BZ Burgers and jianbing (Chinese savoury crepes) from Little Wu, which come stuffed with crispy wonton chips and your choice of filling. Those with a sweet tooth have plenty of choices, including Kusukusu crepes and waffles, traditional Italian sweets from Cannoli Bros, and Filipino Bicho-Bicho twisted doughnuts from Lolo and Lola.
There will be a range of local beverages available on the day (yet another incentive to catch the bus). Local breweries Bentspoke and Capital Brewing Co will be serving beers and local wineries from Collector and Quarry Hill will be pouring quality drops of red, white and rosé.
The Canberra Distillery will be warming bellies with their dangerously smooth hot buttered rum. Non-alcoholic options like the lychee lemonade from Citrus & Sugar will also be available.
Local musicians will play throughout the day, and Dairy Road will also host activities for the little ones.
The Forage will take place at Dairy Road from 12 noon to 7 pm on Saturday, 24 June. Attendees are strongly encouraged to catch the bus to avoid traffic congestion. More details, including the app, can be found on The Forage website, or find them on Facebook or Instagram.