GOOD VIBES: The Food and Wine Festival last year attracted about 5000 people to enjoy the flavours of the Coast on a relaxed sunny Sunday at Mt Penang Parklands.
GOOD VIBES: The Food and Wine Festival last year attracted about 5000 people to enjoy the flavours of the Coast on a relaxed sunny Sunday at Mt Penang Parklands.

Festival is a taste of the Coast's best

IT'S a free, laidback event with good music, food, wine, cider, beer and a great vibe in beautiful parkland.

In fact the only thing The Food and Wine Festival Central Coast founder Deborah Bilson doesn't like about it is that as the organiser, she's really too busy to enjoy it!

"The aim is just for people of all ages to come and have an amazing day ... it's a great way to spend a Sunday with friends and family," she said of this year's event at Mt Penang Parklands on August 4.

The queen of wedding expos, with 17 shows around Australia, Deborah said she started the festival to showcase local products and talents to local people, because she missed having a food and wine festival on the Coast.

"It's really special to be able to relax in your own local area and enjoy local vendors," she said.

More than 80 food and wine vendors are taking part and, while the focus is on the Hunter Valley and Coast region, some also make the trip from Sydney, Mudgee, Victoria and Tasmania.

Last year about 5000 people joined in the fun, and this year, Deborah is promising it will have even more appeal, including to older foodies.

The variety of food, she said, will be greater, including Hawaiian poke bowls, Asian influences, paella, vegan and juice choices alongside pizza, burger and barbecue options and tempting deserts.

Buy your special commemorative wine glass and enjoy tasting wines, including organic varieties, or try gin and other spirits and liqueurs, ginger beer, beers, ciders and a range of non-alcoholic options.

Chef Daniel, from Gosford's At Baker St and Fork'N'Knife catering, is this year's special cooking show guest.

His philosophy, based around the freshest produce and food bringing people together, has earnt him the title of The People's Chef.

There will be a full program of "chilled, easy-listening acoustic" music, building up to a bit of rock and roll late in the afternoon.

Two stages of entertainment will again operate, but this year the second stage will have more seating, and food and wine will be available close at hand, better distributing the crowd across the parklands venue.

You are welcome to bring your own picnic rug or chairs, and there are activities for the grandkids while you relax.

The Food and Wine Festival runs from 11am-5pm August 4, with parking entry via Kangoo Rd.

For details go to thefoodandwinefestival.com.au or phone 0478 076017.


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