After a trying few months, Sydney's hospitality scene is ready to put forward its best and brightest for the return of Good Food Month this October.
Now in its 22nd year, this year's program celebrates the best of NSW's culinary talent.
Highlights from the program, which is presented by Citi, include intimate dining experiences with new cookbook authors Danielle Alvarez (Fred's Paddington) and Elizabeth Hewson (FINK Group), a culinary holiday to Italy (without leaving Sydney) at Icebergs Dining Room & Bar and a seafood spectacular showcasing the expert cooking of Steve Hodges, John Susman and Neil Perry.
You can even test your trivia knowledge at the very first live Good Weekend Quiz.
Head of Nine Food Events, Venessa Cowell, says this year's event celebrates the vital role food plays in our lives – not just as a form of nourishment, but as a source of connection.
"It has been a truly heartbreaking year for hospitality; chefs, restaurants, producers and suppliers devastated by the impact of bushfires, floods and now the global pandemic," she says.
"We are honoured that we can support local culinary talent and provide special dining experiences for Sydneysiders, in a safe and socially responsible manner."
Five dollars per ticket will be donated to charities of each chef's choosing, such as OzHarvest, R U OK and Hope Delivery. The final portion of sales donated to charity will be matched by Nine and presenting partner Citi.
Stay tuned for more exciting news about this year's Night Noodle Markets and Friends of Good Food Month, an umbrella program of smaller events hosted by regional and city venues.
All events will follow the highest safety measures for COVID-19, including reduced venue capacities, restrictions on group bookings, staggered arrival times, extra hygiene precautions, minimum spacing between tables and temperature checks for guests and staff.
Tickets for feature events will go on sale at 9am on Thursday, September 17 at goodfoodmonth.com. Pay with a Citi card to receive 20 per cent off the ticket price.
Celebrate the launch of Danielle Alvarez's cookbook at Hotel Centennial. Photo: Benito Martin
Dinner with Danielle Alvarez
Join Danielle Alvarez of two-hat restaurant Fred's in Paddington for a feel-good dining experience to celebrate the launch of her new cookbook Always Add Lemon. The celebrated chef trained at Thomas Keller's The French Laundry in California before securing a prized position at Alice Water's Berkeley restaurant Chez Panisse.
Always Add Lemon: An Intimate Dining Experience with Danielle Alvarez at The Apartment at Hotel Centennial, Woollahra, 12.30pm lunch or 6.30pm dinner, Sunday, October 18
Tickets $170pp including two courses with matched wine, one signed copy of Always Add Lemon.
Enjoy a taste of Naples at Icebergs Dining Room and Bar. Photo: Supplied
Italy comes to Bondi
Transport yourself to Italy at Icebergs Dining Room and Bar, with a menu inspired by the flavours, wine, and music from one of Italy's most dynamic food-driven cities – Naples.
A Night in Napoli at Icebergs Dining Room and Bar at Icebergs Dining Room and Bar, 1 Notts Avenue, Bondi Beach, arrivals 6.30-8.30pm, Wednesday, October 21
Tickets $170pp including a feasting-style menu and a drink on arrival.
Eleven Bridge will play host to a seafood spectacular. Photo: Bonnie Savage
Enjoy expert fish cooking from Steve Hodges, John Susman and Neil Perry at a seafood spectacular at Eleven Bridge. Expect premium grade oysters, chardonnay and plenty of laughs.
Hook, Wine and Drinker at Eleven Bridge by Rockpool Events, 11 Bridge Street, Sydney, 6.30pm, Friday, October 23
Tickets $190pp including oysters and chardonnay on arrival, followed by a seafood feast, wine and beer.
Celebrate the release of Lizzie Hewson's new cookbook. Photo: Supplied
A night of pasta
Meet Elizabeth "Lizzie" Hewson – an accomplished home cook who believes the ritual of making pasta can be a form of therapy for the modern-day food lover. To celebrate the release of her second cookbook, Saturday Night Pasta: Recipes and Self-Care Rituals for the Home Cook, Hewson will work with the Rockpool team to bring the recipes to the kitchen at Eleven Bridge.
Saturday Night Pasta at Eleven Bridge by Rockpool Events, 11 Bridge Street, Sydney, 6.30pm, Saturday, October 24
Tickets $150pp including multiple courses with matched wine and beer and a signed copy of Saturday Night Pasta.
Enjoy a plant-based lunch in Woolloomooloo. Photo: Chris Chen
Lunch with the rising stars
Young Chefs Lunch is back, shining a light on up-and-coming talent from the city's best kitchens. This year, the young chefs will rise to the challenge of a "green" theme by creating a plant-based lunch.
Young Chefs Lunch presented by Citi at Alibi Bar & Kitchen, Woolloomooloo, 12.30pm, Saturday, October 31
Tickets $130pp including three plant-based courses with wine and beer.
The Quiz goes live
Forget your local pub. Put your culinary knowledge to the test at the very first live Good Weekend Quiz in the majestic surrounds of the Eleven Bridge by Rockpool Events space. Expect spot prizes, bonus who-am-I rounds, and taste-test competitions. This is guaranteed to be a hilarious night filled with incredible food and wine (and perhaps a smidge of competitiveness) in a stunning location. So assemble your squad and start thinking of a team name.
The Good Weekend Quiz Live at Eleven Bridge by Rockpool Events, 11 Bridge Street, Sydney, 6.30pm, Sunday, October 25 and 6.30pm, Monday, October 26
Tickets $140pp including snacks, main course and dessert by Rockpool, plus wine and beer.