Like everything else, Merimbula's EAT Festival has had to change because of COVID restrictions, but the organisers have come up with an alternative which will showcase local providores and chefs in more locations on the Far South Coast.
Rather than having one large event on the shores of Fishpen where there are normally 4000 or so people, the festival will be spread out in cafes and restaurants from Eden to Cobargo and run from March 4-8.
The idea is to encourage foodie fans to travel between towns and villages to enjoy bespoke food experiences, featuring local chefs, local producers and local produce. Not only will sit down experiences feature but also the option of takeaway picnics and tastings with oysters, cheeses, smoked fish and wine or beer taking starring roles.
The festival kicks off on Thursday evening with a collaboration between North of Eden Gin and Toast Pambula where Toast chefs have developed a four-course menu to complement gin.
On Friday there are coffee workshops at Wild Ryes, Merimbula Wharf Restaurant's three chefs degustation menu and a seafood sunset cruise with Cat Balou, Eden.
Read also: Hop into Merimbula's Craft Beer Fest
Saturday sees the start of the Craft Beer Festival at Club Sapphire (see more on page 6) as well as the Broadwater oyster shucking school from 3-4.30pm.
Learn about oysters, how to farm them and how to shuck them on the foreshore of Pambula Lake from Broadwater Oysters. Afterwards get to taste some with a complimentary glass of wine or beer.
Moodji Farm in Bermagui will throw open the gates for tours while many of our restaurants and cafes will be serving up EAT themed dishes that can be enjoyed "in house" as well as providing innovative takeaway offerings like picnic hampers and chill out packs.
On Sunday stand by for Cranky's Paella in the Park at Ford Park, Merimbula occurring at 12 noon and 5pm which is a walk-in event.
The many local cafes and restaurants taking part in EAT and promoting local chefs and local produce include Sprout and Ollie Masons in Eden, Longstocking Brewery, Pambula, Dulcie's Cottage, Valentina, Mor Mors in Merimbula, Blen Providore, Tathra, Neighbourhood Bermagui and Via Luna, Cobargo General Store and Baking Buddies, Cobargo.
Visit https://www.sapphirecoast.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/EAT-21-trail-poster-WEB.pdf for a full list of participating cafes and restaurants.