Kangaroo Island is known for its spectacular natural beauty and its home grown produce. Add them together and you get FEASTival!
Nick Hannaford loves his job. A Kangaroo Island local, he is the Director of FEASTival, an event described as a “degustation of extraordinary dining events that are diverse, personable and intimate, underpinned by the exquisite natural beauty that only this peaceful island can offer.”
Nick explains “There are hundreds of food and wine festivals around Australia and what we are trying to do is create a food and wine festival that is not all about food and wine. We’re trying to capture that real Kangaroo Island experience – the people, the personalities,the spirit of the island. We are tying in the quirky history of the Island; weaving it into the events. There is a pureness of the produce being grown and made on the island that is a story worth sharing.”
The third annual FEASTival is on from 24-28 April, 2014, and will incorporate over 30 separate events where guests can book a table from the variety of themes, including Table Surfing, Wilderness, Pop Up Meet the Maker samplings and major events featuring leading celebrity chefs Matt Moran and Margaret Fulton.
Nick describes Table Surfing as a ‘bit of an adventure.’ “Here people head off into the homes of local people that are foodies, that love cooking, or are producers of food, to have a meal with them. It’s small and intimate and has proven to be very popular.”
Wilderness Events tie in with the island’s beautiful outdoor locations such as the KI Shellfish Farm at American River. Nick explains “The Dairy Floating Lunch is one of the most spectacular. Guests don some waders and stroll out into the shallows to a bar set up on a fishing boat where you shuck some oysters and grab a drink. Then you go into the processing shed to watch the oysters getting sorted and tuck into an amazing menu presented by Island Pure Cheeses and featuring some of the island’s best seafood as well as the local cheeses. This is a casual, meandering afternoon with a bit of a seafood angle.”
Pop-Up Events celebrate the uniqueness of the island and its produce. Pollen Ate showcases the island’s love of honey with a six-course honey-inspired dinner at Southern Ocean Lodge, hosted by Chef Tim Bourke. Choose a table for two or book in a group for this signature fine dining experience.
Meet the Makers is self explanatory, allowing guests to meet the people behind the produce or beverages they are sampling. Nick explains; “Meet the Maker events can be enjoyed in between the breakfast, lunch and dinner events. It’s all about stopping off at one of the businesses taking part - at a winery for instance - having a chat, talking to the owners or the winemaker, having a taste and a nibble, at different locations around the island. Sign up for a gin master class in the quirky Kangaroo Island Spirits, taste exclusive wines at Islander Estate or Snow Dragon Wines or enjoy a glass of vino on the clifftops of Dudley Estate. Visitors can meet even more local producers at FEASTKI, where locals set up interactive stalls as well as doing cooking and preparation demonstrations.
More on Moran
Matt Moran and Margaret Fulton are the celebrity faces of the event, and both will host an exclusive experience during FEASTival. Matt will host the extravagant opening night feast, which will be held on a working farm. The Argentinian-inspired menu will feature pigs, ducks, geese, lamb and other meats cooked over the open coals on a huge custom-made grill built from old farm implements. This is about as ‘farm to table’ as you can get, and will be held under the stars with a backing of tango music.
Margaret Fulton will present a nostalgic 1930s-style country garden lunch on Sunday at Quentin Anderson’s Kangaroo Island Farm, joined by local chef, Rebecca Sullivan. This will be a rare chance to sample some of Margaret’s most iconic dishes while wandering around the farm, viewing preserves being made, wool classing, an exhibition hosting various local arts and perhaps taking aim with a game of croquet on the lawn.
While on Kangaroo Island, spend time exploring its many natural attractions. Nick recommends going for a morning or afternoon walk in Flinders Chase National Park, visiting Remarkable Rocks and heading over to Stokes Bay – one of his favourite spots. “You access this beach through a cave, ducking down and emerging onto this fantastic beach. Pick up some fish and chips at Rockpool Café before you walk around to the beach – the food there is excellent. Another thing I would recommend is to do a boat tour where you cruise down the coast and swim with dolphins.
FEASTival is on from Thursday 24th April – Monday 28th April 2014 with tickets available at www.tourkangarooisland.com.au/kifeastival
Special accommodation, travel and event packages can be purchased through Sealink (www.sealink.com.au/kifeastival) or Virgin Australia Holidays
Top places to stay
Southern Ocean Lodge - Spectacular doesn’t cut it when talking about the lodge or its location. www.southernoceanlodge.com.au
Life Time Private Retreats offer four private holiday houses that are all located in beautiful surrounds. Sky House offers incredible views and is top of the pops for honeymooners. www.life-time.com.au