Vino Paradiso

Food, food glorious food, you all know I love it but did you know there’s one thing I love just a little bit more than food….. Food matched with a fabulous wine, #yesplease!Last week, I was lucky enough to attend a preview for an upcoming event all foodies must indulge in, Vino Paradiso – the new wine and food festival hitting Sydney this October. The preview was held at Salt Meats Cheese in Alexandria and apart from the amazing food, wine and talent, best part was I got to take the boy along for date night with a twist. Most of the events I attend on behalf of Livvy May I roll to solo, so this time it was very special to have a plus one and I couldn’t think of a more ideal setting and reason to invite my plus one in life and love along to such an amazing event.

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The night began with canapés of prosciutto di parma mousse, taggiasche olives and thyme voul au vents (you could tell we were in for a night of culinary delight), plus more, and the opportunity to mingle with the tastemakers (essentially the headline acts of Vino Paradiso). The Vino Paradiso Tastemakers were indeed the stars of the night, treating the 65 guests to a sneak peak of what they’ll be doing as part of their role at the exciting new wine and food fair. The young, dynamic and passionate Vino Paradiso Tastemakers in attendance were Darren Robertson, one of Australia’s hottest chefs from Sydney’s Three Blue Ducks and co—host of Network Ten’s Recipe to Riches, Grant Collins who is one of the world’s most experienced and acclaimed mixologists; Sarah Limacher from The Keystone Group; Oscar McMahon from rock’n’roll brewery Young Henrys; Ian Rayner who is head brewer from Western Australia’s biodynamic cider company Custard & Co.; and Tom Egan who is the talented winemaker at Jed Wines and Wine Importer at Porteño restaurant in Sydney.

Tastemakers Group Shot - (Clockwise from top left) Ian Rayner, Slava Limacher, Oscar McMahon, Darren Robertson, Sarah Limacher, Grant Collins (seated), Peter Windrim (seated), Tom Egan (seated)

I was super excited to chat to some of the Tastemakers, particularly Darren Robertson as the boyfriend and I live in Bronte and regularly frequent Three Blue Ducks (known as The Ducks to locals). You can see they are all so passionate about the food and wine industry and how to produce and deliver the best possible product to the Australian public. Darren kicked off the festivities with a demonstration of one of his signature spring dishes, Kingfisher, pear and white radish salad which was so fresh and so easy, I feel I could whip it up myself. Then it was time for dinner to be served.

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The menu was amazing and I could tell we were in for a real treat (BTW the pre-Mexico bikini body diet was clearly put on hold for this occasion), with intervals where each tastemaker would speak about their passions and why they chose to be involved in Vino Paradiso. Oscar McMahon was from Young Henrys, a beer institution located in Newtown who spoke about fresh beer and the importance of making good quality beer accessible to all punters. Then there was Ian Rayner, whose bromance with Oscar was quite clear, he discussed how he made cider (one of my favourite summertime beverages) from scratch and the love and passion that goes into the process is key to the quality of the end result. FYI the end result is delicious! The rest of the evening was perfection with many highlights and examples of why this event will be a must for any Sydney foodie!

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Vino Paradiso is a three-day event taking place at the Australian Technology Park, providing an unparalleled opportunity for Australian wine and food enthusiasts to enjoy, interact and engage with Australia’s best wine, food, craft beer, cider and spirit influencers and producers. There will be several exhibitions taking place over the course of the three days including; grape crushing, treasure hunts, cooking demonstrations and master classes.

I thoroughly enjoyed hearing the tastemakers’ journey and it was so evident the passion they had for their craft, whether it was making craft beer or cider, creating amazing cocktails or delivering renowned expertise on wine, the evening was fun, informative and filled with memorable moments. Essentially it was filled with the key ingredients that make any dinner party a roaring success.


Tickets are on sale now from $25. For more information visit


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