Automata’s ace chef, Clayton Wells, and sommelier Samantha Payne have curated a three-day food and wine festival taking over Kensington Street, Chippendale over the weekend of June 3-5.
Punters are already very familiar with the area when it comes to good eating and drinking: it’s home to restaurants including Automata, Andiamo Trattoria, Mekong and more, has seven restaurants inside the Old Rum Store alone, and is parallel to street-food drawcard Spice Alley with its myriad hawker-style eats.
Gather on Kensington Street is something a little different, bringing the gastronomy out on the street with food stalls as well as pop-up cellar doors from NSW wineries, masterclasses, parties, food events and live music. The food stalls (Cartel, Holy Duck, Automata, LP's Quality Meats, Andiamo, Olio, Old Clare Hotel, Gavroche and Eastside) will be serving tasting dishes that start at just $7 each.
Buy a reusable wine glass for $7 and get two samples from winemakers of your choice. They include Swinging Bridge from Orange; Lark Hill from Canberra; Nick Spencer Wines from the High Country; Mallaluka Wines from Yass; Charteris Wines, Vinden Wines, M&J Becker, Comyns & Co, Sabi Wabi and Silkman from the Hunter Valley; and Mercer Wines (from all over NSW).
Special ticketed events include Automata’s Snack Party on Friday June 3, where attendees get to eat snacks from several of Sydney's leading chefs – Wells, Trisha Greentree, Mitch Orr, Matt Linday, Luke Powell and Toby Wilson (tickets are $100pp).
Merrick Watts is special guest at Olio’s Sunday Seafood Lunch (June 5) – Sicilian seafood by chef Lino Sauro gets matched to Watts’s wine selections (the comedian is actually a qualified wine expert). Sommelier Samantha Payne and chef Tiw Rakarin invite you to Travel the Mekong (Sat Jun 4). Top Korean restaurant Jung Sung is offering a six-course degustation matched with Vinden Wines all weekend.
Samantha Payne has curated a series of seven wine masterclasses across the weekend:
Sat Jun 4
12 noon: Sabi Wabi & M&J Becker hosted by Mem Hemmings
1pm: Vinden Wines & Mallaluka hosted by Mem Hemmings
2pm: Comyns & Co. & Mercer Wines hosted by Samantha Payne
3pm: Charteris & Nick Spencer Wines hosted by Samantha Payne
Sun Jun 5
12 noon: Silkman Wines & Charteris by Chris Morrison
1pm: Nick Spencer Wines & Mallaluka hosted by Chris Morrison
3pm: Swinging Bridge & Lark Hill hosted by Louella Mathews
Local art collector, philanthropist and all-round legend Judith Neilson will also open up her brand new Phoenix Gallery of contemporary Indigenous art for two days only, offering free entry by ticketed ballot.
Gather on Kensington Street is proudly funded by NSW Government and Investment NSW. It runs June 3–5 and entry is free, but food and wine are pay as you go and some events are ticketed.