From ripe cherry toms to spicy Bloody Marys, the humble tomato in all its variety gets a weekend celebration at the Royal Botanic Gardens in February. They run a village marketplace with local producers selling tomato-based foods, free tours of the gardens and talks and cooking demonstrations with well known chefs.
One of the highlights of the festival is the Longest Tomato Lunch, which takes place on the lawn across a 70-metre-long table. The ticketed lunch ($42.86-$78.57) includes a four-course tomato feast designed by multi-award winning chef Luca Ciano.
New to the festival is a retro movie night – Attack of the Killer Tomatoes will be screened at the Calyx alongside a carnivorous plant talk and a wine and taco dinner ($50). They’ve also got Aunty Beryl Van-Oploo from Yaama Catering creating sweet and savoury dishes that’ll incorporate native Australian ingredients, which will be available for sale at the markets.
For budding chefs, Paul West from River Cottage Australia is running a four-hour masterclass called Grow, Cook, Eat ($99) and former My Kitchen Rules contestant Carol Molloy will be cooking up a range of tomato inspired dishes influenced by her Japanese-Australian heritage.