Coffs Food & Wine Festival

Coffs Coast Food & Wine Festival

The Coffs Coast Food & Wine Festival is an award-winning celebration of local food. With 10 days of absolute decadence from Bellingen to Woolgoolga, the best of the Coffs Coast is on display.
We touched base with Lindsay Russell, the Director of an award-winning event in the region- The Coffs Coast Food & Wine Festival. We’re getting special insights into the delicious program and diving into to the world of locally sourced ingredients.

Lindsay, The Coffs Coast Food & Wine Festival seems like a must-visit event for travellers seeking a unique experience. What can attendees can expect to discover and indulge in during their time at the festival?

The 10-day lineup has got a little something for everyone. Whether you’re a total foodie, a comedy nerd, an art fanatic, or just live for the music, even families looking for a good time – trust me, every event on the schedule brings a different vibe to the table.

The festival is all about promoting the region’s best local businesses, providing them with a platform to showcase what they do best. These are special, one-off events where you’ll see unique collaborations, so even if you’re already a fan of the business- it’s the perfect time to try something new!

How does The Coffs Coast Food & Wine Festival offer a genuine taste of its foodie scene?

As the Director of the festival, it is my job to eat my way around the region, finding restaurants, chefs & foodie businesses that resonate with our goal of promoting local producers. (It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it!)

The Coffs region is an incredible food bowl- the produce, meat, and seafood are bursting with flavour and freshness. It takes a lot of extra time and effort to craft menus around seasonal ingredients, and the local businesses that do this obviously have a passion for supporting the local food movement. I love seeing- and tasting- what these chefs do with local ingredients. It’s truly something spec

Culinary tourism is on the rise, with travellers seeking immersive food experiences.
How does the festival elevate its offering to meet this need?

Where do I begin? Culinary tourism is on the rise, with travellers seeking immersive food experiences. We have so many events that take food experiences to the next level. For example, our Cinema Night with Bar Que Sera will see a local restaurant taking over the Majestic Cinema in Sawtell for a night. You get to eat food inspired by the movie…while you watch it. I don’t think it can get much more immersive than that!

How does the festival combine delicious food with the natural beauty of the Coffs Coast?

There’s nothing better than enjoying the outdoors of the Coffs Coast and providing attendees with a sensory experience that combines delectable cuisine with stunning scenery; they get to experience the best of both worlds.

We have quite a few events where you’ll get to enjoy some fresh air while indulging in something delicious. From soaking up the sun in the beer garden at Woolgoolga Brewing Co., sipping on cold brews on the expansive deck at King Tide Brewing, to exploring the veggie patches at Artisan Cheese & Cooking School after learning how to make cheese- and pairing wine with it of course- and more.

Are there any initiatives or partnerships the festival has that provide visitors with an eco-conscious and socially responsible experience?

Many travellers are interested in sustainability and supporting local communities.

First, supporting the local food movement is extremely impactful on the environment. Many local farmers use regenerative farming practices, and the less km’s food has to travel – the better on the planet. By attending these events and eating at these restaurants that support the local food movement, you’re already making a more earth-friendly choice than eating out somewhere like a fast food restaurant. 

Second, we have partnered with OzHarvest to place importance on the food waste issue. For every ticket sold, 2 meals go to locals in need via the festival’s official “Good Cause”. This means food waste is being rescued rather than thrown away into landfills, where it can generate more greenhouse gasses

How does The Coffs Coast Food & Wine Festival reflect the region?

Festivals often serve as windows into the heart of a destination.

When coming up with the concept of The Coffs Coast Food & Wine Festival, one of the main things I wanted to highlight was the different villages. From Woolgoolga, Coffs Harbour, Sawtell, and other little villages like Emerald Beach– each one has a completely unique identity. The events on the festival program reflect each town beautifully. The festival provides the perfect excuse to travel around and explore the region- plate by plate!

For travellers planning a visit to the festival, what are some practical tips you would offer to enhance their experience and make the most of their time in the region?

This festival is worth travelling for, so whether you come for a weekend or make an entire “Work & Play” week out of it, you’ll have a great time. 

My tip is to book early- a lot of these experiences are limited capacities so that you can have an intimate experience. Don’t wait around if you’ve been eyeing down an event. 

If you’re from the region, I encourage you to have a little fun in your own backyard! If you’re travelling from one area to another (like Sawtell to Woolgoolga), why not make a ‘staycation’ out of it? Book accommodation with one of our festival partners, The Observatory Coffs Harbour or Holiday Coffs Coast to feel like you’ve gone on a full holiday without the extra travel costs.