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activity, Bars, Cheap eats, Festivals, Foodies, March, nights out


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March into Merivale, Sydney’s signature Food and Wine Festival, and one of Sydney Social 101’s favourite food festivals, returns for its sixth sensational year from Wednesday 12 February to Friday 11 April. Inspired by the first and favourite food memories of Merivale’s talented chefs, the eight week culinary feast will feature over 60 mouth-watering events across an unrivalled range of restaurants, bars and pubs, from the hatted est. and Mr. Wong to local hangouts Papi Chulo and The Fish Shop. Tickets are on sale Wednesday 22 January from

This year’s March into Merivale theme, ‘Born to Cook’, draws on the chefs’ first, favourite and funniest food experiences, inviting diners on a delicious trip down memory lane. Their memories are as diverse as the chefs themselves and reveal the variety of influences and talent that lead Merivale’s award-winning kitchens. Dan Hong, for example, owes his cooking prowess to the early influence of his mother Angie who would often spread newspaper and sit on the kitchen floor, cutting up whole chickens with a cleaver. For Palings’ Christopher Whitehead, it was the ‘Australian Women’s Weekly Cookbook’ that first inspired his love of food and he remembers smuggling a torch into bed to pore over the pages of recipes. Felix’s Nathan Johnson recalls the English Summer and the unmistakable sound of the local ice cream van while fellow Brit Jeremy Strode reminisces about his daily childhood job of collecting milk straight from the source. Papi Chulo’s formidable duo, Patrick Friesen and Christopher Hogarth, might be joined at the hip now but their childhood food memories couldn’t be further apart – Tasmanian raised Chris loved to fish with his brothers and throw the catch straight on the BBQ while Canadian born Patrick had an unusual taste for butter, eating chunks straight from the fridge and earning the nickname Phat Pat as a result.

March into Merivale will officially kick off on Wednesday 12 February with the annual Launch Party at ivy. Showcasing the best food and drinks from over twenty Merivale venues, the Launch Party will see more than 3,000 food lovers take over Paling’s Kitchen & Bar, The Den and Terrace, Ivy Ballroom and Ash Street. Guests will be able to meet their favourite chefs, bartenders and sommeliers as they’re served up signature dishes, cocktails and wines, all while enjoying the roving entertainment. The event ticket, priced at $35, comes with eight tokens to redeem at the various stalls, with top-ups available on the night.

Turning kitchens and bars into culinary playgrounds, Merivale has created over sixty amazing events to tantalise the tastebuds. ‘Around the World with Eighty Whites’ will take guests on a global expedition of white wine discovery, curated by Merivale’s Master Sommelier, Franck Moreau, on Wednesday 5 March. Dessert lovers can keep their sweet tooth sugary with ‘Just Desserts presented by Foxtel’s LifeStyle FOOD’, a dessert extravaganza at Establishment on Monday 10 March. Manly’s hotly-tipped Papi Chulo crosses the bridge for the ultimate urban barbeque party ‘Where There’s Smoke’ at ivy on Wednesday 19 March before Ash Street is again transformed into a twilight street fair for ‘European Laneway’ on Wednesday 9 April. est. is ‘Puttin’ on the Ritz’ with an elegant high tea, Uccello embraces Frank Sinatra with a special ‘mafioso’ dinner and London’s Brick Lane comes to Bistrode CBD for a one-off Indian feast.

Cocktail devotees can be taught how to shake and stir by Merivale’s Group Bars Manager, Paul Mant, with ‘Mixology 101’ at Palmer & Co throughout March. Beer enthusiasts can indulge their love for a ‘cold one’ at ‘Beer at Beresford’ on Saturday 8 March and those with a penchant for Pinot can taste eight international Pinots in a master class at ivy Bottle Shop on Tuesday 8 April.

It wouldn’t be March into Merivale without the incredibly affordable $33 meal deals. Available for lunch or dinner, Monday to Friday, a meal and a glass of wine or beer can be enjoyed at all eleven Merivale restaurants throughout the festival. Merivale pubs have their own take on the $33 deal, offering two meals and two drinks for only $33. The menus will change frequently, leaving no excuse not to try them all.


Justin Hemmes, Merivale CEO, said: “Now in its sixth year, March into Merivale continues to grow bigger, better and more delicious than ever. This year, our talented chefs have taken a step back in time with the memories that first ignited their passion for cooking. Along with our wonderful sommeliers and bartenders, they have created over 60 amazing events that prove exactly why they were born to cook”.

March into Merivale Food and Wine Festival
12 February to 11 April 2014
For tickets and bookings, visit

About Editor

One British girl who wants to live life to the max and make the most of now! This isn't a dress rehearsal!


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