If a festival has the word taste in the title, it’s got to be all about the food. And that’s true of Taste Camden, which on Sunday went around for a second time. But this community celebration is a lot more than just about food.
Take the venue for example: Camden Town Farm.
It’s located a stone’s throw from Argyle Street, the heartbeat of old Camden town, one of Australia’s most historic.
This is where the wool industry and other serious agricultural pursuits started around 200 years ago.
Its proximity to so many Camden residents is one of the reasons on Sunday it attracted more than 15,000 people, making it one of the biggest events on the Macarthur calendar.
Imagine if Camden was linked to a railway – like it used to be many years ago – the food festival would attract double Sunday’s number and perhaps even more than that.
Either way, Taste Camden seems to have found the recipe for success – pun intended – long into the future, which means it will also be able to attract celebrity chefs like “Fast Ed’’ Halmagyi, who was run off his feet on Sunday meeting more than 200 attendees and taking to the stage for two big cooking demonstrations.
Fast Ed’s creations, which were a huge hit with the festival crowds, included Cambodian-style duck curry with turmeric, ginger and star anise.
He also prepared yellowfin bream in paperbark with olive and black rice stuffing, wild greens.
This was followed by beef spinach and fontina roulade with smoked carrot purée and fine spring salad of flowers.
Next was lamb rack smoked with organic oat hay, glazed garden vegetables and charred pea shoot sauce.
The sweet treats included cinnamon and raisin chocolate silk, twice-cooked strawberries and Crostolli, followed by cherry-melon salad with fried chocolate and thyme tortelloni, mint sugar and fairy floss.
It’s no surprise the mayor of Camden, Councillor Theresa Fedeli, was pretty happy with the turnout.
“There were almost 100 different food vendors at yesterday’s event, which is the most variety Taste Camden has ever seen,” Cr Fedeli said.
“We had stalls making pizza and pasta, dumplings, burgers and Spanish paella. There was gelato, pancakes, pastries and churros.
“The amazing SmoothFM Produce Lane had jams, dressings and homemade salamis. For the adults, there were ciders, beers and wines to try.
“There was something for everyone.’’
Cr Fedeli also pointed out that Taste Camden was just about the food and that entertainment from the very talented Like Angels and Gold Band on the main stage and the much-loved local band, The Honey Sippers, in Produce Lane, was top notch.
“While Camden Festival 2019 concludes for another year, it will be back bigger and better than ever in 2020.’’
This year, Camden Council ran two social media competitions prior to the event, with the two winners collecting their prizes on Sunday.
They were Esther Jeans, who won a $100 voucher to Country Club Gledswood Hills and Karmen Zammit, who won a fast pass to meet Fast Ed at the event.