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Byron Shire
December 8, 2022

Caper Festival 10–13 November

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Chef David Moyle of Harvest Newrybar is also Food Curator of Caper Byron Bay festival. Photo Jess Kearney.

It was the late Anthony Bourdain who said: ‘Food, culture, people and landscape are all absolutely inseparable’. It’s a notion that Caper Byron Bay Food & Culture Festival has taken and run with, as food is definitely the highlight of the program.

This is clearly evident in the sheer number of foodie-focused events (28 of the 34 offered), as well as the long list of acclaimed chefs involved, including Thi Le, David Moyle, Darren Robertson, Mark LaBrooy, Palisa Anderson, Alanna Sapwell, Louis Tikaram, Matt Stone, Mama Ying, Jason Saxby, and Maurice Terzini.

David Moyle of Harvest Newrybar, with a love of unique local produce and sustainability, is also the food curator of Caper Byron Bay. Moyle and Harvest’s Friday evening dinner is an ode to the Northern Rivers and its maze of waterways. ‘The Northern Rivers have such a magnificent food culture owing to the climate, soil, and its people. We are lucky to have so many passionate producers and I love showcasing that,’ he says.

Moyle’s good mates Darren Robertson and Mark LaBrooy at Three Blue Ducks are getting in on the action too, hosting an early evening dinner cooked over fire, with Brookie’s cocktails, at the Cape Byron Distillery.

More recent arrivals to the region are newly engaged power chef couple Alanna Sapwell of Beach Byron Bay, and Matt Stone of Ciao Mate! and You, Beauty, both holding their own events during the Caper Festival. With Beach Byron Bay racking up the accolades this year (voted Delicious Australia’s Best Regional Restaurant and Gourmet Traveller listed it in their top NSW restaurants), you’ll want to get in quickly to their Friday ‘The Chef & the Maker’ long lunch. Matt Stone has opted for a Sunday afternoon Sicilian-inspired soiree, with his group Mosey on Inn (Ciao Mate!, You, Beauty and The Eltham Hotel) joining forces with Jilly Wine Co at their winery in Clunes.

Jason Saxby and Raes on Wategos have paired up with champagne house Perrier-Jouet for a predictably delightful ‘Decadent Seafood & Champagne Long Lunch’. Jason Saxby has been executive chef at the stunning Raes property for almost four years. A decade ago, when working at Quay, he was named SMH ‘best young chef of the year’ award, and left Pilu at Freshwater to become head chef at Raes. He loves cooking with seafood, and has occasionally even done so on the Raes superyacht, and I’m sure he’s tried a few champagnes already to make sure the champagne/seafood combination is just right on the day for a truly decadent long lunch. Jason told The Echo that guests at the lunch could expect ‘some of the finest ingredients from the sea paired with some special vintage bottles of Champagne – menu especially tailored from beginning to end to be a decadent experience like no other’.

As you might have read in last week’s Echo, Barrio Eatery & Bar are bringing in none other than Gourmet Traveller 2023 Chef of the Year Thi Le, of Anchovy Melbourne.

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