Dear Cheese Lovers

Here are some amazing events in New Zealand and around the world that feature cheese and cheesemakers which I support and/or am involved with. I will be adding festivals and events that I am working at or that I would recommend as I get time.  Suggestions always welcome from you. 

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Hawke’s Bay

Black Barn Growers Market

Black Barn Vineyard
1st December 2018 - 23rd February 2019

The canvas covered Growers’ Market is a ‘must-do’ for locals and visitors alike. Open 9am till noon every Saturday of summer under a ring of shady plane trees in the heart of the Black Barn vines. The Market opens with the new season’s asparagus, strawberries and artichokes and finishes as summer comes to an end with stonefruit peppers and beans.  It also offers fresh baked breads, locally roasted coffee, olive oil, whitebait fritters and locals catching up on the weeks’ gossip.

Hastings Farmers Market  

Hastings Racecourse
Every Sunday of the year

This is probably New Zealand’s biggest and best market.  Open every Sunday morning amongst the trees at Hastings Racecourse in summer and in the Racecourse buildings in winter with live music and a huge array of local food and drink. 
The selection is impressive from cheeseboards to cashew nut cheese, vegetables to coffee, olives, cider. 
Everything you need for a picnic, lunch or Hawke’s Bay weekend.

F.A.W.C! (Food & Wine Classic)

Winter     June 1st – 24th 2018
Summer  November 2018

Hawke’s Bay is like the Med without the crowds – hot sunny days cool evenings, endless orchards and vineyards, fresh produce, great beaches and lovely cafes and restaurants.  Plus there is F.A.W.C. - the Food & Wine Classic that happens twice a year and involves music, tastings, trails, dinners, demos and degustations; Celebrity chefs, cheese making and events to appeal to all ages, pockets and tastes.  I will be creating or hosting events at F.A.W.C. so watch this space.

The rest of New Zealand

Marlborough Wine & Food Festival

Saturday 9th February 2019

New Zealand’s original and longest running wine festival where you get the opportunity to sample world-class wines and delicious local cuisine in the picturesque Brancott Vineyard. For the wine aficionados there are two wine tutorials and the Culinary Pavilion will yet again host a bevvy of celebrity chef and cooking demonstrations. {I did a cheese & Wine session in 2016 which was sold out!] Put the date in the diary of 2017 or 2018!  You have to go!

Toast – Martinborough

Sunday 18th November 2018

Over the hill from Wellington thousands of foodies from near and far took trains, buses or a nominated driver to celebrated Toast’s 25th anniversary. 
A feast for the senses with 8 sites, 9 wineries, 9 restaurants and 20 music acts. Sip, savour, dance and Martinborough’s great wines.  
So gather up your foodie friends and start planning now!  Events sell out fast.


Waiheke Wine & Food Festival

Waiheke Island
Saturday April 1st 2017

An unmissable summer’s day out on Waiheke Island, taste boutique Waiheke wines and artisan food in one location, while basking in the sounds of some top live music. Award-winning vineyards will serve their hand-crafted wines along with a tempting and tasty line-up of artisan food vendors. Ticket price includes the ferry, bus, a wine glass, lanyard, festival flyer and a glass of wine on arrival. I am hoping to do a tasting at Batch Winery again this year so maybe see you there.

Rest of the world


Slow Food Cheese

Bra, Piedmont
18th to 21st September 2017

Run by the international organisation SLOW FOOD [designed to counteract Fast food!] it has been going since 1998 and thousands of cheesemakers from around the world totally takes over the hilltop town of Bra in Piedmont, Northern Italy for 5 days.

A region renowned for its great food and wines this should be on any Foodies Bucket list.  There are masterclasses, tastings, exhibitions, dinners and cheeses galore.


Terra Madre Salone del Gusto

September 20-24th 2018

The most important food event for anyone involved in the food industry.  Run by Slow Food every 2 years.  In 2016 around 7000 producers and farmers from 55 countries spread across the elegant city of TURIN and along the banks of the river Po. The city turned into a gigantic kitchen, where participants learnt to appreciate all the world’s flavours, and the people behind them, from field to fork.

Inspirational and world changing.



Ludlow Food Festival

Ludlow Castle
May & September every year

Take one historic town, combine with an enviable food culture, mix in passionate local chefs, producers and an array of exciting attractions and what do you get – the Ludlow Food Festival of course! 
A GREAT family day out with more than 160 producers under cover in huge marquees all weekend, alongside Michelin Chefs, hands-on cookery demonstrations and expert talks.
All against the stunning backdrop of Ludlow Castle


Image Credit: MFWF Mia mcdonald

Image Credit: MFWF Mia mcdonald

Melbourne Food & Wine Festival

Melbourne Australia
1st -17th March 2017

Marking its 20th anniversary, Melbourne’s annual celebration features more than 200 events that honour the city’s strong culinary tradition and spills into regional Victoria.

Full details of the lengthy festivities – including an event calendar – will be released on February 1st 2017.



Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival

April 20 – 23 2017
Pebble Beach, California

Pebble Beach Food & Wine is the premier epicurean lifestyle event on the West Coast, matching 250 acclaimed wineries and 100 celebrity chefs to create a hedonistic four-day destination on one of the most picturesque strips of coastline in the world. Throughout the weekend you'll enjoy wine tastings, cooking demos, and some of the most exclusive, unique dining opportunities available in the world.