CANBERRA is exploding with energy on the food and fashion scene and the latest idea belongs to Belinda Neame.The Forage, a new community food event, will make its debut on April 12 at the Hustle&Scout Twilight Fashion Market, inviting visitors to hunt for great food and drink from the 20 or so stallholders participating.
“It’s a feast of Canberra’s local street vendors, wineries, cafes and other foodie outlets,” says Belinda. “It celebrates our ever-changing ‘foodie scene’ and is a way to bring more people and excitement to the market.
“The two events, held in neighbouring areas of the NewActon cultural precinct, are all about live music, fashion, delicious smells and great flavours.”
Stallholders participating include Chez Frederic, Dinner Rush, Mocan and Green Grout, Red Brick Espresso, Majura Winery, Muesli Bar, Sweet Bones Bakery, Four Winds Vineyard, Mr Papa and Lu’Mon Macarons.
“We’ll have hay bales, milk crates to sit on and lots of street-style food to sample,” says Belinda.
At the market, Fashfest will work with The Forage and Haus Models to host a live food-themed photo shoot. The idea was tested with model Ella Mathews who sat patiently through a styling session as Chad Wijayatilake, from Form Haircutters, and Tegan McAuley, founder of Hustle&Scout, delicately wrapped pieces of bright purple cabbage on her head to form an exquisite hat and wrapped a necklace of plump red raspberries around her neck.
Belinda is no stranger to hospitality having owned Cherry Seed at Gold Creek for some years (now sold). She also runs the lovingly restored “I Am Norma” vintage fibreglass caravan built in 1964 that is rented out for special events, markets and weddings.
While Belinda’s vision for The Forage is clear, the path to fulfil it may not be. The event is secured at Hustle&Scout, but the plan is to have it “pop up” at locations in and around Canberra throughout the year, including on streets, in venues, at wineries and in parklands.
“I get that Territory and Municipal Services has a job to do, but why can other cities, like Adelaide, boom with creative ideas and we can’t without such hassle?’’ she asks.
At the moment Belinda is negotiating with TAMS for The Forage to “pop up” every two to three months, but it might be that she’ll have to settle for doing so on private land, not in central public spaces as initially hoped.