Lambton business owner and mother-of-three Jessica Aguilera-Eckford is an ideas woman.
Not only does she run her own event management company, Angelic Events & Design, she is the driving force behind a new and exciting food and wine experience happening in November: Newcastle Food and Wine Weekend.
More than 150 pop-up restaurants, food trucks, wineries, dessert makers and coffee houses will converge on Lambton Park on November 3 to 5, as well as some of the Hunter’s finest chefs.
One of the highlights of the weekend will be Newcastle’s Biggest Grazing Luncheon, a three-hour feast catered for by chefs the calibre of Robert Molines, Chris Thornton, Troy Rhoades-Brown and Samuel Alexander to raise funds for Soul Cafe.
The Sunday Session Chill-Out will also be popular – a marquee with cabanas, lounges and a private bar, and a DJ behind the decks.
“If you love private cabanas, cocktails and funky tunes this is the place to be,” Mrs Aguilera-Eckford told Food & Wine.
“Newcastle has a relaxed and laid-back vibe, so we feel that Sunday’s session will be the perfect way to finish off the weekend.”
Over the weekend you will be able to browse individual food and wine stalls and watch cook-offs in the Food Theatre. A beer garden will be set up in a large tipi where you can enjoy craft beer and burgers, and there will be an espresso martini and cocktail bar, as well as a dessert bar, on site.
The Cheese and Wine Bar will be sponsored by Hunter Belle Cheese and Peterson Wines.
“You can wander around and sample some of the finest Hunter region wines, taste some of Newcastle and the Hunter Valley’s finest foods, stop by a food truck or just relax in the dessert lounge,” Mrs Aguilera-Eckford said.
“We also have the little people covered at the Children’s Fairy Land. They will be entertained by face painting, a balloon bar, rides, games and a jumping castle.”
She hopes Newcastle Food and Wine Weekend will put Newcastle on the “foodie” map and encourage people to shop local.
“We have been overwhelmed with the positive response so far. Holding a food and wine event always gets people excited but Newcastle is a growing city filled with creative foodies so the event has generated a bit of hype.”