Flags made of national foods? See for yourself in Sydney

If you’re a flag-waving, passport-carrying food lover of any nationality, you’ll want to head to Sydney, Australia next month. The Sydney Morning Herald has long declared October as “Good Food Month.” In 2009, it was renamed the Crave Sydney International Food Festival, and it only gets better from there (and I’m not just talking about this year’s cute and crafty edible flag ad campaign).

From October 1-31, Sydney’s plate runneth over with everything from seductive Night Noodle Markets (think Asian food hawker stalls) in Hyde Park North, to a World Chef Showcase featuring demonstrations, seminars, tastings, and special dinners at local restaurants. Separate events include progressive and theme dinners like a series of different “100 Mile Meals;” food, cheese, wine, beer, and cocktail pairings and tastings, and seminars on coffee, pisco, Champagne, and cider.

A series of talks and workshops on sustainability include From Garden to Table, The Urban Cook, and a Sustainable Symposium of international industry experts. Hands-on cooking classes on baking, chocolate, Mexican, and Korean food are but a few of the offerings; a Kids in the Kitchen program ensures your offspring will be wielding a knife like Morimoto in no time.

Barbecue Madness includes a month of events featuring Argentinean asado, Sausage Fest (get your mind out of the gutter), grilled Turkish and Greek feasts, and Southeast Asian and Pacific Rim fire-cooked foods.

The outstanding Growers Market (held the first Saturday of every month at Pyrmont Park) will kick off the festival on October 1st, with visits from former Chez Panisse chef David Tanis, and Australia’s Kylie Kwong and Joe Pavolich. Over 70 stalls burst with everything from local seafood and produce to Wagyu beef, artisan cheese, and exotic bush tucker (indigenous) foods like rosella flowers, wattleseed, and finger limes.

I’ve been known to rave about Sydney’s vibrant, first-rate food scene on Gadling and elsewhere; trust me, this is one festival worth the flight. For additional information and tickets, click here, or go to www.australia.com.