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  • Written by Susan Ewington

Introducing the River Lounge and the Drinks Lab – New to the Festival Village in 2019

The Festival Village is the heart of Noosa Food & Wine and this year, we have introduced two very special spaces – The River Lounge and The Drinks Lab where you will find amazing collaborations from some of the best chefs, producers, mixologists, wine connoisseurs and spirit gurus from across the country. 


Join us on the water's edge for a series of cool, creative and collaborative sessions in the Festival Village's newest space, The River Lounge.  Nationally acclaimed Chefs are joining forces with some of Australia's best restaurants and producers to bring you good vibes, delicious bites and hand-curated cocktails.  These 2-hour sessions are just $75 per session (only accessible to those with a Festival Village pass) and are unique to Noosa and are happening one time only. Sessions are: 

Red Snapper Brunch – Saturday 18 May 11:00am  -  Four Pillars is bringing its Red Snapper Brunch Series to Noosa with a next level brunch session with Four Pillars' Director of Drinks, James Irvine, preparing three delicious gin drinks, including two versions of the classic Red Snapper and a refreshing spritz, that will be accompanied by a bold brunch menu from Ryan Fitzpatrick of The Ohana Group.  Who knew adding gin to a Bloody Mary would make it so much better? 

Smoked - Saturday 18 May 2:00pm - In ode to World Whisky Day, we've put together a 2-hour session of all your big, bold, smoked favourites. Round up your fellow whisky lovers and indulge in a menu featuring smoked meats and cheeses served alongside our top smoky whiskey picks. 

The Caribbean Shack – Saturday 18 May 5:00pm - Crowd favourite Paul Carmichael is taking over the reins of The River Lounge to bring you a Caribbean inspired experience. Along with delicious bites filled to the brim with fresh, local produce there will also be every kind of Caribbean inspired drink you can imagine with reggae beats. Four Pillars' James Irvine is teaming up with Momofuku Seiobo's Paul Carmichael and drinks guy Luke Ashton (This Must be the Place) to create three Caribbean-inspired gin drinks for this River Lounge event. Let the cuisine of the Caribbean and Australian gin sing.  

Hooked On North Bondi Fish – Sunday 19 May 2:00pm - Jesse McTavish from North Bondi Fish is packing his bags and heading north to Noosa for an oh so tasty session in The River Lounge. A testament to its' seaside location and Noosa's coastal charm, the North Bondi Fish menu will be bringing you small bites and simple, fresh seafood dishes.  A couple of beach-side chic cocktails will be on hand too, with crisp whites and amber ales thrown in for good measure. 

Bikini Takeover - Sunday 19 May 5:00pm - The team from Bali's famed Bikini restaurant are crossing the Indian Ocean and taking over The River Lounge for one exclusive session. A collision of technique and flavour, Chefs Jethro Vincent and Braden White will be bringing a taste of their reinvented degustation style to Noosa.  A celebration of serious food in a not so serious way, Bikini Takeover is a session not to be missed.  



A new addition for the Festival Village, The Drinks Lab is bringing together some of our nation's best mixologists, wine connoisseurs and spirit gurus to create a series of alcohol inspired masterclasses. The best in the business will be spilling all of their secrets and tricks of the trade for all of your favourites, from artisan gin right through to authentic sake.  The Drinks Lab is only accessible to those with a Festival Village pass. Each of The Drinks Lab masterclass sessions run for 30 minutes and costs $45 per class. 

Start Your Day With Dal Zotto - Saturday 18 May & Sunday 19 May 11:00am - From a glass of prosecco to a cheeky cocktail, starting the day out with Dal Zotto prosecco is a sure-fire way to be guaranteed a good time!  Join them in The Drinks Lab for an intimate masterclass all about the first drink of the day and making it count! 

Wines Of The World - Saturday 18 May And Sunday 19 May 12:00pm - Learn from three-time Australian Sommelier of the Year Banjo Harris Plane as he explores the globe in search of new and exciting wines from countries we'd least expect.  Think Turkey, Croatia, India, South Africa and more – places that aren't traditionally recognised as famous wine countries yet produce some of Banjo's and The Wine Gallery's favourite drops.  

Snap, Crackle, Pop: Fizzy Wine = Good Times - 18 May 2019 1:00pm - Join wine expert Clare Burder for a little adventure in all things fizz and compare Prosecco with the French style bottle fermented wines. We'll chat about making, style, glassware, serving, food and send you home armed with some useful tips to confidently try something new next time you've got a craving for fizz. Tickets include wine tastings (4 samples).  

Four Pillars Gin Masterclass – Saturday 18 May 2:00pm  - Join Four Pillars at the Noosa Food & Wine Festival Drinks Lab on Saturday 18 May (2 – 2.30pm) for a raucous masterclass of gin goodness, hosted by the one and only Stu Gregor – one of three founders of Four Pillars Gin.  Taste your way through the current Four Pillars range as Stu talks you through the world of making (and drinking) gin. 

Cocktail Spritz – Saturday 18 May 3:00pm - Learn from Luke Ashton as he creates some favourites from This Must Be The Place's spritz menu and shows you how low alcohol cocktails are a great way to enjoy drinks at home.  Hosted by Momofuko Seiobo's Kylie Javier Ashton, this masterclass will redefine the spritz, a cocktail changing the way we drink and enjoy alcohol.  

Whisky Tales - Saturday 18 May And Sunday 19 May 4:00pm - In honour of 2019's World Whisky Day, we've rounded up the best of the best to bring you a whisky masterclass. Whether you are whisky obsessive or a newcomer to the dark golden liquid, this masterclass will explore different types of whiskies so you can work out exactly what's for you and learn some tips and tricks along the way. 

Embrace The Umami: Introduction To Sake - Saturday 18 May 5:00pm And Sunday 19 May 1:00pm - In many ways sake is absolutely astonishing. This phenomenal drink has a fascinating flavour profile, an endlessly complex production process and on top of all that, chances are you can't read the label.  It's no surprise then that sake is tricky to understand – but fret not, in this class we'll cover some all-important basics – and taste a bracket of sake that'll give you the confidence to keep exploring. 

Exploring Drinkability: Style, Texture & Balance – Sunday 19 May 2:00pm  - Join wine expert Clare Burder for a genre busting masterclass that is all about drinkability. We'll taste four fantastic wines and chat with a winemaker about how wines have changed over the last little while. We'll talk style, texture, grape variety and explore the some of the winemaking trends that are defining our future. 

Australian Distilleries Masterclass  Sunday 19 May 3:00pm - Join Four Pillars' Stu Gregor at the Noosa Food & Wine Festival on Sunday 19 May (3 – 3.30pm) for a gin-fuelled masterclass on Australia's craft distilling scene.  Taste your way through spirits from some of Australia's leading distilleries including Four Pillars Gin, Brookie's, Husk and Noosa's own Fortune Distillery as Stu talks through the ins-and-outs of Australia's distilling industry. 


  • The Festival Village will open Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 May from 10am – 8pm 
  • The River Lounge ($75 per session) and The Drinks Lab ($45 per session) are only accessible with Festival Village passes.

For the full program & to purchase event tickets-

The Queensland Government, via Tourism and Events Queensland, is proud to support the Noosa Food & Wine Festival which features on the It's Live! in Queensland events calendar. Queensland, just the place to experience Australia's best live events.  


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