It was perfect weather for a perfect weekend at Tastes At The Bay.
From early diners listening to the sound of Michael Bublé on the marina, to kids having their faces painted, cooking demonstrations, wine tasting and pie eating competitions, there were plenty of attractions to keep the crowds happy.
Peter Clough, Event Co-ordinator, told News Of The Area, “This is the first year we have run a cruise with a live band on board. The tickets were sold out two weeks prior to the event.”
“The success has been way beyond our expectations, and our new approach to utilise the three sites has been a great decision.”
Guest celebrity chef Jade Phao-Chinda of Sydney was showcasing her talents on Saturday and said, “Lots of people are asking me for my recipes after the demonstrations. This makes me feel welcome here.”
The Town Crier was heard calling around the festivities and was photographed and enjoyed by many.
Kids and adults kept the balloon man busy creating balloon animals and swords.
Jazz singers on the marina entertained diners and visitors throughout the weekend.
Tourists from England, Richard and Eunice Budd, described the atmosphere as, “Strong community and village like.”
Toby Kuchta of Sydney won the pie eating competition and took home four bottles of wine.
Jan Stone of Port Stephens FM said, “I am enjoying the Tastes At The Bay. We are playing great music and the atmosphere is terrific.”
The winner of the draw for the Taronga Zoo family pass is Laice Moses.
By Mandy ELLIS
Taste of success for food, wine and jazz festival in Port Stephens – 15,000 people flock to Tastes at the Bay
More than 15,000 people flocked to the Tastes at the Bay Food Wine and Jazz Festival in Port Stephens on the weekend of November 5 and 6, underlining the growing appeal of the festival and Nelson Bay as a venue for major events.
The bumper crowd provided a boon to local traders, according to the Tomaree Business Chamber which organised the two-day event with the support of Destination NSW, major sponsorsponsor Greater Bank and partners Port Stephens Council, D’Albora Marinas, Port Stephens Accommodation, Telstra, Port Stephens FM, News of the Area, Robinson, Viatek, Ryan Palmer, Port Stephens Examiner, Destination Port Stephens and Destination NSW.
Tastes at the Bay this year has been a great success with traders in the Nelson Bay CBD and marina receiving great exposure to the large crowds,” said Tomaree Business Chamber President, Ryan Palmer.
“This event is run for the local traders to increase business now and into the future. We have some wonderful businesses in the region and it was great to showcase them to the large crowds. We look forward to an even bigger and more popular event next year.”
Mr Palmer said the Progressive Jazz Cruise on November 5, which included dish stops at Salamander Shores and The Point Restaurant, was a sell-out with 90 passengers while the music acts and cooking demonstrations were also well received. Celebrity chef Jay Phao-Chinda shared her skills and knowledge, Paul Miranda from Hunter TAFE whipped up several of his decadent desserts and visitors were also shown the best way of shucking Port Stephens oysters thanks to Tony Caske from Diemars Oysters in Port Stephens. Local restaurateur Alex Carbonaro from Sienna’s Restaurant also demonstrated how to make delicious, homemade gnocchi.
Destination Port Stephens Manager Danny Eather said Tastes at the Bay saw many Port Stephens eateries and other local businesses come together to celebrate the region’s fine food and wine.
“Tastes at the Bay helps to showcase the fresh produce and bountiful seafood Port Stephens is quickly gaining a name for,” Mr Eather said.
“The festival’s resounding success this year underscores the passion local culinary and tourism businesses invest into their quality product and also the way in which Nelson Bay at the heart of Port Stephens can host such major events in such a beautiful setting composed of pristine beaches, dolphin-filled waters and bushland.”