Foraging expedition the pick of Eat the Street highlights

Friday, 01 March

One of the new highlights of this year’s award-winning Eat the Street food festival is a Foraging Expedition with bushfood expert Peter Hardwick.

Food and sustainability buffs are invited to join Peter on Friday, 8 March to learn how to harvest fruit and natural ingredients in a sustainable way followed by a demonstration of preparing, preserving, pickling and fermenting foraged foods.

Peter will draw on a lifetime of experience working with bushfoods, which began with a love of foraging at the age of four at South West Rocks, inspired by his mother’s stories of eating lilly pillies.

That passion did not wane into his teenage years, and when he was 18 Peter decided to make bushfoods his career path to highlight the value of rainforest and regeneration.

He studied horticulture in Sydney and found many edible rainforest fruit trees planted as street and park trees. It was in the city he first discovered riberry, Davidson’s plum, lemon myrtle, plum pine and bunya nut.

In the early 1980s, Peter returned to set-up a native foods industry in northern NSW. He worked on researching the cultivation of wild foods and set up a nursery that specialised in selecting improved varieties of native fruits.

“Peter was part of the emerging bushfood industry and worked on selecting the best subtropical species for restaurants,” Acting City Centre Manager Andrew Walker explained.

“Then in the 1990s, Peter ran courses on regenerating bushland with native foods and was involved in establishing native food plantations.

When foraging became part of the modern food movement, Peter’s experience enabled him to assist chefs wanting to use a broader range of wild ingredients on their menus. He worked for the award-winning Adelaide restaurant Orana, and then in 2016 started working with Harvest at Newrybar.

“His experience spans decades and he is a passionate advocate for bushfoods. This is a unique opportunity to pick his brains and be inspired by a lifetime of knowledge and passion.”

Peter also has a decade of experience with native food fermenting, and has developed emerging products such as pandanus vinegar, pickled Moreton Bay fig shoots and char kelp vinegar.

Peter’s Foraging Expedition is $40 per person and includes all materials and ingredients. To book, visit

The 2019 Eat the Street food festival is on Saturday, 9 March from 12pm to 9pm in the heart of Lismore. There will be more than 50 stalls offering tasting plates, plus boutique drinks and beverages, home-grown produce and locally made products.

The popular cooking stage will return with celebrity chef Matt Golinski doing ticketed masterclasses on Saturday as well as a free live demonstration and Q&A.

This year the Southern Cross University music stage will feature a huge line-up of talent, including headline act Wild Marmalade, who will end the evening with their high-energy dance music.

Other ticketed events include a Progressive Dinner on Thursday, 7 March with five courses at five spectacular venues and a Mixology Masterclass with Howard Johnson at The Loft on Friday, 8 March where you can learn to make the perfect cocktail.

For more information or bookings for the ticketed events, visit

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