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Tomato Festival Sydney 2018

The Festival will be buzzing with exciting, fun and delicious activities with something for everyone.

The award-winning Tomato Festival Sydney returns for a fifth year on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 February, from 10 am.

There will be new features to entice you back as well as Festival favourites. Bring along the whole family for an inspiring harbourside food festival celebrating all things tomato. Set on the spectacular foreshore lawns, it's a must see for this summer. Free and ticketed events.

Entries still open for Best in Show homegrown tomatoes.  Enter now!

Public transport recommended. Limited parking available.

In 2016 chillies spiced up the Festival, in 2017 it was the fragrant and diverse world of herbs, in 2018 it will be the edible garden!

Longest Tomato Lunch

Take a seat at our 70 metre long table as part of the Longest Tomato Lunch! Relax over a delicious tomato inspired menu with spectacular views of the Harbour. To be held on Saturday and Sunday.


Hands-on Pizza making for kids

Let your kids take their tastebuds on a delicious adventure in the Garden! Activities include a treasure hunt to find pizza ingredients, planting yummy Mediterranean herbs to take home and making a munchalicious mini-pizza to eat.


Meet the Makers


Come with us behind the scenes of Sonoma Bakery to see what they are preparing for the Festival.



Join Pepe for a sneak peek of how they are making delicious churned butter for the Festival. 


The Longest Lunch returns to the Tomato Festival Sydney in 2018! Tickets selling fast, book your ticket now



There will be plenty of opportunities for you to taste tomatoes as well as fresh produce and condiments that go perfectly with tomatoes.

Join us for cooking demonstrations, the tomato taste test and a wide range of stallholders with fabulous new ones in 2018 including the Second Mouse Cheese Company, Prosciutto di Parma and Wild Kombucha who will be creating special blends for the Festival. There will be innovative tomato inspired dishes at the popular Relish ‘pop-up’ cafe and bar as well as delicious bread from Sonoma, desserts from the Dessertmakers, chutneys, relishes, sauces, olive oils and much more. 


Join us for inspiring free cooking demonstrations in the Cooking & Learning Hub including dessert making, easy seasonal Italian dishes and tomato preserving!

Come and learn the secrets of fresh seasonal Italian dishes from celebrated chef Luca Ciano who honed his skills in the 2 Michelin-starred restaurant ‘Il Luogo di Aimo e Nadia’ in Milan. Also in the Cooking & Learning Hub be inspired by Alex Elliott-Howery from Cornersmith along with fascinating honey and gardening talks from industry experts. The mobile cooking pod generously sponsored by Electrolux.


Prosciutto di Parma: since Roman times, this geographically protected food became world renowned for its delicate and sweet flavour.

Wild Kombucha by Ballsy Brewing: It has been referred to as the ‘Tea of Immortality’. Matt and Lara will be creating some special tomato inspired brews for the Festival.

The Original Smoke & Spice Company: sell a range of delicious smoked condiments including garlic and fermented Black garlic, smoked solar sea salt and lemon smoked solar sea salt.

The Dessertmakers are back with mouth- watering desserts that are 100% natural with no preservatives

Pepe Saya Butter Co.: specialises in cultured butter made using the best local milk.

Beeswax Wraps Australia: the amazing eco-friendly alternative to plastic weap. Washable reusable and more manageable than plastic.

Vannella Cheese Australia: They will have a range of their specialty cheeses as well as their Mozzarella bar serving two dishes: Scamorza Chips and Caprese Salad.

Pukara Estate from the Upper Hunter Valley produce a wonderful range of distinctive regional olive oils, vinegar and condiments.

Growing Friends’ Plant Sale including Heartbreaker tomatoes, herbs and plants propagated from the Garden’s living collection.

Sonoma: artisan sourdough bakers. 18 years, 36 hours. It takes time to handcraft one loaf of Sonoma sourdough.

Luca Ciano: My wish, my mission is to have my finished product just like I would make and cook at home, for you to experience, enjoy, and share with your friends and family.

Cornersmith food is about following the seasons; it’s about opening your eyes to the bounty available and showing you best how to use it.

The Chilli Effect Gourmet sauce range that combines the fresh flavours of hot fresh local chillies with great spices and herbs.


Relax over a delicious tomato inspired menu with spectacular views of the Harbour.

The foreshore lawns will be transformed into a fabulous long lunch setting. Celebrated chef Luca Ciano has created a delicious seasonal, three-course Italian tomato inspired menu to be shared with family and friends. Relax, sit back and enjoy a long lunch with great company, live music while looking out over the most spectacular botanic garden and harbour in the world. Cheese proudly provided by Vannella Cheese, butter by Pepe Saya and prosciutto by Prosciutto di Parma. The lunch will be held on both Saturday and Sunday.



Join us for a delicious Tomato Degustation Brunch at the Botanic Gardens Restaurant.

Start the day with a Bloody Mary and let Head Chef, Matt Fletcher's delicious tomato-filled menu tantalise your taste-buds before heading off to enjoy the festival!


Competitions - Hurry, entries close soon!

Best-in-Show homegrown tomatoes

Judges Hints

Taste is key to a delicious tomato other aspects are important too. The following points in no particular order, will be taken into consideration when exhibits are judged: Colour, Smell, Flavour, Texture, Overall appearance and Weight (for exhibits in ‘heaviest’ category).


Entries for Chutney/Relish, Passata and Chilli sauce have closed. Winners for the 4 competitions announced Sunday 18 February in the Cooking & Learning Hub, 3.30 - 4 pm. 

Prizes for the 4 competitions include:
2 x $100 Harris Farm Markets gift card
1 x $100 private donation 
3 x annual household memberships to Foundation & Friends of the Botanic Gardens
2 x annual memberships to The Diggers Club

BIG KIDS Plan Bee: create a happy insect hotel!

Did you know that the Teddy Bear Bee and the Blue Banded Bee are just two of 350 types of native bees that live in the Sydney area! Come along to the workshop and find out how busy these native bees get pollinating tomatoes and other plants in the Solanaceae family. You will also build a bee hotel to take home and encourage pollinators to your garden.


Free activities

There are plenty of free activities including gardening talks, cooking demonstrations, taste testing, competitions, Diggers Heirloom Tomato Taste Test (11.30 am - 1.00 pm daily), Harris Farm Markets Tomato Mandala and guided walks (10.30 am daily). Details of the gardening talks and cooking demonstration in the Cooking & Leaning Hub are available below.

Cooking & Learning Hub

Download the full program here.


Saturday 17 February

10 am - 11 am
Talk: Creating edible gardens for small spaces - Indira Naidoo, Festival Ambassador, author, journalist and TV presenter Cooking & Learning Hub

11.15 am - 12.15 pm
Cooking demonstration: BushFood creations, talk & tasting - Jodie Orcher, Shared Knowledge Cooking & Learning Hub

12.30 pm - 13.15 pm
Cooking demonstration: Creating mouth-watering desserts with tomatoes! Merna Taouk, Dessertmakers Cooking & Learning Hub

1.30 pm – 2.30 pm
Talk: Tips and tricks for growing heirloom tomatoes Keith Edwards, The Diggers Club Cooking & Learning Hub

2.45 pm – 4.00 pm
Cooking demonstration: Easy Italian dishes harnessing seasonal fresh produceLuca Ciano, 2 Michelin Stars and multi award-winning chef Cooking & Learning Hub

4.30 pm – 6.30 pm
Film screening: Seed: The Untold Story Includes wine & nibbles, talk by Clive Blazey, the Diggers Club and Dr Brett Summerell, Royal Botanic Garden Sydney Maiden Theatre SOLD OUT

Sunday 18 February

10 am – 11.30 am
Delivery of tomatoes for Best in Show Tomato competition Loading dock (pedestrian access only via Mrs Macquaries Road)

10 am – 11 am
Talk: Saving seedsand growing heirloom tomatoesCosta Georgiadis, Festival Ambassador, host Gardening Australia and Clive Blazey, Founder, The Diggers Club Cooking & Learning Hub

10 am - 11.30 am, 1.00 pm and 2.30 pm
BIG KIDS Plan Bee: create a happy insect hotel!
The Calyx

10 am - 12 pm
Degustation brunch - Botanic Gardens Restaurant

11.15 am – 12.15 pm
Cooking demonstration: Preserving the season’s bounty – Green tomato & chilli picklingAlex Elliott-Howery, Cornersmith Cooking & Learning Hub

12.30 pm - 1.30 pm
Cooking demonstration: Bushfood creations, talk & tasting - Jody Orcher, Shared Knowledge Cooking & Learning Hub

1.45 pm – 2.15 pm
Talk: Creating an edible garden of any size Keith Edwards, The Diggers Club Cooking & Learning Hub

2.30 pm – 3.15 pm
Cooking demonstration: Easy Italian dishes harnessing seasonal fresh produce – Luca Ciano, 2 Michelin Stars and multi award-winning chef Cooking & Learning Hub

3.30 pm – 4 pm
Prize Winners’ Announcement Cooking & Learning Hub


Both days

10 am – 4 pm
Produce stalls, food & drink stalls, pop-up café & bar, children’s activities, Harris Farm Markets Tomato Mandala Festival Village – Band Lawn

10 am – 4 pm
Growing Friends Plant Sales Festival Village & Nursery

10 am – 12 pm
Degustation brunch Botanic Gardens Restaurant

10.30 am – 11.30 am
Guided walk Festival Village – Registrations and meeting point

11.30 am – 1 pm
Diggers Heirloom Tomato Taste Test Festival Village – Band Lawn

12 pm – 1 pm and 1.30 pm – 2.30pm
Children’s activities: Pizza Plants Lion Gate Lodge

12.30 pm – 2.30 pm
Longest Tomato Lunch Flower Bed Lawn.

Busby's Bar @ Victoria Lodge
Tomato inspired food and drinks
Until 7 pm

The Calyx
Stunning floral display
Extended hours until 7.30 pm


Don’t miss this special screening of Seed: The Untold Story on Saturday 17 February, 4.30pm

Few things on Earth are as miraculous and vital as seeds, worshipped and treasured since the dawn of humankind. After the movie, enjoy a glass of wine and nibbles and listen to Clive Blazey talk about heirloom seeds and Dr Brett Summerell about the seed conservation work at the Gardens as well as share in the Q&A - SOLD OUT
The Calyx

"Unique experience - fabulous food - view exceptional - great fun - lovely people - liked the music." Visitor Feedback 2017