For the last eight or nine years, I have been been involved in the AIDS Trust’s Food & Wine Fair.
I started off as the fabulous Claire de Lune’s assistant, helping her out with cooking demonstrations and this and that whenever it was needed. Then Claire decided to step back from hosting and took the lead role behind the scenes, organising all the entertainment and making sure the stage ran smoothly.
Being a self-confessed control freak, Claire has everything planned to within an inch of its life. Every year, the stage runs smoother than a freshly waxed gay at Mardi Gras.
I have taken on the MC role, which is always exciting, as you get to meet and interact with all the fabulous creative performers and hang out with the fabulous volunteers who are there every year.
When I first started to go to the Food & Wine Fair, I spent my money on a little food and lots of wine, and sat on a blanket for hours, laughing and rolling around.
We would turn up about 1pm when there was still heaps of everything and plenty of room to cop a squat. That was 15 years ago — how the fair has changed. Hyde Park is now always packed from go to wo! Veteran food and winers are there with blankets from the wee hours of the morning.
What does the main stage have in store for you this year? We have performances from some of the cast of Jersey Boys to kick off the day, Australia’s favourite male pole dancer Matty Shields (no relation — though if we got married I would be Maxi Shields neé Shield), jugglers, magicians, the fabulous Chandeliers — and fresh from his role in Hairspray, the always fabulous and funny Trevor Ashley.
The day is packed with entertainment, right up to close to 5pm.
With weather forecasts saying it’s going to be glorious, head to Hyde Park and try some of Sydney’s finest food and wine, then rest your clacker on the grass and watch some of Australia’s finest performers — oh, and me.