Caper Byron Bay Food and Culture Festival

This culinary festival is back for its second run with a jam-packed ten-day program curated by chef Louis Tikaram from Brisbane restaurant Stanley.
Sarah Ward
Published on April 23, 2024


When Caper Byron Bay Food and Culture Festival debuted in 2022, Louis Tikaram from Stanley in Brisbane was on the lineup. In 2024, the chef from the standout Sunshine State restaurant has curated the program. He has ties to the area, growing up on a 110-acre farm in Mullumbimby before hopping from Sydney's Tetsuya's and Longrain to E.P & L.P. in Los Angeles and then the Queensland capital's go-to Cantonese fine-diner — and he's now doing his part for this culinary fest's second event.

Caper returns with a few changes. The festival has expanded its lineup from a four-day weekend to a ten-day run, and also moved from spring to autumn, taking place from Friday, May 17–Sunday, May 26. But its focus remains on celebrating food and culture in its seaside New South Wales home and the surrounding region, whether you're keen to eat, drink, listen to live tunes, or enjoy a drag night and trivia show.

Tikaram's program is filled with fellow culinary names, including when the opening party takes over Three Blue Ducks. On the bill just for that night alone: Dave Moyle from Salty Mangrove (who organised the first Caper), Jason Saxby from Raes on Wategos, Ben Devlin from Pipet, Matt Stone from You Beauty, Mindy Woods from Karkalla, Karl and Katrina Kanetani from Beach Byron Bay, Pepsi Nakbunchuay from Bang Bang, Robbie Oijvall from Lightyears, Bruno Conti from The Hut, Marcello Polifrone from Harvest and, of course, Darren Robertson from the host venue.

At the other end of the fest, the closing-night event will see Tikaram, Hawaiian chef Kanetani, Ross Magnaye from Serai Kitchen in Melbourne and Jedd Rifai from North Byron Hotel hone in on Hawaiian buffet-style snacks.

In-between, long lunches, a yakitori party and a five-course smoke-fuelled feast are all among the fellow Caper highlights. Some meals will get you eating seaside. Other events are serving up an Italian-inspired aperitivo hour or a gin garden party. With Tikaram doing the honours again, you can also tuck into east-meets-west canapés at Byron Chinese restaurant Hutong Harry's.

Whatever you're heading to, the North Byron Hotel is the fest's official watering hole, hosting tunes, cooking demonstrations, and cheese and wine tastings. If you've got a ticket to the fest, you'll score a drink coupon for a complimentary beverage, too.


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