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Festa Italiana

Howard Smith Wharves is hosting its first-ever Italian food market over two big weekends, in collaboration with guest chef Orazio D'Elia.
By Sarah Ward
May 12, 2023
By Sarah Ward
May 12, 2023
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Margarita weeks, gin and tonic festivals, Easter celebrations and music trails are just some of the festivities that Howard Smith Wharves has added to Brisbane's social calendar over the years. The next? FESTA ITALIANA, the CBD precinct's first-ever Italian food market. And, it isn't any old celebration of Italian cuisine and beverages, boasting chef Orazio D'Elia of Bondi Beach's Da Orazio in Sydney as a guest of honour.

The Naples-born and -raised, Sydney-based D'Elia is also one of the driving forces behind FESTA ITALIANA alongside HSW. He heads to Brisbane with quite the reputation, including a stint as Head Chef at Sydney's iconic Icebergs Dining Room and Bar alongside Maurice Terzini, then keeping that collaboration going by opening Da Orazio Pizza + Porchetta.

FESTA ITALIANA will arrive to see out autumn and welcome in winter, settling into its riverside home to showcase Italian bites and sips with a live music soundtrack, and spreading the festival across HSW's main lawn in the process. The market-slash-festival is also stretching its Italian-themed fun out over two weekends, running from Friday, May 26–Sunday, May 28 and Friday, June 2–Sunday, June 4.

Thanks to Orazio's involvement, several of his well-known dishes will be on offer, including vodka rigatoni (made with tomato and vodka sauce) and focaccia con porchetta (with the meat fresh from the rotisserie, and paired with chilli-marinated grilled eggplant, cos lettuce and mayonnaise on schiacciatina bread).

The food range extends to woodfired bread, fritto misto and gelato, plus a live pasta station making fresh pasta onsite. And drinks-wise, fans of Italian beverage can expect a heavy focus on Aperol spritzes and peach bellinis.

Entry is free, with everything you're keen to eat and drink purchased as you go. And like all events on HSW's main lawn, this one is pet-friendly, should you have a very good pup who enjoys hanging out by the river while you tuck into an Italian feast.

Top image: Reuben Nutt.

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