While words may nourish the soul, we'd be remiss to pretend that we weren't enjoying making our way through our burgeoning TBRs with a few snacks on hand.

This year, foodies and booklovers alike can enjoy the new Food programming at the Festival, centred around feeding the mind as well as the body. Starting on Friday night, join Nicola Harvey and Nakkiah Lui as they introduce their brand-new podcast First Eat. A confrontational, raw and highly personal exploration of food politics that asks 'How would food be different if First Nations people owned the land from which it came?', this exclusive preview is part of our After Dark at Carriageworks series. Grab a drink and settle down for an insightful and thought-provoking conversation.

Worried you'll make your way to Carriageworks a little early on Saturday morning? The Carriageworks Famers Markets are on hand, where you an grab a coffee and a bite of food before heading over to Bay 17 to hear culinary legends Stephanie Alexander and Maggie Beer discuss their careers, their cooking and their decades long friendship. From running a cooking school for Australians in a medieval Italian villa, to the experience of co-authoring Tuscan Cookbook, which was recently optioned to be made into a feature film, there is no doubt these two icons will have you enthralled. 

Choose wisely between lunch from the vast array of food vendors at the markets and across the Festival site before heading to Home ComfortsRestauranteur Durkhanai Ayubi, prize-winning chef Rosheen Kaul and cook and star of Netflix’s Chef’s Table Asma Khan reflect on the home cooking that is at the heart of our food cultures with Alice Zaslavsky. A source of physical and emotional comfort and satisfaction, the celebrated chefs and writers compare comfort dishes and consider traditional dish preparation against the sometimes-showy food culture of today.

Food memories are very powerful and memories of taste and aroma and conversations are something we carry...

Asma Khan

Can’t get enough Asma after Home Comforts? Annabel Crabb has you covered. Asma and Annabel sit down to share culinary memories and treasured recipes from Asma’s Ammu: Indian Home-Cooking to Nourish the Soul, a memoir, cookbook and ode to her Kolkata-based mother.  

And finally, finish the night at Sydney Town Hall with our special event The Dinner That Changed My Life. Annabel Crabb and Adam Liaw host this headline event with a stellar line-up of cooks, writers and storytellers who share the dining experience that reshaped their destiny, from superbly cooked meals to epic failures and other memorable moments. Hear from YouTube sensation Nat’s What I Reckon, social enterpriser Shaun Christie-David, food writer and chef Matthew Evans, prize-winning chef Rosheen Kaul, award-winning chef Asma Khan, writer and comedian Jennifer Wong, award-winning cookbook author Alice Zaslavsky, and Warndu co-founders and sustainable living advocates Rebecca Sullivan and Damien Coulthard.