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Taste of the best at food festival

KICKING BACK: The crowds at last year’s festival.
KICKING BACK: The crowds at last year’s festival. Contributed

BANGALOW Showground will soon be filled with the sights and smells of some delicious examples of the best from Northern Rivers food producers, thanks to the 2012 Sample Food Festival - a taste of Northern NSW.

On October 6 there will be cooking demonstrations, Byron farmers market, a vibrant entertainment program plus 33 restaurants showcasing $5 and $10 tasting plates to the public.

The tasting plates will be judged by Simon Thomsen, Ben O'Donoghue, Alex Herbert and Belinda Jeffery, who will determine who takes home the 2012 Golden Fork Award for best $5 and $10 plate.

Other festival features include:

The Launch Pad - some of Australia's favourite food identities launch new products, including the release of Belinda Jeffery's much anticipated book Desserts. Wine master class experience - celebrated sommelier Matt Skinner hosts a master class on glass pairing for your favourite wines.

This ticketed event is $55 including wine, local cheeses and a take home pack of four Plumm wine glasses (valued at $120). 2pm. Bookings are essential for this event and can be made at info@samplensw.com

"Due to the popularity of the food stalls last year, this year we have extended the festival hours from 8am - 8pm," Festival Director Remy Tancred said.

"So guests can savour the tastes of our abundant region while kicking back on the grass listening to great live music or enjoying a drink from our Sample Bar."

There are close to 200 exhibitors this year including Brookfarm, Byron Bay Coffee Company, Bangalow Cheese Company and Duck Creek Macadamias, just to name a few.