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Who we are and our vision

Welcome to our annual Herb and Chilli Festival.

We are long term residents and nursery operators in 'the valley' and passionate growers and users of herbs and chillies. We feel that our region is the perfect place to celebrate these exciting plants and how they fit into our daily lives, so we decided to establish an annual festival.

Since 2012 the festival has grown to become one of Melbourne's not-to-be-missed food and wine events. Every year thousands descend on Wandin in the picturesque Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia to sample and learn about the many herb and chilli varieties and how to use them. Many return year after year to enjoy the exceptional cuisine, music and entertainment.

The intention of the festival is to provide a venue where visitors (both recreational and professional), can spend time learning about herbs and chillies, how to use them, how to grow them, how they fit into our lives, and taste them and have a bit of fun along the way. The Festival features talks from experts and renowned herbalists on various aspects of the plants, cooking demonstrations and fabulous entertainment with music and dance from around the world.

We are real foodies and love the amazing array of herb and chilli products that are out there - we've hand-picked a selection of gourmet favourites to feature at the Festival.  They are different, interesting and - above all - yummy!

Browse in more than 80 stalls, selling all types of delicious international dishes from Mexico, Turkey, India, South America, Europe and the list goes on! Try mouth watering chilli, Cambodian BBQ, hand made ice-cream, the freshest local berries, exotic cakes and plenty more.  And to wash it down, we'll be serving real ales, chilli beer, fine local wines, speciality wines, superb juices and, of course, fantastic coffee.  If you can't find a food you like you're not looking hard enough!

We want each visitor to feel they've received excellent value for money, and to have a great day learning about herbs and chillies, collecting plants, clothes and food products and simply enjoying good food, wine and entertainment in a relaxed country atmosphere. We're keen to ensure the longevity of the event and aim to make the Herb and Chilli Festival the best in the country.

We are excited about our long held vision and hope you will be too.

2017 Program

Stage 1: SPEAKERS MC: James Stephenson
Start Speakers Topic
11:00 Cr Tony Stephenson Opening addrerss (Saturday)
11:15 Matt Hunt The Aussie Smoke Bloke
11:45 The Gardenettes Growing herbs and chillies at home
12:45 Tracey Sidewell Bale Grow
13:30 Luke Whiteside How to save our honeybees
14:00 Cliff Wilmsmeyer Chillies - The real story
14:30 Gary Scard Flamin' Good Chilli
15:00 Cleo Silva Coffee: From crop to cup
Stage 2: COMPETITIONS MC: Russ Kellet
Start What Who
11:30  Stinger Wing Challenge Diemen's Hot Sauce
12:00 Captain Chilli Hottest food item
12:30 Blonde Chilli Shot 'n' Holler Skol tequila & chilli sauce then yell!
13:00 Stinger Wing Challenge DIemen's Hot Sauce
13:40 Mexican Wrestling Lucha Fantastica
14:45 Stinger Wing Challenge DIemen's Hot Sauce
15:15 Blonde Chilli Shot 'n' Holler Skol tequila & chilli sauce then yell!
15:45 Captain Chilli Hottest food item
  Captain Chilli Final on Sunday  
Stage 3: COOKING MC: Dani Venn (Festival Chef)
Start Chef Topic
11:15 Lynn Terret Authentic Cajun cooking
11:45 Dani Venn Simple wholefood cooking
12:30 Special guest Home cooking
13.00 Juanita Masterson Mexican cooking
13:45 Judith Basile Cooking with lavender
14:30 Special guest Home cooking
15:00 Dani Venn Cooking vegan style
Stage 4: ENTERTAINMENT MC: Sandra Beynon
Start Entertainer Style
11:00 Peruvian Folkloric Peruvian dancing
11:40 Body and Soul R&B
12:20 Huanchaco World fusion & Latin music
13:10 Peruvian Folkloric Peruvian dancing
13:50 Body and Soul Zydeco
14:40 Peruvian Folkloric Peruvian dancing
15:20 Huanchaco World fusion & Latin music
16:20 Sandra Beynon & Sean Mullen WIllie Nelson's Love Child Show
Other Events  
Start Item Location
10:00 Cook Off cooking Stand 65
11:30 Stand award At winning stand (Saturday)
12:00 Sauce award At cookiing stage (Saturday)
13:30 Cook Off tasting Stand 65
13:45 Cook Off judging Stand 65
15:45 Cook off awards At cooking stage