Herb and Chilli food festival in Victoria

HCF 2 scaled

The Herb and Chilli Festival is set to mark its 12th annual celebration on March 16 & 17, 2024, promising a weekend filled with sizzling experiences, live music and entertainment. The event will take place at the scenic grounds in Wandin, Yarra Valley, offering an array of sweat-inducing products, competitions, and live cooking demonstrations.

A Spice Lover’s Paradise

Founded in 2012 by Clive and Di Larkman, owners of Romantic Nursery, this festival serves as a dynamic platform for both indulgence and education, showcasing Australia’s finest herb and chilli products. The couple’s dedication to sharing their passion with others has made this event a must-visit for spice enthusiasts.

Clive Larkman expressed, “Our event is about bringing people together who have a love for flavour and spice. It introduces people to the world of herbs and chillies; not just in their food but also in drinks, general health, and the many cultures for which they are basic parts of life.”

New Flavors and Experiences

The 2024 festival brings a host of new food vendors, enticing festival-goers to explore unfamiliar flavor combinations and venture out of their comfort zones. With close to 100 businesses within the herb and chilli realm participating, attendees can revel in unique offerings and sample the enticing world of spice-infused consumables.

Hot Sauce Alley returns this year, expanding from 8 to 11 vendors, each unveiling at least one new hot sauce product in 2024. Additionally, several new stalls will be experimenting with previously unseen flavor combinations for attendees to try and buy.

Culinary Delights and Entertainment

The weekend will feature a laid-back atmosphere peppered with immersive entertainment and live music, including a 6-piece band, the Harmaniax—a new addition to the 2024 lineup. In line with contemporary trends, the program also features a new honey show, exhibiting offerings from four honey vendors, each presenting a selection of “hot honey” varieties.

Attendees can also observe and learn from a range of cooking demonstrations by local chefs. For those seeking a little more adventure, various chilli eating competitions, such as the Captain Chilli competition, Shot n Holler, and the Stinger Wing Eating Race, will test spice tolerance levels.

A Celebration for All

The festival ensures that attendees of all ages are equally entertained, with free activities like horse riding, jumping castles, and face painting for the younger audience.

Embracing multicultural cuisine, the weekend invites festival-goers to taste a diverse range of food and drink, featuring both Australian-grown and imported goods, representing 20 distinct cultures. From West Africa to Tibet, Cambodia to Jamaica, and Sri Lanka, the festival encourages exploration beyond familiar preferences, presenting an opportunity to indulge in undiscovered flavors.

Ticket Information

Tickets can be purchased through Trybooking, with various pass options including day or weekend passes, individual tickets, and family packages. For added convenience, attendees can consider the Chilli Express Bus option — an exclusive collection and drop-off service from Lilydale station, streamlining the journey to this weekend celebration.

The Herb and Chilli Festival is not just about chili but about all that herbs and spices can offer. It’s a celebration of flavor, culture, and community, making it a must-visit event for anyone with a love for all things spicy and flavorful.

Get tickets at the Herb & Chilli Festival