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Friday 17 February 2023

Yarra festival celebrates food with serious heat

It is always a joy to visit the Yarra Valley, but even more so when it is celebrating one of its many gourmet festivals.

Highlighting multicultural Australia through food, The Herb and Chilli Festival returns in 2023 celebrating spice, flavour and fun.

The Herb and Chill Festival will be held on March 18-19 and is founded and organised by nursery owners Di and Clive Larkman.

Over 20 different cuisines will be featured through tastings, eating competitions and cooking demonstrations, along with entertainment for all ages.

The itinerary includes a cooking class run by a surprise celebrity chef, blues music performed by Steve Boyd’s Rum Reverie and there will also be the Stinger Wing Challenge for those foolhardy enough to enter.

With a passion for herbs and chilli, the Larkmans and their family are now into the 11th year of this celebration of fiery food.

They encourage festival-goers to get outside their comfort zone and experiment with unique flavours and cultures on show ranging from Mexico, Turkey, India, South America and many more.

The Stinger Wing eating race sees the brave trying to survive eating five super hot wings coated in mouth-numbing hot sauce.

The Larkmans have made getting to and from this year's festival easier than ever with the introduction of the festival's very own Chilli Express Bus. The bus will be completing trips from Lilydale Station every half hour from 9.30am-4.30pm and returning on the hour from 10am to 5pm. Tickets are $10 return and can be bought online in conjunction with a festival ticket.

Tickets for the event are $27 for adults and kids under 14 are free. See

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