Vivid Sydney is honouring a new sense this year: taste. Vivid Food joins the annual Festival of Light, Music and Ideas as a delicious fourth pillar to celebrate the 2023 festival theme, Naturally

Running from 26 May to 17 June, the epic festival is packed with more than 300 events and activations. Play with Your Dinner, encourages guests to paint masterpieces using elements of a four-course meal created by Chin Chin’s Matt MacLeod – think vibrant red chili oil, beetroot sauce and lashings of bright yellow turmeric. And Vivid Fire Kitchen is a not-to-be-missed flame-fuelled food-and-drink extravaganza that will run throughout the festival. 

Among the highlights, the Vivid Chef Series pairs international chefs with famous Sydney restaurants and local cooking heroes to create menus championing their shared sensibilities. Here’s what – and who – you need to know. 

Vivid Chef Series

Fred’s x Jackson Boxer

Fred's x Jackson Boxer

For just four dinners, London’s Jackson Boxer (left) will be in-house , working with head chef Hussein Sarhan (right) on a menu that’s heavily skewed towards New South Wales produce. Boxer, darling of the London restaurant scene, is the chef behind Vauxhall’s Brunswick House and Orasay in Notting Hill and comes from a British food dynasty (beginning with grandmother, food writer Arabella Boxer). 

Sarhan, who was previously co-head chef with Fred’s founding chef Danielle Alvarez, has also spent time in London, working with Australian Skye Gyngell at her restaurant Spring. 

Expect conviviality – the Fred’s dining room is known for it and Boxer is a renowned raconteur – and extraordinary local ingredients handled with classic technique.

5 courses, $125 (including GST)
4 to 7 June
Dinner: 5.30pm to 11pm
Book here

Bar Morris x Mmabatho Molefe

Bar Morris x Mmabatho Molefe

If the basics of Zulu and Nguni cuisine elude you, the best education is with Mmabatho Molefe. The chef, who presides over an all-female, all-black kitchen team at her diminutive Cape Town restaurant Emazulwini, is in Sydney to collaborate with the head chef at much-anticipated Bar Morris at Hotel Morris in Haymarket.  

Their pioneering six-course menu, The Roots, takes notes from Australasia, Africa and Europe and focuses on fresh, vibrant flavours and local cooking techniques while drawing attention to the relationship between land and table. 

6 courses, $160.00 (including GST plus booking fee); Alcoholic Beverage Matching Optional, $90.00 (including GST)
14 to 17 June
Dinner: 6.30pm to 10pm
Book here

To find out more about the Vivid Chef Series and to book your ticket, visit

Yellow x Rishi Naleendra

Yellow x Rishi Naleendra

Sri Lanka-born Rishi Naleendra (left), chef at Singaporean restaurant Cloudstreet, is collaborating with Brent Savage (right) of two-hatted plant-based fine-diner Yellow in Potts Point. The two are well acquainted: when Naleendra was 18 he moved to Australia to study architecture and ended up at Yellow, by way of Tetsuya’s, being mentored by Savage. Now, Naleendra is at the helm of a portfolio of Singaporean venues, of which two-Michelin-starred Cloudstreet is the flagship. 

The partnership for Vivid Chef Series includes a series of dinners and one lunch where guests will  enjoy dishes including baby popcorn with smoked miso and barbecued bamboo with Tuscan kale, corn and truffle. 

6-course vegan tasting menu, $160 (including GST)
6 to 9 June
Lunch: Midday to 2.30pm (9 June 2023)
Dinner: 6pm to 10pm
Book here

Kiln x Jeremy Fox

Kiln x Jeremy Fox

Chef Mitch Orr (right), who went from boundary-breaking ACME to Bondi’s CicciaBella, now helms the Ace Hotel’s 18th floor restaurant, Kiln. Here, Orr is able to luxuriate in his signature high-low dichotomy and oversees a menu devoid of pretentiousness and focused on deliciousness. Case in point: his Jatz cracker topped with smoked butter and Olasagasti anchovy (a step up from cabanossi). 

Orr is working with Jeremy Fox (left), of Rustic Canyon and Eastern European-inspired Birdie G, both in LA. Fox is known for his hyper-seasonality and an elegant way with plant-based dishes (see his book, On Vegetables). Together, the duo promise a menu showcasing local producers using Kiln’s wood-burning grill.

5 course shared menu $150 (Incl GST)
13 to 14 June
Dinner: 5.30pm till 11pm
Book here

Nel x Prateek Sadhu

Chef Nelly Robinson and Prateek Sadhu

Acclaimed chefs Nelly Robinson (left) of Nel and Prateek Sadhu (right), formerly of Masque in Mumbai, will join forces to create a two-night culinary collaboration this Vivid festival. 

Prateek's holistic wilderness-to-table approach and passion for India’s lost ingredients has made him a global star in the world of Indian cuisine. Now, Prateek and Nelly have joined forces to create a menu celebrating childhood culinary memories and nostalgia that features influences from around the globe. The dining experience will fuse Prateek’s Kashmiri roots and global travel experiences with Nel’s ever-changing, always-entertaining cuisine that tips its hat to both British and Australian flavours and culture. 

12 courses $225 (incl GST), Alcoholic Beverage Matching Optional $165 (incl GST)
12 to 13 June 2023
Dinner: 5.15pm till 11pm
Book here

To find out more about the Vivid Chef Series and to book your ticket, visit 


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