New recipe for taste of Byron
By SAMANTHA TURNBULL
A NEW recipe for A Taste of Byron is being planned after last year's food festival failed to whet the appetites of organisers and stallholders alike.
Glen Lawrence, owner of In The Pink ice creamery in Jonson Street, said last year's festival was the worst in the event's history.
"We've had a stall in it for about eight years and it used to involve all of the best chefs from the town who would put together an entree plate," he said.
"The costs are getting higher and there are fewer chefs involved in it each year...it's harder to make money."
Mr Lawrence said the festival's move to the Byron Bay beachfront last year was a massive mistake.
"We much preferred it when it was in Lawson Street," he said.
"It had more of a carnival feel, and the whole town was involved."
Byron Bay Chamber of Commerce president Greg Owens said Mr Lawrence's concerns were some of the issues that would be raised at a meeting of the town's restaurant owners and food producers next month.
He said the public meeting would be held to gain feedback on how the chamber could reinvent the festival to make it a bigger success this year.
"We want to get restaurant owners more directly involved. They're the experts and we would like to empower people in the community to come forward and be involved," he said.
"We'll be looking at issues like geographic scope ? some say it should be a regional event, but the question is how far afield do you take it?"
Mr Owens said the date of the event may be also changed.
"It used to be in winter, then it was changed to October," he said.
"Another issue is it currently spans over a week. Should we keep it at that format or make it shorter, maybe over a weekend or a few days?"
Mr Owens said the chamber would not take a position on any of the issues until after the meeting on February 10.
The meeting will be held from 10am at Earth and Sea restaurant in Lawson Street.