Temperatures soared in Fairfield City centre’s Spencer Street on Saturday as visitors to the annual Culinary Carnivale experienced not only Latin heat, but also ambient heat!
Despite the hot weather, Fairfield Council’s Spanish and Latin American street party attracted an estimated 10,000 people, who experienced ‘la vida buena’ (the good life) in its many forms.
The day began with a colourful and flamboyant street parade by the Candombe Yauguru dancers and drummers, followed by the first performance by award-winning show band the Salsa Kingz, who had audience members on their feet.
Meanwhile, popular Spanish celebrity chef Miguel Maestre drew the “foodie fans” to his stage at the opposite end of Spencer Street for the first of his two cooking demonstrations. The always affable Miguel was more than happy to have photos with his admirers and, when it was pointed out his cheek was covered with lipstick, quipped: “Ah, it’s the story of my life!”
Food stalls selling treats such as seafood paella, empanadas, gelato and churros were kept busy all day. The Asado barbecue made a popular return to Carnivale this year, evidenced by the queues at the stall for most of the day.
During his opening address, Mayor of Fairfield City Frank Carbone paid tribute to the city’s Latin and Spanish American residents.
“It’s great to see so many people come along to experience our City’s cultural diversity,” Mayor Carbone said.
“Culinary Carnivale is a wonderful celebration of our Latin and South American
cultures. The food, the music the dancing – all combine for a fantastic day out for all to enjoy.”
Mayor Carbone also thanked the event’s sponsors, the Western Sydney Wanderers for sending a community coach, Marconi Stallions for giving away footballs, and Latin Heat Rugby League for having representatives at a pass the ball stand.
Chef Miguel said he was honoured to have been asked to come back to Fairfield in 2014.
“It is a place I feel really comfortable and identified with,” he said. “I feel like I’m right at home here. It is a great fiesta and has a special place in my Spanish heart.”