SA Life

Get CityMag in your inbox. Subscribe
March 14, 2024

Everyone’s invited to the fair

The Twilight Food Affair is now one of the biggest community events on the Fleurieu Peninsula – a huge achievement for a college that wanted to build ties with its local community.

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  • This article was produced in collaboration with Tatachilla Lutheran College.

There’s a symmetry between the 1989 movie Field of Dreams and Tatachilla Lutheran College’s Twilight Food Affair. Because –while Kevin Costner walked through corn fields, not Fleurieu vineyards or almond orchards – the notion of ‘if you build it, they will come’ rings true.


Twilight Food Affair
4:30—9:30pm Friday, 22 March
Tatachilla Lutheran College
211 Tatachilla Road, McLaren Vale 5171
Gold coin entry
More info

Launched in 1997, the annual event has grown every year. Originally, it was the college’s farm day, then a picnic. Nowadays, local businesses host food stalls and there’s a popup bar with wines and beers donated by wineries and breweries in the McLaren Vale region.

Live entertainment, carnival rides and stalls add to the party atmosphere and, last year, more than 5000 people enjoyed the event.

Tatachilla acting principal Alison Thacker says it was “absolutely fantastic” to see the college’s families, local Fleurieu communities and visitors from Adelaide brought together in a celebration of the region.

“Serving the community is a value the college holds very closely… and the event brings our community together like nothing else,” Alison says.

“The fireworks display is also a big drawcard – our students talk about that non-stop.”

With record crowds expected again this year, the food offering has expanded. Among this year’s 15 vendors will be Ninin’s Indo Street Food, authentic Sicilian from Santopalato, wood-fired pizza from Van Coota and Argentinian style food from Chimichurri Grill. Adding to the fair fun will be artisan ice cream makers Hokey Pokey, Fairy Floss Galore and Chocolique serving up Belgian hot chocolate and TaCHs Stroopwafels.

Owner Bianca van de Berg migrated with her family from Ede, Netherlands eight years ago, bringing with her a love for traditional Dutch stroopwafels.

Yummy stroopwafels

“I want to make people happy with a quality product,” Bianca says of the sweet treats. “We bake the stroopwafel onsite and then we slice it – in the middle there’s a caramel treacle that we make that ourselves from butter, four different sugars and cinnamon.

“It’s a big waffle. If you go to the Netherlands, you will find it at every market.”

Ensuring a constant flow of stroopwafels and homemade apple crumble and cherry crumble pies from her Insta-worthy vintage caravan will take a family effort. So, Bianca’s husband Lee and their adult children Alaen and Katie will also be helping out.

It’s a similar story for Carlito’s Paella, where Carlos Fernando Delgado Aguilera will be joined by his wife Maria and their children Dennis and Fiorella (aka Fifi).

Carlos puts his own local twist on the traditional Spanish paella. “In Spain they use chicken, rabbit and snail. Here in Australia, we use chicken and chorizo, because everybody likes Spanish chorizo,” he says.

Yes please!

With his pans spanning up to one metre across, Carlos is planning to keep cooking and serving until late into the evening. Last year, they ran out but he says, “believe me, we’re going to bring a lot of paella this time!”.

Acting principal Alison says being a community event means also having kid friendly food available early.

“We’re having a 4.30 barbecue ready, so that children have a chance to fill their bellies before the onset of food rush hour and don’t have to queue later in the evening,” she says.

While the production of the event is not specifically intended to feed into the curriculum, students studying food technology, business studies and music all gain valuable experience.

“They’re involved in thinking about creating and implementing some of the stalls, so there’s a high level of student investment,” Alison says. “In fact, the whole Tatachilla community and every staff member is involved in some way.”

This year there’ll be four hours of musical performances, including Adelaide-based singer-songwriter Trav Collins. Visitors are encouraged to bring picnic rugs and chairs and enjoy the evening, which finishes with fireworks at 9pm.

Tatachilla Lutheran College is grateful to all of its event sponsors and wine donors who have helped the college prepare an unforgettable event program, including the raffle, which is open to the public until 21 March.

Alison’s message for everyone on the Fleurieu and beyond is “to come, relax and connect with the Tatachilla and wider community and enjoy an absolutely amazing night of food, fun and friendship”.

Her own plans for the evening are to personally thank everybody involved, help out in some of the stalls and make sure everyone’s having a great time. She’s also looking forward to meeting the important people in the students’ lives.

“They come running up, saying ‘Mrs Thacker, this is my auntie, this is my uncle … And for the students to be excited to introduce them to us, that’s my great joy.”

Find more of the Twilight Food Affair at the college’s website.

Share —