Food Features

Real Food Festival, Sunshine Coast

by Christine Salins on August 17, 2014

www.foodwinetravel.com.au Real Food Festival, Queensland festivals, Terra Madre, Slow Food festivals, artisan producers, Julie Sheldon, Maleny,  Christine Manfield, Daniel Jarrett from The Tamarind at Maleny, Monica Topliss from Kunara Organic Café, Cameron Matthews from The Long Apron, Chris White from Hungry Feel, Eric Pernoud from Maison de Provence, Peter Wolfe from Cedar Creek Farm Bush Foods, FishTales, Second Nature Organics, Walker Farm Foods, Obi Obi Essentials, Hermes Strawberries, The Unusual Suspects.

“People are very committed to the integrity of their food,” says Julie Shelton, one of the founders of the Real Food Festival in Queensland’s Sunshine Coast hinterland.

The event, which has grown hugely in size and stature since it was first held four years ago, is a must for anyone who appreciates artisan-produced food or is concerned about where their food comes from or how it is produced.

In 2008, Julie went to Terra Madre, a Slow Food event that brings together artisan producers from around the world. It was a pivotal moment for her. “I came back and said, ‘we’ve got it all here and yet we seem to be underselling the region so badly’.”

“What’s come out of it is a really collaborative effort,” says Julie, who is thrilled that so many producers, manufacturers, retailers and restaurants have come on board to showcase their work.

This year’s festival will take place on the weekend of 13-14 September in the beautiful Sunshine Coast hinterland village of Maleny.

www.foodwinetravel.com.au Real Food Festival, Queensland festivals, Terra Madre, Slow Food festivals, artisan producers, Julie Sheldon, Maleny,  Christine Manfield, Daniel Jarrett from The Tamarind at Maleny, Monica Topliss from Kunara Organic Café, Cameron Matthews from The Long Apron, Chris White from Hungry Feel, Eric Pernoud from Maison de Provence, Peter Wolfe from Cedar Creek Farm Bush Foods, FishTales, Second Nature Organics, Walker Farm Foods, Obi Obi Essentials, Hermes Strawberries, The Unusual Suspects.One of Australia’s leading chefs and cookbook authors, Christine Manfield (pictured at right), will be guest chef. She will present in the Real Food Kitchen with local chefs including Daniel Jarrett from The Tamarind at Maleny, Monica Topliss from Kunara Organic Café, Cameron Matthews from The Long Apron, Chris White from Hungry Feel, Eric Pernoud from Maison de Provence, and Peter Wolfe from Cedar Creek Farm Bush Foods.

Other producers to be featured include FishTales, Second Nature Organics, Walker Farm Foods, Obi Obi Essentials and Hermes Strawberries. In addition to chef/producer conversations, the festival will include demonstrations, talks, interactive workshops and kids’ activities.

The Food for Thought venue will offer perspectives on key issues for the region, Food Craft will show kitchen tips and techniques, Nourishing Ideas will focus on diet and health, the Kitchen Garden will give practical advice on gardening, and the Little Sprouts area will inspire kids to develop a lifelong passion for good food.

To wrap up the weekend, local 22-piece band The Unusual Suspects will take to the stage on Sunday afternoon with rousing Balkan rhythms and feet-tapping music.

This is a great opportunity for visitors to experience and taste authentic local food, connect with suppliers from right along the food chain, and to relax and enjoy this very special part of the world.

www.foodwinetravel.com.au Real Food Festival, Queensland festivals, Terra Madre, Slow Food festivals, artisan producers, Julie Sheldon, Maleny,  Christine Manfield, Daniel Jarrett from The Tamarind at Maleny, Monica Topliss from Kunara Organic Café, Cameron Matthews from The Long Apron, Chris White from Hungry Feel, Eric Pernoud from Maison de Provence, Peter Wolfe from Cedar Creek Farm Bush Foods, FishTales, Second Nature Organics, Walker Farm Foods, Obi Obi Essentials, Hermes Strawberries, The Unusual Suspects.Fact file:

Where? Maleny Showgrounds, 13 Stanley River Road, Maleny, Qld Australia
When? 13 – 14 September, 9am to 4pm daily.
Cost? $20. Children under 16 free.
Visit: www.realfoodfestival.com.au
Accommodation packages: Sunshine Coast Destination has special Stay & Play packages that include a 15% discount on entry tickets to the festival. A range of accommodation is available, including Eden Lodge B&B at Mapleton, a short drive from Maleny. Rates start from $180 per room per night, inclusive of breakfast, wi-fi, port and chocolates and 15% discount on festival tickets. Details of accommodation packages.

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Champagne High Tea at Customs House

by Christine Salins on July 31, 2014

www.foodwinetravel.com.au, Champagne High Tea, Customs House Brisbane,  Good Food Month, afternoon tea, afternoon tea places in Brisbane, Story Bridge, high tea places in Brisbane, Perrier-Jouët Champagne, La Maison du Thé, smoked salmon on blinis, salmon pearls, chicken and dill ribbon sandwiches, vegetarian roulade, scones, petit fours, macarons.

I firmly believe in saving the best till last, don’t you? Yes, I’m one of those people who leave a tiny morsel of my favourite part of the dish till the very end, so that the flavour I finish with is the flavour I enjoyed the most. Everyone does that, right?

Everything about Brisbane’s inaugural Good Food Month has been pretty special but it’s great to end on a sweet note and we certainly did that with High Tea at Customs House.

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It’s such a grand building, this heritage icon on the river with its soaring Corinthian columns and stunning ballroom (in the process of being decked out for a wedding when we were there). Naturally we played dress ups, even though it was just after 10 on a Saturday morning.

Fellow member of the FoodWineTravel team, Alise, a girly girl and baking queen who adores high tea, was my companion for the morning. We were given a choice of sitting inside in the beautiful heritage surroundings or outside on the terrace and although there was a nip in the air, the terrace won.

The tables are set with white linen and have glorious views over the Brisbane River towards the Story Bridge. I was offered the loan of a lovely pashmina wrap as I hadn’t dressed warmly enough to sit outside. What a thoughtful gesture! We were greeted with a glass of Perrier-Jouët Champagne. It’s never too early in the day for Champagne, is it?

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The Champagne High Tea also comes with orange juice, espresso coffee and tea from La Maison du Thé. The tea stands that the petit fours and ribbon sandwiches are served on are art deco in style, and the whole presentation, not to mention the quality of the food, is impeccable. Here’s what we enjoyed:

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It was a truly delightful way to spend a morning and the perfect way to bid adieu to Good Food Month. You can, however, enjoy the Customs House High Tea anytime throughout the year. Bookings are essential.

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This was my final post as official blogger for the Brisbane Times Good Food Month. Thanks to Fairfax Media for the opportunity to report on so many delicious events. Alise and I were guests of Customs House.

www.foodwinetravel.com.au Good Food Month, program in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, My Kitchen Rules, Jake Harrison, Elle Harrison, Serendipity icecream, Natascha Mirosch, Joanna Saville, Brisbane restaurants, Brisbane Times Good Food Guide, Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide, Antonio Carluccio, Night Noodle Markets, Kwan Brothers.

Fact file:

Customs House
399 Queen Street
Brisbane Qld
Australia

Bookings: +61 7 3365 8999
Details: www.customshouse.com.au

More posts on Good Food Month: Good Food Guide Awards; Good Food Month; Winter Harvest Mondo Organics; Gerard’s Bistro: A Winning Formula; Night Noodle Markets; Hat’s Off dinner @ Malt Dining.

You might also enjoy: High Tea @ Harrods.

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Vintaged Bar + Grill, Hilton Brisbane

by Christine Salins on July 22, 2014

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I’ve always loved walking into the Hilton Brisbane because of the big arrangement of fresh flowers that greets visitors at the Elizabeth Street entry. As I step into the lift to the reception desk on level six, the hotel has already won me over. We can all do with more flowers in our day.

Opened in 1986, the hotel was designed by legendary architect Harry Seidler. It’s an eye-catching design with an enormous atrium more than 80 metres high, topped by a striking glass dome. Seidler’s sketches inspired the giant mural that forms a backdrop for the Vintaged Bar + Grill.

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The mural, created by local artist Simon DeGroot, was unveiled a few months ago. It’s suitably modernist, in keeping with the design of the hotel, and it has special lighting that enhances the vivid colours. It almost looks like a screen print or a digital image rather than an original artwork, but it certainly draws your eye to the bar. Twelve of DeGroot’s working samples are on display in the hotel’s business centre until August 30.

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If you pop in to have a look at the After Image exhibition, you might like to take advantage of a special for Good Food Month where you can get a main course (choice of four dishes) and a glass of wine or beer for $35. The hotel also has an accommodation package celebrating the Harvest: Art, Film + Food exhibition currently on at GOMA (Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art).

Vintaged Bar + Grill was awarded a chef’s hat in the Brisbane Times 2014/2015 Good Food Guide. This is the third edition of the Guide and the restaurant has scored a hat each time.

It’s a casual restaurant, but still with a certain elegance, and the chefs cook at an open grill in front of an illuminated wall of Himalayan rock salt used for dry-ageing meat. We had a prime spot at the Chef’s Table overlooking this spectacular wall and it was great fun watching the chefs at work. The table can take up to nine people and anyone can book it; in our case, it was just the two of us enjoying this very special spot.

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Almost all the dishes, including an extensive selection of steaks, are prepared on the grill. The restaurant showcases local produce and we loved the Mooloolaba swordfish dish that executive chef Jeremy Clark created with inspiration from GOMA’s Harvest exhibition. It’s accompanied by avocado puree, fennel, thinly sliced discs of radish and cucumber, baby herbs and sorrel, all ingredients sourced from boutique providores within a 200 kilometre radius of the hotel.

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I have to add a word of praise here for our excellent waiter Daan and very talented sommelier Dasha. Dasha chose a Reichsgraf von Kessels 2011 Kaseler Riesling Trocken to go with the swordfish and with tasting spoons of salmon gravlax, and scallop with asparagus puree and caviar. This lightly aromatic German wine was a lovely match with its gentle acidity and ever so slight sweetness.

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Dasha opted for a Cloudy Bay Pinot to go with the meats, a stunning charcuterie plate followed by slices of wagyu and sirloin and a couple of prawns. I can’t begin to tell you how good the charcuterie is: Kurobuta Berkshire capocollo (from the heritage Berkshire breed of pig), Cantimpalo salami and Wagyu beef bresaola. Of course, all the great flavour comes from lots of lovely fat that you can feel going straight to the hips.

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Dasha took us on a tour of the Wine Room, a glass-walled room strutting its stuff in the middle of the restaurant. Around 120 Australian and imported labels are on the shelves, from the tiniest producers you’ve never heard of to real icons like Rockford Basket Press Shiraz. In front of the Wine Room there’s another unique dining space in the Wine Table, a 5.5 metre long table that has an illuminated ice well running the length of the table. Up to 12 people can sit here.

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We drew on the special stomach reserved for desserts to enjoy a glass of Campbells Muscat and a tasting plate of treats including icecream with honeycomb and a little jug of caramel sauce. The hotel makes all its icecream in-house. I love that attention to detail.

Christine & Maurie dined as guests of Hilton Brisbane.

Fact file:

Vintaged Bar + Grill
Hilton Brisbane
190 Elizabeth St, Brisbane, Australia
+61 (0)7 3231 3265
www.vintagedbarandgrill.com

After Image art exhibition: May 22 – August 30, 2014.
Harvest-inspired lite bite available until September 21, 2014.
Harvest: Art, Film + Food’ experience at Hilton Brisbane, from $270 per room per night.

Download the full Brisbane Times Good Food Month program here.

More posts on Good Food Month: Good Food Guide AwardsGood Food Month; Winter Harvest Mondo Organics; Gerard’s Bistro: A Winning Formula; Night Noodle Markets; Hats Off dinner at Malt Dining; Champagne High Tea @ Customs House;

Food.Wine.Travel is delighted to be an official blogger for:

www.foodwinetravel.com.au Good Food Month, program in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, My Kitchen Rules, Jake Harrison, Elle Harrison, Serendipity icecream, Natascha Mirosch, Joanna Saville, Brisbane restaurants, Brisbane Times Good Food Guide, Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide, Antonio Carluccio, Night Noodle Markets, Kwan Brothers.

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