Spring Foodie Events That Will Delight

Spring brings some pretty fabulous festivals and events, and these aren’t just music festivals, there’s plenty on for foodies around Queensland too. After a little hibernation in Winter, Spring is the perfect time to get out, enjoy some more sunshine, and indulge your senses. Here is a roundup of some great Spring foodie events happening around Queensland.

 

REJUVENATING SPRING FOODIE EXPERIENCE

Spring Foodie Event

September 4 to November 5
Sunshine Coast

Get ready for summer and take some time for you with a 10% discount on this rejuvenating spring foodie experience. This health-conscious food experience will take you on a scenic journey to the Sunshine Coast and through the Hinterland.

This experience showcases local produce and iconic ingredients prepared in a tasty and healthy manner with additional stops along the way to ensure you can truly take in the beauty of the Sunshine Coast. It is a three-course lunch-time experience with freshly squeezed juices, amongst other refreshments including a cheeky organic wine and a relaxing private yoga class to really get you into a zen-like zone. Delectable Taste of Healthy Delights gives you the opportunity to stay in beautiful Noosa or return to the city life of Brisbane.

Delectable Taste of Healthy Delights experience runs on Tues to Sun. Book between 4 Sep to 5 Nov 2017 for 10% off. Minimum of 2 people is required for a tour to go ahead. No further discounts can be applied with this offer.

Learn more about this Rejuvenating Spring Foodie Experience

 

GOURMET IN GUNDY

Spring Foodie Event

Image via Gourmet in Gundy Website

September 10,10am – 5pm
Goondiwindi Community Cultural Centre Sunday

Set along The Macintyre River next to big river gums, with lush green lawns and an amphitheater, this festival is perfectly poised to celebrate the start of spring.

This will be the 2nd year the Rotary Club of Goondiwindi will be hosting the event, showcasing the region’s fine food and award-winning wines, the event will be something the whole family can enjoy, and will also be jam packed with other regional activities.

Learn more about Gourmet in Gundy

 

CAPRICORN FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL

Spring Foodie Event

Image via Capricorn Food and Wine Festival

September 15 – 17
Quay Street, Rockhampton


The Capricorn Food and Wine Festival offers a chance to rub shoulders with celebrity chefs, taste test your way through a wide range of food stalls and enjoy cocktail evenings and gala dinners.

Capricorn Food and Wine provides the premier event for Central Queensland showcasing gourmet food and wine, local produce and the region’s burgeoning hospitality and music scene.

Now in its fifth year, the 2017 Capricorn Food and Wine Festival will have something for everyone.  The weekend will offer a relaxed and inviting atmosphere for foodies, wine connoisseurs and everything in between. This year the Festival will move to a new location, celebrating the redevelopment of Quay Street along the banks of the Fitzroy River, and showcasing Rockhampton’s elegant streetscapes and majestic sandstone buildings.

The Festival will again play host to signature events including Twilight Tasting, the Ladies of the Vine High Tea, The Long Luncheon on Great Keppel Island, demonstrations by renowned chefs, masterclasses and more.

Learn more about the Capricorn Food and Wine Festival

 

PALM COVE REEF FEAST

Spring Foodie Event

Image via Palm Cover Tourism

October 6 – 8
Palm Cove

Four glorious days of exclusive wine and produce dinners, cooking demonstrations, live music and food seminars, topped off with a family market day where the best restaurants in Palm Cove will be dishing up their tastiest treats.

Reef Feast Palm Cove is Tropical North Queensland’s premier community event, celebrating cuisine, fresh produce, live music, relaxed culture and lifestyle of the magnificent tropics.

Over 3 days from 5th to 8th of October 2017 Cairns Airport Reef Feast is a feast for all senses.  The main Taste of Palm Cove event combines the relaxed lifestyle of Tropical North Queensland, with food from world class restaurants and music to make it a night you will rave about.

Learn more about Palm Cove Reef Feast

 

BURGERFEST

Spring Foodie Event

October 21
Stratton Street, Newstead

Brisbane is getting its very first burger festival! On Saturday, October 21, Stone & Wood and The Triffid will be shutting down Stratton Street in Newstead to dedicate an entire day to the best buns in Brisbane with Burgerfest. The line-up includes Ben’s Burgers, Ze Pickle, Miss Kay’s, Red Hook, Lucky Egg, Mr. Burger, 5 Boroughs and The Triffid will all be serving up their most-loved classics alongside an exclusive Burgerfest burger.

Burgerfest is a free event and there are not just burgers – you’ll find street games, prizes to be won and live music all day in The Triffid Beer Garden. Plus, Bernard Fanning will be bringing his fourth and final sold-out show of his Brutal Dawn tour to The Triffid’s stage.

Learn more about Burgerfest

 

TASTES LIKE SUNSHINE

Spring Foodie Event

Image via Museum of Brisbane

August 18 to November 12
Museum of Brisbane

Tastes like Sunshine is an all-in sensory exploration of Brisbane’s rich and ever-evolving food story that is sure to get you salivating.

This debut offering brings together a collection of contemporary art, personal stories, historical documents, and images to create an experience that has been designed to challenge your pre-existing notions of food. Brand-new artwork and installations from the likes of acclaimed artists Elizabeth Willing, Sean Rafferty and Carol McGregor have been created for Tastes like Sunshine – the works pay homage to the rich history of Brisbane’s iconic produce markets, the city’s crucial role in launching Queensland’s sugar industry, and how the introduction of new crops had domestic cookers experimenting with new methods and creations.

Tastes like Sunshine isn’t just a visual feast – the exhibition has a jam-packed schedule of workshops, talks, tours and activities that go along with it to enhance the experience. The Good Food Club is a chance to learn about all things food culture – from beekeeping and local produce to the agriculture industry and Aussie bush foods, no stone is left unturned.

Learn more about the Tastes like Sunshine exhibition

 


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Experience Queensland On A Plate

Experience Queensland On A Plate

If you’ve visited our site or perhaps been on one of our food tours before, I’m sure you are aware of just how much we love the amazing variety and quality of local produce surrounding Brisbane. There are so many delicious ways to experience Queensland.

Queensland’s warm climate makes it the perfect location for producing tropical foods. The coastline is home to some exceptional seafood, including Moreton Bay bugs, mud crabs, king and tiger prawns, mackerel, sea scallops and fresh barramundi. Whilst the land produces some of the highest quality fruits, such as avocados, mangoes, pawpaws, pineapples, strawberries and bananas, along with native Macadamia nuts, peanuts, beef, honey and even Australian Native Lemon Myrtle.

Right now is the perfect time to experience Queensland on a plate because not only is July Good Food Month in Brisbane, but it is also the Regional Flavours Festival with a host of other events on too. There are so many delicious ways to experience Queensland.

Good Food Month offers a series of bespoke food experiences including delicious fine-dining lunches and dinners, and the crowd favourite, Night Noodle Markets. These events run throughout the month of July and can be booked directly via their site.

In addition to the Good Food Month events, the Regional Flavours Festival held in Brisbane’s picturesque South Bank Parklands on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 July,  features free entertainment from celebrity chefs and industry experts, delicious food, beer and wine, live music, kid’s activities and more.

Regional Flavours is also a great opportunity to sample gourmet fare from across Queensland. There will be stalls with everything from juicy tomatoes and zesty herbs direct from the farm; freshly pressed olive and avocado oils; handmade chocolate and pasta; jams and chutneys abundant with Queensland-grown berries and fruits; and so much more.

Both of these events make July the perfect month to visit or explore Brisbane, but we didn’t want the fun to end there. So, we’re holding a special Delectable Taste of Queensland experience on August 16.

Experience Queensland On A Plate

Join us for this special Public Holiday Taste of Queensland experience (which you’ll also receive at the discounted price of $175) as we discover some of Queensland’s best local and iconic produce.

A Taste of Queensland is the perfect introduction to some of Queensland’s most renowned produce and flavours. This tour has been specially designed to showcase the ever-evolving food culture that Brisbane is now being recognised for.

So, why not indulge in a four-hour journey of local foodie delights that will take you from coffee to cocktails. This is a great way to spend the EKKA holiday!

 

Secure Your Spot For This Special Taste of Queensland Experience

Australia’s Iconic Lamington

The lamington is an Australian icon, which even has its own ‘world’ day to honour this delicious chocolate and coconut covered treat. After its humble origins as an accidental chocolate covered sponge, there have been many reinventions of the recipe that include things like jam, chocolate and cream filling. Whichever way you enjoy them there’s no denying that Australia’s iconic lamington is a childhood favourite for many who have grown up in this great land.

I remember when I was studying in Spain and we had an International students dinner where we had to make an iconic dish from our home nation. A task that was a little harder than you might think. There are so many things that we good old Aussies borrow from other nations and claim them as our own. Just think about some of our much-loved acting and sporting heroes! We obviously have iconic products like Vegemite and Tim Tams, but I had to make something for this dinner, not just bring along a packaged item (plus, I only had a limited supply of Vegemite that I wasn’t too keen on parting with). So, after some brainstorming, I finally settled on the iconic lamington.

This sweet, fluffy cake was sure to be a hit, but I then realised that I didn’t have access to an oven. I didn’t fancy trying to make a sponge cake in the microwave either. After much searching around, I finally found a store bought sponge cake to use as my base. Not ideal, but the icing component is just as important right? Chocolate + coconut = happiness. In the end, it worked out fine and they were a hit. Since then, I have scoured old cook books along with numerous cooking sites and believe I’ve found one of the best classic recipes, which I’ll share with you shortly.

For such an iconic Australian recipe, the history of lamingtons is a little muddled. Once listed as a national icon by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, it seems nobody can quite agree on where the lamington was born.

Most accounts seem to agree that the lamington was named after Lord Lamington, Governor of Queensland at the turn of the 20th century, or his wife. But who made the original lamington, and why is a little more controversial.

One theory is that Lord Lamington’s French chef Armand Galland created the recipe (proponents of this theory like to point out that Galland’s wife was Tahitian, so could have introduced him to coconut, then a relatively unknown ingredient in Australia). Another account puts Government House temporary cook Fanny Young in the driver’s seat after dropping the sponge in chocolate by accident, while for others, Amy Shauer, a cooking instructor from Brisbane Technical College gets the credit. No matter, the exact person behind the creation or even why they created it, doesn’t stop this from being a delicious Australian icon that we can truly call our own.

It would be quite un-Australian of us to ignore the significance of one of our very own icons and there is even an Australian Lamington Appreciation Society (ALAS) which is committed to the preservation of their world famous Lamingtons and annually celebrating Lamington Day.

In honour of World Lamington Day (July 21), here is one of the best rated classic lamington recipes I’ve found.

 

Classic Lamington Recipe

 

Australia's Iconic Lamington

Recipe and image via taste.com.au

 

INGREDIENTS


125g butter softened
1 cup caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 3/4 cups self-raising flour, sifted
1/2 cup milk
2 cups desiccated coconut


ICING


3 1/2 cups icing sugar mixture
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1/2 cup boiling water

 

METHOD


1. Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Grease a 3cm-deep, 20cm x 30cm (base) lamington pan. Line with baking paper, leaving a 2cm overhang on all sides. Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition (mixture may curdle).
2. Sift half the flour over butter mixture. Stir to combine. Add half the milk. Stir to combine. Repeat with remaining flour and milk. Spoon into prepared pan. Smooth top. Bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in centre comes out clean. Stand in pan for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack. Cover with a clean tea towel. Set aside overnight.
3. Make icing: Sift icing sugar and cocoa into a bowl. Add butter and boiling water. Stir until smooth.
4. Cut cake into 15 pieces. Place coconut in a dish. Using a fork, dip 1 piece of cake in icing. Shake off excess. Toss in coconut. Place on a wire rack over a baking tray. Repeat with remaining cake, icing and coconut. Stand for 2 hours or until set. Serve.

 

If you’d prefer to buy some delicious lamingtons, check out this compilation of 12 of the best lamingtons in Australia.

 

If this has your mouth-watering, check out some of these delicious winter dishes

Discover These Winter Dishes Now

 

5 Different Brisbane Foodie Experiences

In recent years, Brisbane’s food scene has come a long way. Gourmet Traveller describes “The Queensland capital’s dining scene [as having] shifted up a gear, it’s popped to the top, and it’s revving its engine anew.” With this evolution, there have been a number of interesting and super scrumptious Brisbane foodie experiences created.

Here is a list of just 5 different foodie experiences to enjoy in Brisbane.

 

Scrumptious Reads Cookbook Club

Brisbane Foodie Experiences

Image via Scrumptious Reads

 

This is a book club with a difference. It is a true foodie delight for those who love cooking.

Scrumptious Reads Bookstore runs a monthly cookbook club with Chef Danielle Dixon from nearby Bucci.

These events provide an intimate group of food fans with a scrumptious supper and great culinary chats.

Each event will have a menu of recipes from the book cooked by the talented Danielle.

Their upcoming event for June is Taste of Egypt.

Check out the link above for more details about this great Brisbane foodie experience.

 

The Golden Pig Food & Wine School

Brisbane Foodie Experiences

Image via The Golden Pig Food & Wine School

 

The Golden Pig Food & Wine School focuses on quality ingredients, teaching a variety of cuisines in a fun and funky environment.

They offer hands-on cooking classes led by a professional chef, often Katrina Ryan who worked with Neil Perry.

Choose from a variety of classes covering a variety of cuisines. The classes run for 3.5  to 4 hours, including 1 to 1.5 hours for eating and enjoying your culinary creations. Better yet, they are fully licensed and provide premium beer and wine to accompany the shared meal.

Check out the link above for more details about this great Brisbane foodie experience.

 

Dr Thompson’s Test Kitchens

Brisbane Foodie Experiences

Image via Thompsons Reserve

 

For those of you foodies who are intrigued by the creative process that goes into putting together a new menu at a fine dining restaurant, this experience has been created with you in mind.

Thomson’s Reserve at the New Inchcolm Hotel runs a regular Dr Thompson’s Test Kitchen where you can taste and sample your way through new dishes. In addition to discussing innovative flavours and having a say in what ends up on the final menu.

Each month, you can head in for an intimate degustation dinner with a creative twist, featuring 5 courses of innovative cuisine created by the talented chefs just for the evening. As if the chance to sample dishes before anyone else wasn’t enticing enough, you’ll be talked through each and every course, learning about each ingredient and the idea behind every dish.

Check out the link above for more details about this great Brisbane foodie experience.

 

Delectable Taste of Queensland

Brisbane Foodie Experiences

Image via Delectable Tours

 

Brisbane is truly a foodie city on the rise and is evolving into one of Australia’s hot spots for both casual and fine dining. It is no wonder when you consider the amazing variety and quality of local produce surrounding the city.

This food tour has been specially designed to showcase some of the city’s finest produce and the ever-evolving food culture that Brisbane is now being recognised for.

The Delectable Taste of Queensland tour is the perfect introduction to some of Queensland’s most renowned local produce and flavours. Indulge in a four-hour journey of local foodie delights with everything from coffee to cocktails.

To kick start your day, you will be taken through a coffee tasting and learn a little about the process taken to create the perfect roast. You will then enjoy some coffee paired with a local sweet delight.

After coffee comes lunch. And lunch is packed full of local ingredients and quality iconic Queensland produce. Lunch, as with all food and beverages will vary slightly depending on what is seasonally available, as well as to meet your specific tastes and dietary requirements.

To get the afternoon rolling you will then enjoy a tasting of local beers or wines paired with a delicious cheese platter.

Before the day is out, you’ll indulge in a locally created cocktail and learn exactly how to make it so you can include a tasty new drink to your repertoire.

Check out the link above for more details about this great Brisbane foodie experience.

 

Sunnybank Discovery Tour

Brisbane Foodie Experiences

Image via Sunnybank Discovery Tours

 

Over three hours, tour guide and experienced chef Tony Ching will show you the best places to eat and shop for fresh Asian food. Along the way, he’ll give you loads of hints and tips about choosing the best produce, advice on the key ingredients needed in your favourite dishes and some insight into Asian culture.

In addition, you can book in for a lunch time tour to enjoy Yum Cha at Tony’s famous Landmark restaurant, while their afternoon tour will conclude with a progressive dinner visiting several vibrant restaurants.

Check out the link above for more details about this great Brisbane foodie experience.

 


 

These are just a handful of the great food experiences everyone can now enjoy in Brisbane. Its food scene is continuously evolving and there are always lots of exciting things popping up, so make sure you stay tuned as we highlight more of these.

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7 Reasons Foodies Will Love the Sunshine Coast Food Scene

As we discussed in our recent post, ‘Why We Consider the Sunshine Coast a Must-Visit’, the Sunshine Coast really has so much to offer and here are 7 Great Reasons Foodies Will Love the Sunshine Coast Food Scene.

The Sunshine Coast has long been popular with families and those who love the great outdoors because of its relaxed and friendly vibe, as well as the breathtaking scenery and adventure opportunities that await. However, it isn’t often regarded as much of a foodie destination, but I’m here to tell you just why it should be.

 

Buderim Ginger and Ginger Factory

Sunshine Coast Food

Image via Buderim Ginger

 

Ginger is cultivated in many tropical and subtropical regions of the world. China and India lead the world in fresh ginger production with a global share of over 50%. In comparison to leading ginger producing nations, Australia is a relatively small producer. Australia’s contribution represents less than 1% of global production. However, Buderim Ginger has earned global recognition for producing the World’s Finest Ginger.

From a small farming community in the pre-World War 1 days to one of the world’s finest ginger producers, food processors and tourist destinations, Buderim Ginger is a long-standing and proudly successful Australian business.

When the Second World War cut ginger supply from China, sales of the Buderim produced crop soared. As a result of this, five Buderim farmers met together in an old blacksmith’s shop and formed The Buderim Ginger Growers Co-operative, which is today known as Buderim Ginger.

The Ginger Factory has been around for 40 years and is still going strong. Occupying a nine-hectare site at Yandina, on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, it is the world’s largest operating ginger factory within a themed tourist attraction that promotes ginger and associated products.

Be sure to check out the Ginger Shop, which boasts the largest selection of Buderim Ginger products in the world! We highly recommend trying the Buderim Ginger Beer and Dark Chocolate Ginger.

 

Cooking Schools

Sunshine Coast Food

Image via Pexels

 

The natural beauty, healthy lifestyle and wonderful produce available on the Sunshine Coast attracts many top chefs, so it’s no surprise we have brilliant cooking schools and classes. Particularly in the Sunshine Coast Hinterlands, there is a world of foodie delights just waiting to be discovered.

Two of the great cooking schools include Tamarind Cooking School and The Spirit House.

 

Tamarind Cooking School

The Tamarind Cooking School offers the opportunity to learn the intricacies of a range of cuisines from expert chefs in a state of the art cooking school, overlooking inspirational gardens in the heart of a beautiful rainforest. They offer two styles of cooking classes – long and short course demonstrations. Amongst the long course options are French, Italian or Thai classes. If a two-hour short course is more your style, they offer a range of classes including fast food for friends, BBQ, dessert, bread, or dumplings.

 

The Spirit House

Whether you’re a competent cook or simply want a basic understanding of Asian ingredients and cooking methods, a hands-on Spirit House cooking class is a great way to meet new people, learn new skills and have an enjoyable day out which includes lunch/dinner and wine.

 

Eumundi Markets

Sunshine Coast Food

Image via Eumundi Markets

 

The Eumundi Markets are now the biggest art and craft market in Australia. The market has grown to more than 600 stalls and boasts an annual visitation of 1.6 million people. Beyond the handmade products, with the ethos of “make it, bake it, grow it, sew it, it is also a great spot for foodies.

The markets are full of goodies like laksa, calamari, paella, quality coffee, chocolate, great cakes, old fashioned lemonade, and so much more.

They are open on both Wednesdays and Saturdays, but make sure you get in early.

 

Fine Dining and Award Winning Restaurants

Sunshine Coast Food

Image via Pexels

 

Not only is the Sunshine Coast full of wonderful produce, but also great venues where you can enjoy the produce cooked to perfection.

Some of the Sunshine Coast’s most renowned restaurants include The Long Apron, Wasabi Restaurant & Bar, The Tamarind Restaurant, The Spirit House Restaurant, and Ricky’s River Bar & Restaurant, amongst numerous others.

 

The Long Apron

Awarded two Chef Hats in the 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 Queensland Good Food Guide, two Chefs Hats in the 2015 and 2016 Australian Good Food and Travel Guide Chef Hat awards and ranked in the Top 100 Restaurants in Australia by The Australian Gourmet Traveller, The Long Apron continues to deliver European-inspired menus with flair and élan. Friendly, personal service adds to the relaxed atmosphere and there’s even the opportunity to get together and share a delicious meal as a group over our French Table.

 

Wasabi Restaurant & Bar

Wasabi Restaurant and Bar is a multi-award winning Japanese fine dining restaurant located on the Noosa River.

The current menu led by Executive Chef and co-owner, Zeb Gilbert is designed to showcase seasonal produce from their farm at Honeysuckle Hill, other regional ingredients and the amazing seafood caught daily from the local fishing fleet.  Wasabi hopes to try and provide a better platform in Australia for lesser-known seafood and the techniques used to prepare them.

 

The Tamarind Restaurant

Specialising in Modern Asian cuisine that tips its well-deserved Chef Hats awards to Western presentation and palates, The Tamarind’s menu effortlessly combines sweet, sour and spicy flavours with fresh local produce to create original and innovative taste sensations. The perfect meeting of the traditional and the new, every dish evokes the vitality of Asia and the warmth of Spicers Tamarind Retreat.

The Tamarind recently received one Chef Hat in the 2017 Brisbane Times Good Food Guide.

 

The Spirit House Restaurant

Romantic dinners, partying with friends in a private courtyard, or celebrating weddings and special occasions – Spirit House is a perfect recipe for a dining experience to remember. Set in lush tropical gardens nestled around a tranquil pond, at sunset Spirit House turns into a magic wonderland which will take your breath away.

Award winning contemporary Asian food, friendly staff and enthusiastic chefs have made the Spirit House a destination for lovers of all things Asian.

Cheese

Sunshine Coast Food

Image via Maleny Cheese

 

With the bountiful grazing land around the Sunshine Coast, it is no wonder that the Sunshine Coast is also home to a couple of exceptional cheese factories. One of which is, Maleny Cheese, a multi-generation family owned business based in Maleny.

Maleny Cheese has a strong core value of sourcing fresh regional whole milk from small local dairy herds, alongside other sustainably sourced ingredients.

One of the founders, Markus Bucher is a Swiss Master Cheese Maker and saw and opportunity of making dairy products from the first-class milk available in the area. Beginning with just cow milk products, they have now expanded their product range by sourcing local Water Buffalo milk and Camel milk too.

When in Maleny, a visit to their factory and cafe is a must for cheese lovers. The cafe offers a variety of meals and snacks and the opportunity to sample their cheese and yoghurts. If you want to see the cheese and yoghurt being made first-hand, visit during Monday to Thursday.

For something a little different with a little kick, we recommend trying their wasabi cheddar.

 

 

Chocolate

Sunshine Coast Food

Image via Chocolate Country

 

It would be hard to find a town on the Sunshine Coast that is more charming than Montville.

Chocolate Country prides itself on being the highest quality chocolate producer in the region. They exclusively use Belgian chocolate, and source only the finest natural ingredients, using local products wherever possible to create a delicious array of chocolates.

Their Chocolatiers work in store to hand-make an extensive range of artisan chocolates in small batches to ensure freshness, producing unique products that both look and taste divine.

To taste a variety of their delicious chocolates, we highly recommend getting their tasting platter!

 

 

Moreton Bay Prawns

Sunshine Coast Food

Image via Mooloolaba Fish Market

 

Moreton Bay is home to numerous prawn varieties, including Banana Prawns, Bay Prawns, Endeavour Prawns, King Prawns and Tiger Prawns.

If you want to experience these fresh from the sea, Mooloolaba Fish Market is a great place to go. It is the Sunshine Coast’s largest seafood market offering the biggest range of fresh and cooked seafood, and local wild caught seafood unloaded fresh daily from their wharf.

Nothing beats the taste of fresh juicy seafood by the sea!


So, there you have 7 Great Reasons Foodies Will Love the Sunshine Coast Food Scene. If you need some more convincing to make the road-trip, check out our article, Why We Consider The Sunshine Coast A Must Visit.

Making Chocolate Dreams Come True

Montville is a small town in the Sunshine Coast hinterland known for its quaint shopping and excellent dining scene. This small town packs quite the punch in the sweets department with everything from fudge, to Devonshire teas and even has its own chocolatier. Montville’s Chocolate Country is forging a strong reputation for producing the highest quality chocolate in the region. It is a true Montville delight, where they make chocolate dreams come true.

Chocolate Truffles

Image Credit: chocolatecountry.com.au


Chocolate Country is owned and operated by the lovely Julie Walters. Julie has been learning the trade as a chocolatier over the past 2 years under the guidance of fellow Swiss chocolatier, Konrad, who has 40 years experience. Combined they make quite the team, producing stellar chocolates.

The attention to detail and work that goes into each handmade chocolate is not only what has earned them an excellent reputation, but is also why we love to take guests to this special spot.

One of the secrets to making such delicious chocolate is the fact that they only use chocolate made in Belgium. The Belgians are world famous for making fantastically smooth, rich chocolate, and this provides Chocolate Country with a quality product as a base for all of their creations.

Belgium had a troubled past with the Congo which became their gateway to Africa’s cocoa plantations. This resulted in Belgium bringing back cocoa beans to Europe from Africa from around the 1880s. This early access to cocoa gave them the ability to understand how best to process the beans, which enabled Belgians to produce quality chocolate before most countries in the world. Even the Swiss, who are famed for their chocolate, learnt much of what they know from the Belgians.

Julie is also really passionate about sourcing top quality ingredients, locally where possible, to create a range of indulgent chocolates. She loves using Australian produce because of the wide range of beautiful fruits and nuts it has. Unique Australian flavours like Lemon Myrtle and Finger Lime are also included in their range to show off some of the more unusual flavours this wonderful country has to offer.

Whilst, all of their chocolates are equally delicious, their range of hearts are definitely their best sellers. With so many flavours to choose from, including more traditional flavours like caramel and hazelnut to more unusual flavours like their, rose flavoured, Turkish Delight truffle, there is always something to suit even the fussiest of taste buds.

Julie, like myself, is a dark chocolate girl and certainly knows how to make some delicious dark chocolate, but for her, choosing a favourite chocolate would be as hard as choosing a favourite child. Rightfully so, she says, “when you design each one you always end up making sure you like it.” So each chocolate is a truly refined creation that you know has been designed to taste great.

Although I would rate myself as a pretty experienced chocolate consumer, I certainly don’t know a lot about the art of making the perfect chocolate. This is something that I hope to change in the future by taking some classes with the experts themselves.

Julie and Konrad offer chocolate making classes that will de-mystify the art of tempering chocolate giving you the understanding of what you are doing and why. During their classes, you get the opportunity to make a variety of different chocolates using pralines, ganaches, fruits and nuts. Of course, there is plenty of tasting along the way, lots of different types of chocolates to try, a constant supply of tea and coffee, and lots of chocolate to take home.

Chocolate Country isn’t just a boutique chocolate producer and shop, but they also have a lovely cafe. You can take in the ambience of Montville in the beautiful patio garden with a coffee (from local Brisbane roasters Campos) or perhaps even something from their range of hot chocolates made with Belgian chocolate. Yum! On top of the drinks, of course, there is plenty of chocolate and other sweets to be enjoyed too.

Chocolate Country

Image Credit: chocolatecountry.com.au

One of the best ways to sample a number of delectable delights is with their indulgent tasting platters, which we always recommend to our guests.

So next time you’re in Montville, do yourself a favour and pay a visit to Julie and the team at Chocolate Country.

Want to learn about more great local businesses? We’d love to take you on a food experience of course, but in the meantime, make sure you follow us on Facebook for more articles like this and to learn about other local hot spots.

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Country Fine Dining in South East Queensland

Fine dining is often associated with big cities, exquisite food, well-renowned chefs, excellent service and breath-taking views. Collectively, with an exceptional wine list, of course, these components are what make fine dining the experience it is. However, you don’t always have to stay in the city to experience fine dining. Country fine dining is available too!

Right across Australia, we’re lucky to have numerous regional areas with an excellent fine dining scene. Names like the Hunter Valley, Barossa Valley or even Margaret River might come to mind, but they certainly aren’t the only ones. One of Queensland’s great country fine dining scenes is located just an hour out of Brisbane in the Scenic Rim.

The Scenic Rim offers everything from casual, relaxed dining, to five-star fine dining experiences. The region is quickly becoming known as a foodie hot spot, which grows much of its own produce within the Scenic Rim.

This country fine dining scene ticks all the boxes of exquisite food, well-renowned chefs, excellent service, great wine and breath-taking views. With all this just an hour away from Brisbane it is hard to pass up the opportunity to experience it first-hand.

 

Here are just a few of the beautiful restaurants you will want to visit in this region.

 

The first two restaurants are part of Spicer’s Retreats. There are common threads between all Spicers’ restaurants; the time that goes into the preparation of each ingredient, the thoughtful and generous service, the ability to offer guests an immersive experience, and the constant collaboration between the chefs. Despite this, each restaurant has its own unique character.

The fact that these restaurants work closely with local producers, including a number of farm suppliers to create bespoke produce for each season and menu, makes for an exceptional dining experience.

 

Country Fine Dining at Homage Restaurant

Country Fine Dining Homage Restaurant

Homage is a new concept in dining and a 12-month labour of love for Spicers Hidden Vale Head Chef, Ash Martin. Set within a historic homestead on a picturesque 12,000-acre property, this exciting restaurant at Grandchester offers an unrivalled dining experience. As the name suggests, it pays due respect to the land, the local farmers and the produce itself, with each expertly crafted dish having added dimension.

Ash and his team design menus inspired by the local produce that they hand select daily. As a result, it is a menu that changes constantly based on what is harvested that day. Whether it’s fresh seasonal vegetables hand-picked from their market garden or local Freshwater Cray and beef from their own property, this is dining in its purest form.

Ash has been awarded a Chef Hat by both the Queensland and Australian Good Food Guides.

Homage restaurant has additionally been awarded one Chef Hat in both the 2017 Brisbane Times Good Food Guide awards and the 2016 Australian Good Food. The restaurant also received the 2015 Travel Guide Chef Hat awards.

 

Country Fine Dining at The Peak Restaurant

Country Fine Dining The Peak Restaurant

Spicer’s Retreats Peak Lodge is home to The Peak restaurant. Inspired by the fresh, seasonal, local produce and regional wines of the Scenic Rim and Granite Belt. Their Contemporary Australian á la carte and degustation menus deliver quite the culinary taste sensation. It is little wonder that The Peak was awarded two Chef Hats in the 2016 and 2017 Brisbane Times Good Food Guide awards, and the 2015 Australian Good Food Guide awards.

Head Chef, Tomasz Kornacki’s strong culinary ability with international cuisines allows him to showcase the region’s fruits and other locally sourced produce in a creative and unique way.

 

Country Fine Dining at Kooroomba

Country Fine Dining Kooroomba

Kooroomba Vineyards and Lavender Farm is a masterfully designed property, making the most of the position and the views. Kooroomba consists of a cellar door, restaurant and lavender shop. The property overlooks a six-hectare vineyard and a breathtaking lavender field, with magnificent views of the Scenic Rim mountains. However, it isn’t just the views that make Kooroomba a great spot.

The award winning cellar door and restaurant complex is a blend of rustic and contemporary architecture. Modern Australian cuisine is served in the restaurant from local produce, providing a unique regional wine and food experience.

 

Country Fine Dining at Pethers Rainforest Retreat

Country Fine Dining Pethers Rainforest Retreat

Pethers Rainforest Restaurant is recognised as one of south east Queensland’s most romantic dining experiences. Set within Pethers luxurious boutique retreat, the restaurant and retreat were designed exclusively for adults.

The intimate restaurant is set around a massive open sided and elevated fireplace and overlooks pristine rainforest. The restaurant is extra spectacular at night when it is dramatically floodlit. You can enjoy Modern Australian fine dining here with stunning rainforest views.

 

Country Fine Dining at Songbirds Restaurant

Country Fine Dining Songbirds Restaurant

Songbirds Restaurant in Songbirds Rainforest Retreat offers a unique combination of nature, luxury and indulgence. Located on over 50 acres of rainforest, Songbirds is a multi-award winning restaurant, most recently receiving an AGFG (Australian Good Food Guide) Chef Hat for 2016.

As with these other fine dining restaurants, we have mentioned, Songbirds’ creative culinary team selects the finest ingredients and uses organic produce when possible. Meals are prepared in a fresh, innovative style and served in a beautiful environment with the menu changing frequently to ensure diners enjoy the freshest seasonal flavours.

 


The sheer beauty of the region and exquisite food scene make the Scenic Rim the perfect destination to enjoy The Delectable Experience.

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much

Collaboration

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much” – Helen Keller

 

No matter the economic landscape, opportunities exist and are there for the taking. These opportunities will always come in different shapes and sizes, but there is one type of opportunity that I always seek, which is the opportunity to work together.

As Mattie Stepanek once said, “Unity is strength… when there are teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.” This is exactly why collaborating with like-minded businesses is a strategy I pursue passionately.

Collaboration of unique skills, experience, personality and product

When you can combine the unique skills, experience, personality and product from others that harmoniously aligns with what you offer, wonderful things can and will be achieved.

For me, finding someone with over seven years of experience serving customers just like mine, with a strong passion for what they do, and who constantly embraces the challenge of creating new products was just the kind of collaboration I was after. It created the perfect opportunity to come together to do so much more.

This someone is Mike and his team at Pterodactyl Helicopters. They offer helicopter tours through the scenic areas of Ipswich, Brisbane, The Scenic Rim, Lockyer Valley, Somerset, Logan, and the Redlands regions. They regularly work with 63 on the ground experiences and each one is fantastic in their own right.

Combining the skills, experience, personality and product of Pterodactyl Helicopters with those we share at Delectable Tours, we’ve been able to create what I believe to be one of our best products yet, The Ultimate Delectable Experience.

The Ultimate Delectable Experience

The Ultimate Delectable Experience is a first-class tour that includes both luxury car and helicopter transportation, visiting fine-dining establishments in the outer Brisbane region.

This tour highlights some of Queensland’s best locally grown produce and has a real focus on farm-to-table dining. It is a five-course experience that also includes premium wine tastings and two bottles of locally produced wines (to take home).

With the vast produce grown in these regions, it provides a scenic adventure in Brisbane’s own backyard. Helicopter flights, fine dining and award-winning wine are just some of the reasons why I believe it is our best product yet. There are also many others, which you can read about here.

Creating this collaboration really only required one key ingredient to creating a success, which was being open-minded about working together, rather than working against each other. Although our products and services do differ a bit, they still come down to creating wonderful foodie experiences for our guests. They are just as much about our guests and the local produce we share with them, as it is about the transport we use. Technically, we are competitors, but we are competitors who have the gift of seeing the value in working together.

This is just one collaboration I hope to establish. It has given us both the opportunity to give our customers even more. And, at the end of the day without you, the customer, we are nothing.

I’d love to hear what you think about The Ultimate Delectable Tour that we’ve created. Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

 

 

The Why Behind The Ultimate Experience

Ultimate Experience Helicopter

There is so much value in serving others. Giving to those less fortunate than ourselves. We are always taught of the importance to give more to receive more, and that is true in many ways. Creating an ultimate experience that gives guests even more value, more amazing experiences, and more luxurious services also fit into the give more to receive more notion.

Serving others is important, even essential, but I also believe it is important to put yourself first from time-to-time. This may sound selfish or even impossible for parents, but just like others, it is important and even essential.

Let me explain. This was a lesson that I learned the hard way. It was something that for a long time, I thought was completely selfish and far from everything I had been taught. However, without putting yourself first when needed, you will have nothing or at most very little to give to others. The old adage of not being able to fill other’s cups when your own isn’t full certainly rings true here.

I was lucky/unlucky enough to experience a number of chronic health issues that taught me the importance of putting yourself first, and specifically taking care of your health. Giving yourself some time out and doing things you really enjoy doing. By doing this; helping myself first, I was then able to help others. It taught me a life lesson that will stay with me forever. It also gave me an epiphany that the experiences we have in life matter the most. They are what we really treasure.

From that moment, I knew I had to create experiences that people would treasure. That would give them so much joy. Give them time out from their everyday lives, and something that even made them feel special.

These were the driving force behind creating Delectable Tours. However, I felt that I needed to create an extraordinary experience that took things to another level and really made people feel special.

This is exactly what this ultimate experience is all about – making you feel special. Giving you the chance to take some time out, doing something that makes you feel great, and something that gives you the opportunity to do so with someone you really care about – perhaps that person who is your personal cheerleader.

Experiences, especially those once-in-a-lifetime experiences are things we always remember and deserve more than we may believe. They are also things I believe that we won’t regret spending money on.

I urge you to think of the value of experiences rather than goods when you want to spoil yourself because the experiences we have in life shape us into who we are and how we see the world. Obviously, they don’t have to be as indulgent as this ultimate experience, they can just be simple pleasures but remember you work hard and you deserve to be spoilt from time-to-time!

A colleague once said to me, we are so caught up buying s***t we don’t need that we end up stuck in s***t jobs we don’t like, so we can buy more s***t we don’t need! I thought it perfectly summed up a big piece of the rat race many of us find ourselves in. It also really made me conscious of my buying decisions and the need for quality over quantity.  Whilst I’m lucky to do work I love doing, I still want to make sure I’m spending my hard earned cash on things I actually need and/or really love.

This again made me even more determined to create this ultimate experience to the highest quality possible. I wanted to make sure that guests would truly love it and made sure it was full of lots of things many of us love.

For all of these reasons I created The Ultimate Experience, and I hope it brings guests as much joy as I had in creating it.

Even if this ultimate experience isn’t your idea of an ultimate experience, I urge you to think about what is and indulge in it.



Here’s to creating memories we will treasure!

Delicious Food Tours from Brisbane

Food Tours From Brisbane

Image credit: Pixels

Look no further, there are now some great new tasting food tours from Brisbane on offer.

In recent years, Brisbane’s food scene has come a long way. Brisbane is truly a foodie city on the rise and is evolving into one of Australia’s hot spots for both casual and fine dining. We first started our food tours to showcase all that Brisbane has to offer in culinary delights, but now have even more to offer with food tours from Brisbane.

Queensland and specifically Brisbane isn’t well known for food, but when you consider the amazing variety and quality of local produce surrounding the city, it really is no wonder the city has a lot to offer. It is also because of this quality local produce surrounding the city, that we felt it was essential to also create food tours from Brisbane, showcasing amazing venues in the surrounding regions.

You may have already heard about our Ultimate Delectable Experience, but we also have just launched two other experiences in the greater Brisbane region. These two new experiences take you on a scenic journey to the Sunshine Coast and through the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.

The Sunshine Coast is considered one of Queensland’s premier holiday destinations and with both a pristine coastline and beautifully lush hinterland it really is a spectacular destination to take guests.

Like all of our food tours, these Sunshine Coast food tours showcases local produce and iconic ingredients from the regions we visit with additional stops along the way to ensure you can take in the beauty of the Sunshine Coast.

If you’re looking for delicious food tours from Brisbane, these two Sunshine Coast tours, along with The Ultimate Delectable Experience make for wonderful locally inspired foodie experiences.

So, what exactly do these food tours involve you may ask? Well, I’m glad you did.

Here’s a quick rundown of these delectable experiences.

 

Delectable Healthy Tastes

Food Tours From Brisbane

Image credit: Pixels

The Delectable Healthy Tastes tour will take you on a scenic journey to the Sunshine Coast and through the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. This health-conscious food tour showcases local produce and iconic ingredients prepared in a tasty and healthy manner with additional stops along the way to ensure you can truly take in the beauty of the Sunshine Coast.

If you’re someone who is healthy minded, this tour has been designed with you in mind. It is a three-course lunch-time experience with freshly squeezed juices, amongst other refreshments including a cheeky organic wine and a relaxing private yoga class to really get you into a zen-like zone.

Package includes:

  • Welcome pack with delicious healthy treats and refreshments to help you enjoy your journey even more
  • Freshly squeezed juices
  • Variety of deliciously healthy vegetable, seafood and chicken dishes
  • Organic wine
  • Variety of raw treats with tea or coffee
  • Private yoga class in a stunning outdoor location
  • Premium transport for the experience, including pickup and drop off at your desired location – OPTION TO STAY IN NOOSA
  • Tour Host
  • Non-alcoholic refreshments

Delectable Farm-to-Table Indulgence

Food Tours From Brisbane

Image credit: Pixels

The Delectable Farm-to-Table Indulgence tour will take you on a scenic journey through the Sunshine Coast Hinterland and along the stunning Sunshine Coast. This food tour showcases local produce and iconic ingredients from the regions we will be visiting with additional stops along the way to ensure you can take in the beauty of the Sunshine Coast.

It is a four-course lunch-time experience with wine and cocktails that gives you the opportunity to stay in beautiful Noosa or return to the city life of Brisbane.

Package includes:

  • Welcome pack with delicious treats and refreshments to help you enjoy your journey even more
  • Share style entrees and wine
  • Individual mains with sides and wine
  • Luxury handmade chocolates and coffee
  • Cocktail with delicious savoury nibbles
  • Transport for the experience, including pickup and drop off at your desired location – OPTION TO STAY IN NOOSA
  • Tour Host
  • Non-alcoholic refreshments

The Ultimate Delectable Experience

Food Tours From Brisbane

Image credit: Pixels

The Ultimate Delectable Experience is just that. It is a first-class tour that includes both luxury car and helicopter transportation, visiting fine-dining establishments in the outer Brisbane region. If you enjoy the finer things in life, this tour is definitely for you!

This tour highlights some of Queensland’s best locally grown produce and has a real focus on farm-to-table. It is a five-course experience that also includes tastings and two bottles (to take home) of locally produced wine. With the vast produce grown in these regions, it also provides a scenic adventure in Brisbane’s own backyard.

Package includes:

  • Premium wine tasting and cheese platter at a five star James Halliday winery
  • Share style entrees and mains with paired wines at two different locations
  • Dessert, coffee and wine tasting in the Scenic Rim
  • Two bottles of your favourite wine to take home
  • Cocktail back in the city to cap off your experience
  • Luxury car transportation for the experience, including pickup, and drop off at your desired location (surcharge will be charged for locations 10kms outside of the Brisbane CBD)
  • Scenic helicopter flights
  • Tour Host
  • Non-alcoholic refreshments
  • Option to include accommodation with dinner and breakfast package

For more details on these food tours from Brisbane, and more, check out our signature food tour packages.

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