Eat, Live, Laugh and perhaps even learn a little..
Noosa Heads, Queensland, Australia. Funny little seaside village. We call it home. My already generous bosom swells often with pride at the remarkable achievements of this creative and diverse community.
As late autumn morphs into winter from May through June, each year Noosa bears witness to not one, but two extraordinary festivals. Both first conceived and delivered around a decade ago, the Noosa International Food & Wine Festival is presented each year over 4 delicious days around the middle of May. This is followed in hot pursuit by its slightly older sibling the The Noosa Longweekend Festival, staged over 10 action packed days in June.
Defining features of both these festivals are the audiences and the participants they attract, staged in our unique location. Both make the most of Noosa’s performance facilities, restaurants, the river, the natural landscape and the nearby lush hinterland. Local Noosans mingle with devotees to dance, literature, the environment, music, theatre, film, forums for ideas and debate, even a hint of politics and eagerly awaited on each program, many outstanding, mouthwatering food and wine events. Impressive for a small beachside resort on the Queensland coast better known in days gone by as a surfers paradise. The performers, for that is what they are, talented performers, are drawn from the ‘cream of the crop’ in their respective fields; internationally, nationally, from intrastate and from our own gifted community.
Born of a need to stimulate our local economy and add some spice to the gentle rhythm of life in Noosa, the Noosa International Food & Wine Festival and the Noosa Longweekend are now recognized as world class events. For our creative community, stunning environment and safe, relaxed lifestyle coupled with a desire to share our spoils with a wider audience is a recipe hard to resist. To display our finest assets while attracting the finest on offer from shores near and far, or something similar.
I could go on extolling the virtues of these sensational festivals however I feel most aspects have recently been enthusiastically, lyrically and widely documented, so I simply say ” Wise up, watch as the programs evolve, book early and be here for the time of your life in May and June 2013.
Being dedicated to the promotion of good, clean, sustainable, regional and delicious food accompanied by a decent glass of fine wine or two, the Noosa International Food & Wine Festival satisfies me greatly on many levels. One aspect of this festival that I find irresistible is the Culinary Exhibition where some of Australia’s finest food producers and manufacturers display their wares; offering tastings of their produce while imparting priceless knowledge, sharing tips and enjoying the banter of their peers. This provides a unique opportunity to meet and mingle with the people on the front line of our outstanding food production.
THESE ARE SOME OF MY FAVOURITE THINGS:
NO.1 A MIXED BAG OF FAMILY PRODUCERS
1. Gundowring finest ice cream from Victoria. Decadent, creamy, simply too delicious to stop at one flavour. Fig, French plum, ginger, espresso, coconut, spice, white chocolate and macadamia – need I go on?
2. LiraH…ingredients of success. Granite Belt, Queensland. Vinegar, verjus and wine. “We recognise that our products are not “consumed” but rather are a tool, which in the hands of the chef combine with other great ingredients to produce successful dishes”. Truly so, these ‘ tools’ certainly work their magic in dressings, sauces, marinades while being precise little flavour explosions when sipped off a spoon!
3. Humbugz Honey, Kingston, South Australia. With around 6 distinctive varieties, exceptionally good honeycomb rounds and a divine good quality chocolate bar filled with honey, locate your nearest stockist as fast as possible.
4. Cedar Creek Cheeserie. Maleny, Queensland. Trevor’s buffalo milk cheeses are continually evolving. The mozzarella raises tomatoes, basil and a slug of good olive oil to heavenly heights. I can’t live without the haloumi, very moreish and the soft, snowy-white Love Supreme, drizzled with Humbugz honey, well…
5. Li-sun exotic mushrooms. Swiss Brown, Shiitake, Oyster, Shimejii and Wood Ear. Southern Highlands, NSW. ”Buried underneath the hillside, alongside Mt. Gibraltar between ….” A wonderful range of exotic mushrooms that thrive in Dr. Noel Arrold’s cool, damp and dimly lit tunnels, they truly impart their seductive flavours to many dishes. Read all about it…
6. Tasmanian Gourmet Kitchen. Longford, Tasmania. A delicious, well balanced small range of speciality chutneys, marmalades and preserves. Perfect accompaniments to the marvellous artisan crafted small goods in the delicious.awards, ” from the paddock” category. I could not make a decision and came home with 5 varieties in beautifully presented jars.
7. Snowy River Station Samphire. The banks of the Snowy River, Victoria.
Pioneering stuff this, cultivating one of the world’s oldest and most intriguing foodstuffs. Like ‘sea asparagus’ it is a sensational fresh vegetable dish or garnish with fish, shellfish, a slice of farmhouse terrine or scrambled eggs with shaved truffle. I know fresh is best but I like the pickled samphire, which comes in a decent sized jar and means it is at hand for spontaneous use whenever the mood or dish demands it.
8. Pacdon Park. Manufacturers & Purveyors of Gourmet British Foods. Moama, NSW. The British are here! Started by a couple of likely lads from Lancashire homesick for childhood dishes are producing some exceptional traditional British fare. Traditional pork pies; pork sausages from a variety of English Counties; a range of cured meats; black and white puddings and a crowning glory, their truly delicious haggis, no really.
9. Pangkarra Wholegrain Pasta. Clare Valley, South Australia. Made from select durum grain grown on the family farm comes this premium wholegrain, stone milled and low temperature processed pasta. Low in fat, high in protein with a mild nutty taste, this pasta range is full of health benefits and delicious to boot!
Oh no! I am not nearly finished, so many more producers, produce and tales to share with you. But I restricted myself to 10 so that’s it for now… except a little sweet treat to finish…
10. Sweetness The Patisserie. Epping, NSW. Artisan delights from these crazy dedicated people who spend their days whipping up batches of irresistible, light and moreish sweets. This range is so delicious, all thoughts of guilt just evaporate.
The Noosa International Food & Wine Festival: www.noosafoodandwine.com.au
The Noosa Longweekend Festival: www.noosalongweekend.com