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Eat up a fine feast of events


Eat up a fine feast of events

The Curated Plate serves up the region’s best chefs, ingredients and foodie experiences in a festival of flavours. WORDS: Lucinda Dean.

Sunshine Coast sybarites (that’s indulgent people with a fondness for luxury) get set to salivate as The Curated Plate returns to our region from July 28 to August 6.

This Coast-wide, 10-day epicurean feast showcases the finest local produce in stunning bush and beach settings.

The Coast’s biggest food event debuted in 2019, showcasing local produce as curated by local, national and international chefs to foodie audiences. This year, it promises to dish up more than 100 events involving in excess of 300 local producers and suppliers from throughout the region.

Sunshine Coast Council Economy Portfolio Councillor Terry Landsberg says the annual food celebration is anticipated to attract more than 10,000 guests over 10 days.

“We want locals and visitors to immerse themselves in the flavours of the region and connect with growers, producers and chefs through memorable experiences,” he says.

“Food tourism offers many creative opportunities for the Sunshine Coast, and we are keen to support businesses in our food and agribusiness, tourism and hospitality industries.”

A signature event definitely worth sinking your teeth into is the Sunshine Coast Asian Food Festival – presented by Spicers Tamarind Retreat, Maleny, on Saturday, August 5, from 1-6pm.

Picture yourself reclining on picnic blankets and cushions on the slopes of the grassed amphitheatre, listening to the soulful sounds of singer-guitarist Dan McGahan or actively participating in cooking demonstrations by The Tamarind’s own chefs, and perhaps one of the Riesling masterclasses hosted by wine expert Travis Watson.

Savour sizzlingly sensational street-style Asian dishes curated by a team of talented chefs from Spicers Tamarind Retreat’s The Tamarind restaurant, The Spirit House at Yandina, Noosaville’s Sum Young Guys and Rice Boi at Mooloolaba, all perfectly paired with a crisp, lively riesling.

The Tamarind executive chef Dan Jarrett says the festival is an opportunity for all the chefs to shine a spotlight on the amazing produce they use every day, and show off their skills for more people in an afternoon than they usually see in a week.

The Spirit House’s head chef Tom Hitchcock – Australia’s Chef of the Year – says delicious street food he enjoyed in Thailand is his inspiration for the festival.

The renowned Yandina restaurant will tempt tastebuds with a prawn roll made with Mooloolaba king prawn meat in barbecue-toasted Taiwanese milk buns, covered with a slaw of cabbage, kaffir lime, shallots, spring onion, Vietnamese mint and Thai basil, with a green nam jim dressing of local Green Valley finger lime, mayonnaise and chervil.

“I would walk down the road, from where I was staying, in the afternoon to get a milk bun shaped like a hot dog roll with various toppings and fillings,” Tom says.

“So, for this dish, I kept the traditional combination of prawns and green nahm, which is traditionally used as a seafood dipping sauce.”

If you like to eat a little on the wild side, try these two out-of-the-box events: The Crocodile Hunter Lodge by Australia Zoo – Honouring a Legacy will serve a sumptuous four-course lunch while patrons look out over the zoo’s resident kangaroos, emus and koalas; and Creative Tours is hosting The Foraged Plate with Diego Bonetto. The Weedy One (Bonetto) will lead tours showing enthusiasts how to forage for food. Participants will then eat a delicious lunch prepared with foraged foods and local produce.

My Weekly Preview has pored over the event program and earmarked some (of the many!) events we’re certain will tickle your tastebuds and excite the senses.

Book tickets now to take your place at the table to feast on quality food, sip fine wines and drink locally crafted boutique beers, distilled spirits and roasted coffee. Visit


Meet the Sunshine Coast Makers Special Progressive Event

Date: Friday, July 28

Time: 3-7.30pm

Location: Maroochydore CBD

This progressive food-and- drinks event kicks off with entrée at Market Bistro, followed by the main meal at Bottarga Restaurant. At each venue, a local producer will do a Q&A with the head chef. The event rounds off with drinks and dessert networking at The MET with a guest panel of local producers, hosted by Paul West. You might recognise Paul from the popular television series: A River Cottage Australia, in which he grows an abundance of farm-fresh food and then cooks it to share with his local community. Paul will be in conversation with: Matt Hepburn, of Your Mates Brewery; Beth O’Leary, of Woombye Cheese; Kevin Fraikin, of Montville Coffee; and Kate Gibney, of Steampunk Distillery.

Tickets are available for the entire event or just the drinks and dessert networking session.


Mango’s Chef Table, presenting Rawganix Farm Delight

Date: Friday, July 28

Time: 6-9pm

Location: Mango’s Bar & Grill, Banana Bender Pub, Palmview

This event is an organic meat delight. Executive chef Robert Caulan has created a mouth-watering four-course menu using organic and free-range beef, lamb, pork and eggs from nearby Rawganix Farm.  During dinner, you’ll hear about Rawganix Farm’s closed-loop approach to farming and the care it takes in preserving the delicate balance of our biosphere.


Sunshine & Sons presents Gin, Gin
& More Gin!

Date: Saturday, July 29

Time: 10am-5pm

Location: Sunshine & Sons, Woombye

Did someone say gin? Knock back a couple of gin and tonics while grazing on gin-infused wash-rind cheese paired with gin-scented orange marmalade and gin-salted crackers. Sunshine & Sons’ range of spirits is distilled in Woombye and the flavours are the ideal complement to partnering providores Woombye Cheese and Silver Tongue Foods.


MooloolaBARS – a roving craft drinks experience

Date: Saturday, July 29

Time: 2-9pm

Location: The Wharf Mooloolaba and the Esplanade

Hop along to Mooloolaba’s best bars where you’ll discover at each venue a curated selection of beverages from Sunshine Coast breweries and distilleries. Drink in the atmosphere, with live music, delicious food and (champagne) buckets of fun. Each bar is located conveniently within walking distance.


Whiskey & Tequila + Chocolate Masterclass

Date: Saturday, August 5 

Time: 3-4.30pm

Location: 105 Mooloolaba Esplanade, Mooloolaba

WAT Den has teamed up with Kokopod, a Maroochydore-based boutique manufacturer of high-quality, handcrafted chocolate products to deliver a gastronomic delight. Enjoy whisky and tequila paired with decadent chocolate and learn about how the beverages are distilled. A beautiful experience for the palate.


The Dock Long Lunch

Date: Sunday, July 30

Time: 11.45am-3pm

Location: The Dock Mooloolaba

This is a five-course long lunch showcasing the best local, fresh, seasonal produce plus Sunshine Coast craft beers and cocktails made from spirits by local distilleries. While luncheoning, feast your eyes on the stunning riverside location at The Wharf Mooloolaba.


Yulefest Long Lunch for a Cause, presented by Wildflower Kitchen in the Mercure Sunshine Coast Kawana Waters

Date: Saturday, July 29

Time: 12-3pm

Location: Mercure Sunshine Coast Kawana Waters, Birtinya

This heart-warming twist on Christmas in July aims to generate awareness about accessible tourism on the Coast while raising funds for local disability support charity Sunshine Butterflies. This is an altruistic indulgence of juicy mangoes, plump prawns, lamb rump and honey vanilla slice.  Long tables for families and large groups are available, with lucky door prizes, raffles and even Santa.


Paddock to The Curated Plate, presented by 91.1 Hot FM

Date: Sunday, July 30

Time: 10am-2pm

Location: Cotton Tree Park, Maroochydore

Foodies of all ages are invited to immerse themselves in a journey of discovery to learn more about where our food comes from. Interactive workshops and demonstrations showcase local products and producers.


Maleny Family Fun Day, presented by Maleny Botanic Gardens

Date: Sunday, August 6

Time: 9am-4.30pm

Location: Maleny Botanic Gardens, Wootha

Bush tucker, local foods and suppliers combine with the attractions of the gardens: an interactive petting zoo and Feathered Friends. This memorable family day out has great photo opportunities along the way.


Namba Street Fair, presented by Club Hotel Namba

Date: Saturday, July 29

Time: 10am-10pm

Location: 80 Currie Street, Nambour

Local food trucks, live entertainment, musicians – all the ingredients for a fabulous street fiesta set to go off in a closed lane in Nambour.


Chill Out to the Macs @ Nutworks

Date: Saturday, August 5

Time: 9.30am-noon

Location: Nutworks, Yandina

Go nuts at this family-friendly, pet-friendly event – and even take home a free 75g bag from Nutworks’ Gourmet and Indulge selection. Listen to live music in the leafy outdoor café while munching on macadamia scones and slices, deliciously washed down with Nutworks coffee, tea and chocolate drinks, which can be imbibed hot or cold. Learn about the Nutworks’ journey and the history of our native macadamia in the self-guided factory viewing room.

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