Highlights from TASTE of Kingscliff and Tweed Coast 2016
Taste of Kingscliff and Tweed Coast ended two weekends ago and I am really lucky to be back, all thanks to the festival director Jayne Henry and Scoot Airlines. The Tweed Coast has got one of the most stunningly beautiful beachside, that’s why I really enjoy my time here for the third time. This ten day celebration is designed to showcase the best destinations on Kingscliff and Tweed Coast using food and beer. The programme kicked off with Taster@Salt – a two-day festival full of tastings, demonstrations, fabulous food products and live entertainment main stage in beautiful Central Park in the heart of Salt Village in South Kingscliff.
One of stalls in the festival that caught our eye is this buckwheat crepe from Crêpes Bretonne. I have seen how buckwheat is extensively used in Japanese cuisine but eating this traditional galette made using buckwheat flour – that’s my first time! Crêpes Bretonne owners Sandrine and Damien are the first to bring galettes to the region. Using Damien’s grandmother’s recipe, they started selling at markets before opening their first shop “3 Sea at Tweed Heads”a few years back. They have gained in popularity in this country in large part because they’re a tasty, gluten-free alternative to a traditional crêpe. Originated from Northern France, they are usually served with a filling of your choice placed in the middle of the gallette, which is then folded into an open envelope and cooked in the pan for a few minutes.
One of the reasons why I love Australia so much is because the people are passionate about supporting local producers and Victorians are particularly loyal about home-grown products and local brands. One of the most stunning farm in Gold Coast is Tropical Fruit World. This 5th generation family-owned farm offers a large array of fresh local produce for purchase, as well as a variety of natural products, including soaps and oils. It is now a popular tourist destination.
An interesting stall in this year’s festival is Ink Gin – an Australian floral infused craft gin by Paul Messenger, who is a mineral geologist-turned home distiller. It is carefully pot distilled in small batches using 14 organic botanicals and naturally infused with butterfly pea petals. Ink Gin has the traditional flavours of juniper berries, with locally grown lemon myrtle, Tasmanian pepper berries and fresh organic Valencia oranges. Each botanical is be prepared separately oven dried, grounded or shredded. We had a taste of the Ink & Tonic which changes the colour from deep blue to a beautiful pink when mixed. No preservatives or chemicals are added. Visit http://inkgin.com to find out more
We queued 45 mins for Pit Fire Pigs that serves slow cooked BBQ meat. Tony and his friend stayed marinated and smoke the meat overnight in his smoking pit that is huge enough to cook 2 pigs. The brisket and ribs are so awesome that I kinda miss it now. They BBQ their meats at events and markets. Another food truck that you should try
Pit Fire Pigs is another fledgling business cooking slow smoked BBQ meat, corn and potatoes. Tony Sullivan, who owns the business with Sharif Daley, began cooking on a little kettle BBQ at home and for parties, progressing to a rotisserie, then to pit barbequing. Another food truck that is equally awesome is the thin crust pizzas from Gunter’s Flammkuchen.
Love In Blossom Patisserie is run by Chef Ben Leonardi who left France for Australia in 2012 to raise a family here. We love their vanilla eclair studded with fresh strawbrries, white chocolate and macademia nougatine. They do markets throughout Brisbane, Gold Coast, Northern Rivers, Ballina and Byron Bay.
During the festival, local Chef & TAFE instructor Garry Smith taught us how to bone out a chicken and gave some handy BBQ techniques to make our cooking easier.
Our Singapore chef Shen Tan and Hong Kong chef Adrian Lee collaborated and present a masterclass on two crab dishes. Chef Shen prepared our Chilli Crabs while Chef Adrian did Typhoon Crabs.
TASTE of Kingscliff and Tweed Coast is a great way for us to get in touch with the F&B owners as well as to understand the local producer. Amazing festival and I truly enjoyed myself to the great food, great beer and music. Gold Coast and Tweed are endless playgrounds, with an array of fabulous restaurants and dining delights for everyone.
Scoot flies from Singapore to Gold Coast daily. The flight is 7h 30mins. For more information, visit www.flyscoot.com (Singaporeans, don’t forget to apply for VISA).