TASTE of Kingscliff & Tweed Coast Food Festival 2015
Tweed is an ideal location for food production and has a diverse and evolving farming sector, with high emphasis on sustainable food production. The area’s incredible beauty has also drawn many creative souls to the Tweed, including culinary geniuses. There is a growing number of cafes and restaurants emerging in towns and villages throughout Tweed. It is an ideal venue for celebration of food.
I have been to Tweed last year for a culinary adventure (read part 1 & part 2), trying all the different restaurants that the area has to offer. This time round, I am very honoured to be back again to attend TASTE of Kingscliff & Tweed Coast Food Festival 2015, all thanks to Destination Tweed, Aria Events, Salt & Peppers Resort and Scoot Airlines for their kind hospitality.
The 10-day food festival featured a series of food-inspired, family-friendly beachside events throughout the Tweed and Tweed Coast, and showcases the region’s amazing fresh local produce and features special guest appearances by talented chefs and restaurateurs. When Jayne from Aria Events asked me for recommendation of a local Singaporean chef, I thought of Shen immediately and both of us flew to Tweed to do cooking demos over the weekend. Shen is one of my favourite Chefs in Singapore. She is a real foodie and a self-taught chef who does excellent modern Singaporean dishes.
During the official opening, we did a quick and simple cooking demo of the Yusheng Salmon Ceviche and Salad. Yusheng, meaning “raw fish”, is a Chinese New Year dish traditionally served on the seventh day of Chinese New Year. It is a salad dish comprising thin slices of raw fish and various spices, tossed to prosperity and longevity, all adding to the good wishes for the new year. A play of the traditional flavours, we used sashimi grade salmon dressed in spicy plum sauce, the salad is served with crunchy cucumber and salad leaves, it’s a great way to kick start the night!
There is also a demo of prawn linguine by the chef from Babalou, using the produce available. It was a great night with good food and lots of fun! We went back to take a rest at our lovely suite before the actual event happens the following day. My accommodation at Peppers Salt Resort & Spa is definitely the most comfortable option. It is located 20 minutes south of the Gold Coast Airport and 30 minutes drive from Byron Bay. I laze my mornings away by our resort and lagoon style pools before taking a stroll down to the Kingscliff Beach.
The following day, we were all up and early to prepare for the festival. Following the success last year, Taster @ Salt has been expanded to a two-day event, in the beautiful Central Park at Salt Village. There was a variety of fresh produce for purchase and a number of general market stall for those who like to shop. Guess what, I met my barista trainer at the festival as well and he is now working for Zeta’s Coffee, which owns coffee farm and does tasting tour. There is also Ilias Katsapouikidis, or Ilias the Greek, a passionate food lover who creates a delicious range of sweets and pastries including baklava, halva, nougat and pastelli, all based on traditional family recipes.
Craft beers are taking over the taps in bars and restaurants across the Gold Coast, as locally produced brews rise in demand. Stone & Wood from Byron Bay have burst onto the craft beer scene and they came to the festival with some fantastic hand crafted beers. Salumi Australia which produces some of the finest pork in the world is also here for the festival. I also tried the super tasty seafood paella from Samba Catering Co.
There was a series of cooking demonstrations by different culinary talents happening throughout the event, including: –
– Debra Allard (Cheeses Loves You): making mozzarella and cultured butter
– Ilias the Greek: display of Greek dancing and sweet making
– Tropical Fruit World: tasting of locally grown produce
– Graham Terrey (Chef from Ripples Restaurant): preparing a whole chicken for loads of dinner options
– Steven Snow (Chef from FINS Restaurant): cooking seafood dishes
– Craig Scott (Chef from Tumby Sauce Co): preparing a Thai inspired dish featuring fresh produce and his sauces
Of course, both Shen and I took part in the cooking demonstrations as well. We did our local favourite – kaya (coconut jam) and chicken rice! Shen is the one who does all the cooking, while I was just a little helper and sharing with the audience about Singapore food.
- 20 egg yolks
- 500 g gula melaka
- 10 pandan leaves tied into two bunches
- 500 g coconut milk
- Place gula melaka and coconut milk into bain marie and whisk until sugar is melted.
- Whisk the egg yolks and pour it into the coconut milk and gula melaka mixture.
- Cook mixture, whisking from time to time. When it has thickened to a custard consistency, reove from heat and let it cool.
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, for more information, visit www.flyscoot.com.