Ginger Jungle At Festival

Image source: Contributed

Matt Golinski prepares to go wild for his fifth annual Ginger Flower & Food Festival.

I grew up on a farm in the Sunshine Coast hinterland where my parents seemed to be able to grow absolutely anything they turned their hands to. Unfortunately, I didn’t inherit the gardening gene. My front garden is a thick jungle of random vegetation that exists on a survival-of-the-fittest basis.

But as I’m sitting here writing, looking out at the set of the plant version of Survivor, I can see the dozens of different varieties of edible and ornamental ginger that I’ve collected over the past five years that seem to have forgiven me for being horticulturally challenged, and continue to thrive under any conditions.

And every summer, despite their neglect, they delight me with their display of breathtaking flowers, and I know it’s time to get myself ready for another huge weekend in Yandina at the Ginger Factory’s Ginger Flower and Food Festival.

From Friday 17 to Sunday 19 January 2020, this iconic Queensland event will burst into bloom for its 24th time, promising an exquisite range of ornamental gingers and heliconias on display, informative and entertaining gardening and cooking sessions, plenty of roving entertainment, and food and drink offerings to suit all tastes.

Popular presenters Soil to Suppers’ Cath Manuel and Horticulturalist Paul Plant will teach you all the skills you need to turn your garden into a tropical paradise, while over in the kitchen theatre Shane Bailey of Boathouse Noosa, Lisa Mahar of Makepeace Island, Dylan Campbell, resident mixologist of Sum Yung Guys and a host of other talented local chefs will show you creative ways to incorporate ginger products into your food and drinks.

Some of the Coast’s best food producers will be attending the festival with stalls again this year, giving visitors a chance to not only experience the tastes of the region but to meet in person the passionate people who help make it a world-class food destination.

This year will be my 5th year in a row presenting at the festival, and I never have any trouble coming up with new ways to showcase this beautiful ingredient and encourage people to use more of it in their cooking. Doors open at 9am each day and admission is free, although a small fee may apply for some of the rides and the Live Bee Show. Want to find out more? Visit www.gingerfactory.com.au.

 

About the Author /

matt@innoosamagazine.com.au

Matt Golinski is a highly regarded chef with a passion for simple, produce-driven cuisine based on seasonal, fresh local ingredients. He is an active member of the Slow Food movement, a champion of artisan producers and a generous mentor to keen young chefs. He is the Food and Culinary Tourism Ambassador for the Gympie region; Ambassador and Advisory Executive Chef for Peppers Noosa; and a festival favourite.

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