Yum! Matt Golinski Explores Regional Flavours
Matt Golinski dishes up the delectable delights that will be on offer at Australia’s largest free food festival.
Whenever people ask me the question ‘do you think consumers are becoming more interested in knowing where their food comes from?’, I use the now-iconic Regional Flavours at South Bank Parklands as a big ‘YES’!
The 85,000 or so attendees that have shown up to Australia’s largest free food festival every year for the past 11 years are evidence that Queenslanders are well and truly on board with the paddock-to-plate philosophy.
Over the two days of the event, visitors have the opportunity to meet and sample the wares of more than 80 Queensland producers from 17 different regions.
A dizzying selection of food stalls gives the hungry hoards plenty to choose from when they need to just pull up a patch of grass or a bean bag and fill their bellies.
A stellar line up of chefs present informative and entertaining cooking demonstrations on multiple stages, to give all of those budding foodies examples of how to put all of the world-class produce they are seeing into everyday use at home.
Network 10’s MasterChef Australia judges George Calombaris, Gary Mehigan and Matt Preston; plus Paul West, Alanna Sapwell, Alastair McLeod, Poh Ling Yeow and Justine Schofield are just a few of the superstars who’ll be hitting the stage over the weekend.
Regional Flavours isn’t just about the food though, Queensland winemakers and brewers are a much-loved part of the experience, showcasing the quality and diversity of beverages on offer. Innovation is an emerging key focus, with the festival showcasing advances in food, health and lifestyle. This includes future food, plant-based foods and alternative proteins.
Wellness is also on the agenda with ‘camel culture’ in the spotlight, said to assist with health issues including autism, diabetes and Crohn’s Disease. Summer Land Camels and QCamel are two stallholders treating attendees to camel-based milk, cheese and yoghurts.
I have been a presenter at the festival every year for the past five years in my capacity as the Gympie Region’s food ambassador, and the thing that always strikes me more than the great produce, the energy and enthusiasm of the producers, the endless choice of great things to drink, and the grooves of the live music playing all day long, is the electric atmosphere that is created when you have thousands of like-minded food lovers enjoying themselves in what is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful inner city parks in the world.
MAIN STAGE Hosted by Miguel Maestre with live cooking demonstrations, book signings and celebrity spotting with some of Australia’s most-loved chefs. Demonstrations will range from dazzling desserts to one-pot wonders from Queensland classics to authentic Asian.
THE HUNTING CLUB Celebrating the best of Queensland’s meat and livestock industry from graziers to butchers and chefs. Head to the bar, grab a locally-brewed beer and a satisfying snack, kick back and watch the masters at work on stage; or just pull up a stool and enjoy the rays and smooth tunes. See Regional Flavours’ Resident Butcher carve up a carcass then learn how to perfectly cook lesser-known cuts to minimise waste. Open from 10am-10pm.
RIVER QUAY Languish in luxury at South Bank’s premier place for smooth tunes, indulgent eats and alfresco vibes with a tantalising menu of tasting plates from South Bank’s five-star restaurants washed down with an alluring choice of craft beers, specialty cocktails and premium wines with a laidback line-up of local DJs. Open from 10am-7pm, it’s perfect for a sundowner or to kickstart the night with a pre-dinner drink.
QUEENSLAND TASTE MARKETPLACE Meet farmers and producers selling everything from wine to chocolate; and cheese to smallgoods across 80 stalls. Take your gourmet bounty home or grab some goodies or a tasting plate to enjoy in the licensed picnic area.
THE PICNIC PATCH The Lockyer Valley’s fertile farmland has earned it the title of “Australia’s Salad Bowl”. Experience firsthand the winning wares of this southeast Queensland region with fresh fruit, vegetables and handmade treats or ready-to-eat dishes bursting with local ingredients.
FARM GATE Wooden crates and long rustic tables will be piled high with gourmet groceries, delicious deli items and small batch and artisan delicacies, all produced using the Scenic Rim’s premium produce.
KIDS COLLECTIVE Discover a new way to think about food when Kids Collective takes over Epicurious Garden – South Bank’s edible plant garden – turning it into an interactive space for little food fighters with storytime and range of crafty activities from planting to harvesting.
Regional Flavours details
20 and 21 July, 10am-5pm at South Bank Parklands, Brisbane.
Plus extended opening hours for The Hunting Club: 10am-10pm; and River Quay: 10am-7pm.