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Eat your way through the Scenic Rim

Eat Local Week 2021 (image supplied)
Eat Local Week 2021 (image supplied)

For all you foodies out there, there’s a tasty event itinerary coming up that you need to get around.

Celebrating a decade of deliciousness in 2021, the Scenic Rim’s Eat Local Week will be held from June 26th through to July 4th, with prelude events staged in Brisbane and the region itself. If you haven’t been before, it’s worth noting this happens to be the most extensive program in the event’s ten-year history.

In it’s inaugural year, there were just ten events staged. This year, there will be 125 events across 48 locations!

Eat Local Week started when a group of local producers, farmers and tourism operators decided to shine the light on the flavours and faces of the Scenic Rim region; an event to encourage people to look close to home for seasonal food and give kudos to the countless farmers, producers and incredible artisan food makers behind it all. 

In short: it’s the ultimate backstage pass to the farms, wineries and food stories of this extraordinary region!

Eat Local Week 2021 (image supplied)
Eat Local Week 2021 (image supplied)

For those of you a little unfamiliar with the Scenic Rim, the area is just beyond our backyard of the Gold Coast hinterland and encompasses a staggering 4,200+ square kilometres of rich volcanic soil and surrounded by ageless mountains. The perfect backdrop for an annual festival showcasing the most exceptional local produce you’re likely to come across — and so close to home too!

The packed schedule has all sorts of activities, festivals, farm-gate events and culinary experiences for all ages. The event sites range from Canungra to The Lost World, Beaudesert to Boonah, Tamborine Mountain and Kalbar. Over the years, Eat Local Week has grown to become one of Australia’s most authentic food festivals — and this year will be no different — attended by an army of eat local champions who heed the call from near and far.

Scenic Rim Regional Council Mayor Greg Christensen said he was thrilled Eat Local Week was back in 2021 after being postponed last year. “Scenic Rim Eat Local Week is more than just tasting our amazing local food and wine. It’s also driving to discover breathtaking landscapes, meeting the hardworking heroes who put food and drink on our tables and watching strangers become family. It’s a chance to fully immerse yourself in the richest place on Earth, our incredible region.”

The Scenic Rim's Emily Lochran at Towri Sheep Cheeses (image supplied)
The Scenic Rim's Emily Lochran at Towri Sheep Cheeses (image supplied)

The program features stand out events like: ‘Jamming with the Lambs’ at Towri Sheep Cheeses, ‘Breakfast with the Jersey Girls’ at Tommerup’s Dairy Farm and ‘Beer & Banter’ at the Scenic Rim Brewery, to long lunches and dinner under the stars. The Kalbar-BQ, Kalfresh Carrot Day and the Winter Harvest Festival amongst endless wine tastings, cocktail masterclasses and sunset experiences are worth noting too.

Importantly, Eat Local Week has also been a catalyst for diversification and the inspiration for exciting collaborations between producers. Think Carrot Beer, Milk Stout featuring local sheep and cow milk, beef and vegetable sausages, beetroot and carrot bread, and Camel Milk Vodka — to name a few!

The entire itinerary and lowdown of all events can be found on the Eat Local week website. The popularity of the event series has proven to be very strong with tickets already selling out! Our advice is to get in quickly if you want to experience a distinctive flavour of South-East Queensland that only comes round once a year!

Words by Alex Mitcheson.

Kooroomba's Daniel Groneberg (image supplied)
Kooroomba's Daniel Groneberg (image supplied)

Picnic Real Food Bar features tastes of the Scenic Rim

Picnic Real Food Bar located in North Stores - Mount Tamborine (Image by Christine Sharp)
Picnic Real Food Bar located in North Stores, Mount Tamborine (Image by Christine Sharp)

This south-east pocket of Queensland we get to call home is quite a special place. The endless sub-tropical Pacific Ocean and sublime beaches on one side and backed by lush, ancient rainforest on the other — what a place to live!

And the Scenic Rim is very much part of that makeup too. Set at the foothills of the Great Dividing Range, this region holds host to incredible food and produce, the likes we sometimes don’t get to see here on the Gold Coast.

Well, if you head to Picnic Real Food Bar in Mount Tamborine, you’ll experience nothing but the best ingredients the region has to offer.

How so, you might ask? Owner Brenda Fawdon is an avid expert of all things culinary in the area. A hospitality veteran of 30 years, after moving to Tamborine a decade ago she took it upon herself to research and then write not one, but two cookbooks highlighting incredible Scenic Rim producers. So you could say what Brenda doesn’t know about great food from the local area isn’t worth knowing!

Picnic Real Food Bar is set along the green and tree-lined Main Street in North Tamborine and is part of a recently revealed new building development called the North Stores. The space is an open-air uber-modern, yet rustic approach to any café we have seen. Whoever you take here is absolutely going to love it!

Chocolate Salted Rye Biscuits, Picnic Real Food Bar (Image by Christine Sharp)

Bring your hunger ‘A’ game with you, as the assortment of baked treats — both savoury and sweet — are dazzling here. There are Chocolate Salted Rye Biscuits, gluten-free Italian Almond Slices and a rather scrumptious looking ‘breakfast’ Carrot Cake. Cake for breakfast? If you say so! Not to mention all of this is made on-site by a dedicated baker.

A selection of Toasted Ciabattas with ingredients such as prosciutto, artichoke, mozzarella and tomato jam are available — or you might prefer a Charred Zucchini and Black Bean Salad? Either way, everything is fresh and delicious.

Drinks come in the form of house-pressed juices, Buchi kombucha from Byron Bay on tap, milkshakes and Reuben Hills Coffee from Surrey Hills in Sydney. This boutique micro roastery only produces a set number of beans per week, meaning great consistent coffee every time you take a sip.

Being licensed, the café has a small but carefully considered selection of natural wines, Witches Falls Cider on Tap, as well as everyone’s favourite Balter XPA. If you’ve decided to do a morning hike on one of the many nearby trails then you surely deserve a lunch beverage, no?

Vegan Couscous Salad with swiss brown mushrooms, roasted sweet potato, red onion, pickle and rocket with miso dressing, Picnic Real Food Bar (Image by Christine Sharp)
Vegan Couscous Salad with swiss brown mushrooms, roasted sweet potato, red onion, pickle and rocket with miso dressing, Picnic Real Food Bar (Image by Christine Sharp)

With plans in the future to start creating specialised lunch boxes for you to take away, Picnic Real Food Bar will allow you to take their gorgeous food and drinks off with you to find your own slice of the hinterland. All you’ll need to do is BYO blanket, and then sit back and soak it all in.

Cancel your weekend plans. We think you should take a sneaky trip up to Mount Tamborine.

Where: 46 Main Street, North Tamborine
When: Wednesday – Sunday 7am-3pm

Words by Alex Mitcheson.

8 Gold Coast business’ delivering fresh food to your door

Tropical Fruit World
Tropical Fruit World

Hands up if you’re having the best time ever at home all day, every day. Nobody okay, we thought as much. There are a few benefits though and they come in the form of not having to wear pants to work (number one obviously), exercising at home without other people having to see just how unfit you are, eating from your favourite restaurants without pants AND getting fresh food delivered to your door so you don’t need to brave the dreaded supermarket.

Which is what bring us here today. No pants and Gold Coast business’ delivering fresh food to your door.

Here they are in absolutely no particular order.

Tropical Fruit World
The team at Tropical Fruit World are offering boxes of tropical fruit for just $40 plus trays of avocados for $40 and farm favourites like farm honey, macadamia nuts and dried fruits for home delivery. Delivery days are Tuesday and Friday and you can order by phoning 02 6677 7222 or further info here.

Pacific Wholesale Fruit and Veg
If you’re after the freshest of fruit and vegetables delivered directly to your door, look no further than Pacific Wholesale Fruit and Veg who yes, were once a wholesale only business but now offer mixed, family and KETO boxes of fruit and veggies from $54.50 including delivery. Boxes include eggs and a variety of tasty goodies depending on your box, so is very good news. Find them here.

Super Butcher
A family owned business, Super Butcher has been sourcing high quality meat for Gold Coast (and Brisbane) locals for quite some time. Now is no exception of course, the team are delivering the goods right to your door including pretty much any kind of meat you could possibly need. Choose what you need, pay for the good and choose delivery for $27 and your meats are on their way. Happy days. Get yours here.

Coastal Fresh
Another great local business serving up fresh fruit and vegetable boxes is Coastal Fresh. They usually supply lots of Gold Coast venues but now they’ve turned to supplying us. Choose from a fruit and veggie box or just veggies on their own and you’ll get an absolutely packed box including fresh eggs and an excellent variety of healthy goodness available for delivery. Order yours here.

Prime Valley Organic Meats
If organic meat is your thing, Prime Valley Organic Meats at the Easy T centre have you covered. Butcher Mick has over 20 years of experience so he knows exactly what’s up when it comes to choosing quality cuts. These guys are delivering all over the Gold Coast so give them a call on 07 5580 8084 or head online here to place your order.

The Farm Folk
The Farm Folk

The Farm Folk
Offering organic fruit and vegetables in a conveniently delivered box is what The Farm Folk are all about. You can add exactly what you want to your cart from apples to avocados, and then have it delivered anywhere on the Gold Coast on Monday’s, Wednesday’s, Thursday’s and Friday’s. Delivery is free on orders over $130 and a flat rate of $9.95 for all other orders. In exciting news, you also get $20 off your first order. Find all the goodies here.

Organic Food Share
Not only are the team at Organic Food Share offering organic fruit and veggie boxes, they’ve also created boxes especially for juicing. Which means you can get everything you need just to continue sipping that morning juice. Of course, there are specific boxes for fruit and veggies too and you can get small or large versions of those from $32. You can throw in chia seeds, chai and quinoa for an extra $10 and delivery is just $10 too. Customised boxes are an extra $5. Get yours here.

Sol Cleanse
You may know these guys for their epic juice cleanses, but now they have launched organic produce boxes delivered to your door in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Northern NSW and the Sunshine Coast! There are several different boxes (juices still available too!) to choose from, but we like the sound of the organic produce box for $69 (including free delivery) containing baby spinach, beetroot, broccoli, carrot, cos lettuce, garlic, kale, onion, pumpkin or sweet potato, tomato, zucchini, lemon, lime, orange, apple, banana, plus a healthy treat of bliss balls with flavours changing weekly. Use this time to kick start at new you here.

There you have it, some of the businesses delivering directly to your door.

Words by Kirra Smith

Support local farmers in this new paddock-to-plate experience

QT Gold Coast Be Our Guest Damper Rolls (image supplied)
QT Gold Coast Be Our Guest Damper Rolls (image supplied)

The Gold Coast’s position in the South-East corner of Queensland means it has access to some of the country’s finest produce. Sorry other states — but it’s a fact.

And in recent years the whole paddock to plate movement has certainly seen diner’s expectations and tastes change. You only have to take a leisurely drive into the Gold Coast hinterland or South across the border into NSW: rural producers are literally around every corner. Another reason we are so blessed to live in this little corner of the world!

As scrumptious as it is impactful, QT Gold Coast is bringing something very special for you and your discerning tastebuds. Be Our Guest is a year-long collaboration with local food producers who are doing it tough whether they’ve been affected by bushfires, drought or the impacts of COVID-19.

QT Gold Coast Be Our Guest Dave and Kay Tommerup with their children (image supplied)
QT Gold Coast Be Our Guest - Dave and Kay Tommerup with their children (image supplied)

Once a month, Bazaar Marketplace will host an intimate food and wine experience where QT’s chefs will work alongside producers to curate a one-of-a-kind five-course experience to hero their products and flavours.

Prepare your stretchy pants, folks.

The series kicks off with Tommerup’s Dairy Farm, from the Scenic Rim. The sixth-generation dairy farm, with dynamic farming duo Dave and Kay Tommerup at the helm, has been running within the region since 1874. After suffering through one of the worst droughts in their history, as well as the impacts of bushfires and the ongoing effects of COVID-19, the pair have evolved their business in true farming spirit to overcome these challenges.

Kay and Dave’s new and ethically farmed products deliver an authentic farm-to-plate experience for the conscious consumer.

Be Our Guest Dessert: Crème fraiche mousse, lemon pate sable. Rhubarb compote, lemon curd, forest berries, yoghurt crisp (image supplied)
Be Our Guest Dessert: Crème fraiche mousse, lemon pate sable. Rhubarb compote, lemon curd, forest berries, yoghurt crisp (image supplied)

“We’re both very passionate about keeping the farm going for future generations and we want to respect and honour the previous generations who have farmed here. We love helping our visitors connect with where their food comes from,” Kay says.

“As farmers, we take a huge amount of pride in producing the highest quality products for our fellow Australians, but we need the consumer to take pride in being part of the food chain as well. We need them to recognise the value in supporting sustainability, innovation, and quality – farmers can’t continue to strive for these things without knowing the consumer has our back too”.

QT Gold Coast Be Our Guest - Tommerup’s Dairy Farm Paddock to Plate (image supplied)
QT Gold Coast Be Our Guest - Tommerup’s Dairy Farm Paddock to Plate (image supplied)

Looking after your fellow farmer whilst experiencing first-rate food is surely a win/win scenario, right?

To kick off the series, QT Chefs have designed a premium menu to hero Tommerup’s dairy products in a five-course set menu to bring out the flavours of Tommerup’s creamery and pork products, with an optional wine tasting pairing to boot  — Sundays will never be the same!

Buy your tickets here.

LOCATION: 7 Staghorn Avenue, Surfers Paradise
HOURS: 12pm – 3pm Sunday 28 February

Words by Alex Mitcheson

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