It’s that time of year again: Brisbane’s annual outdoor Regional Flavours extravaganza is back in its fifth installment for two days this July 20 and 21. Head to the city’s South Bank area — located along the southern end of the Brisbane River and home to a beach in the center of the city — and make your way to the event grounds where you’ll discover a whole slew of fun activities. Taste your way around food stalls from more than 100 of Queensland’s best producers, take in the main stage program complete with food demonstrations, sip a drink at the on-site bar with gourmet food and jazz at River Quay, or simply enjoy the child-friendly Food Imaginarium. Needless to say, there’s plenty to keep you occupied.
Begin your Regional Flavours experience at Little Stanley Lawns (near the popular strip of bars and restaurants known as Little Stanley) at 10 a.m. when the festival opens. The Epicurious Tent will be your go-to place to witness topical demonstrations and presentations from local, interstate and television celebrity chefs. Learn the art of Indian cuisine from Hayden Quinn on Saturday or discover how to create your very own at-home Asian banquet from Adam Liaw on Sunday — both are former MasterChef television series contestants. Other demonstrations from Queensland’s most talented cuisiniers will include David Pugh, Nick Street-Brown, Damon Amos, Spencer Patrick and Annette Fear.
At the family-friendly Food Imaginarium, little hands will be kept busy with a range of hands-on activities drawing inspiration from the intersection between food, creativity and science. Alice Zaslavsky (also from MasterChef) will help children bring their favorite stories to life with Fairytale Food, making fun treats such as evil witch poison apples using sour worms and freeze-dried apple sherbert. Projects include making a fruit wand, baking a digital cupcake with a custom-built iPad application or decorating a real cupcake.
Down on the bank of the Brisbane River, all five River Quay restaurants will share some of their most popular dishes through mini gourmet menus paired with wine, champagne and prosecco. Nosh on citrus cured ocean trout with horseradish crème fraîche and shaved radish from Stokehouse Q, or opt for the gooey French onion soup with Gruyère crouton from Aquitaine Brasserie. The Jetty South Bank’s Damien Styles will share the secrets of Indonesian pastes and pickled vegetables, Dan Cossart from Popolo Italian Kitchen and Bar will talk Tuscan cooking while Cove Bar and Dining’s Josh Inglis will share tips on cooking with alcohol and more. Check out the full program for session times.
Frustrated safari lovers can embark on a different type of journey at The Hunting Club presented by the South Bank Surf Club. With beer educator Matt Kirkegaard as your guide, you’ll find beer (Stone and Wood Pacific Ale, Fig Jam IPA, 4 Pines Stout) and cider (Hills Apple Cider, Mountain Goat Two Step Cider) in all its glory with selected paddles of Queensland’s best frothy tipples. Try the food matches of blue cheese plates, fried tiger prawns with garlic mayonnaise or stout marinated flank steak to satiate your inner huntsman or woman.
Still hungry? Grab a small taste from one of the 12 gourmet food trucks, operated by South Bank retailers, which will be pulling up along Little Stanley Lawns. Think barbecue chipotle fish and coleslaw, paella de marisco (a popular Spanish seafood dish), gangster chicken wings and crushed wagyu meatballs, among other tasty bites.
Regional Flavours is a great day out for the entire family, and while the talks and demonstrations finish around 5 p.m., there’s no reason to head home with 64 restaurants, cafés and bars along Little Stanley Street and The Parklands to continue the experience.
Photo Courtesy of Regional Flavours