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Join the fun at the Taste Bundaberg Festival 2023

The Bundaberg food bowl provides a huge volume and range of Australian produce. The Taste Bundaberg Festival gives us the opportunity to know where our food comes from by bringing foodies together with the local farmers, fishermen, growers, chefs, artisan producers, winemakers, distillers and brewers from the Wide Bay Burnett region.

Produce displayed at Taste Bundaberg Festival market

The Taste Bundaberg Festival is back in 2023 with all the fun, flavours and community spirit you’d expect, so mark your calendar for Friday 4th to Sunday 13th of August and don’t miss out.

I first experienced the Taste Bundaberg Festival back in 2017 and had a fantastic time, I can tell you I went home with bags brimming with exciting local products and my head spinning with inspiration. We are now lucky to live on the Bundaberg coast and definitely have this one marked on our calendar to get along to some of the key festival events.

Taste Bundaberg events to watch out for:

The Farmers Market

The farmers market is a great opportunity to pick up some fresh produce for the week, enjoy some delicious snacks and discover some fantastic locally-made artisan products. It was at this market that I first tasted the incredible Worchester sauce by Well-Loved. It has become the secret ingredient in so many soups, sauces, marinades, my picnic cheese truffles and a fusion alternative to okonomiyaki sauce.

Taste Bundaberg Farmers Market

You’ll find the cooking demos inside the marquee and an opportunity to meet the makers and celebrity chefs. In the photo below Matt Golinski watches on before giving us some pointers in preparing the local produce in a quick and easy way.

Celebrity chef demonstration

As a big fan of gelato, I have my fingers crossed that Alowishus will have their cart out again this year loaded up with some of their latest creations. At my last market, I went with the double scoop opting for the white chocolate, passionfruit and lime featuring local producers Tinaberries and Bundy Limes atop a scoop of rum and raisin made of course with Bundy Rum. Perfect to enjoy in the winter sunshine with a view of the river.

Alowishus gelato

When & Where: Saturday 5th August 2023 (7 am – 2 pm)

The Sunday Soiree

The Sunday Soiree is a garden party hosted in the gardens of Fairymead House hosted by Indulge. I had already been won over by the culinary talents of Mitchell White at brunch at the cafe earlier in the week but the Soiree was next level. Stunning table decorations, free-flowing wine for each course and an impressively executed menu all featuring local produce.

Sunday Soiree Fairymead House

Fairymead House is a gorgeous heritage bungalow now located adjacent to the Botanic Gardens. It was built in 1890 for the owners of the Fairymead Sugar Mill and plantations and when it was gifted to the city in 1988 it was moved to the current site.

Cocktails at the Bundy Rum Distillery

A visit and tour of the Bundy Rum factory are almost essential for every visitor to Bundaberg. The tour is suitable for the whole family although only those over the legal drinking age get to sample the finished product. For those with a deeper interest in rum, you can also join a rum blending experience and come away with your own custom bottle and learn a lot in the process.

Function at Bundy Rum

Bundaberg Rum has a featured spot on the events list during Taste Bundaberg mixing some familiar and modern rum-based cocktails with live music and a cocktail party atmosphere.

Food tours

Be sure to join a guided foodie tour in the area if you ever have the chance. We went with Suzie on one of her Meet the Farmers tours and it was absolutely fantastic.

Sunflower farm in Bundaberg

Although Suzie isn’t running these any longer I’m hopeful we’re about to see something new and interesting fill this space. I’ll post the update here as soon I hear anything.

In the meantime, you might be interested in the Taste Orchard Tour by Macadamias Australia or the Rare Fruit Orchard Tour at the Botanic Gardens.

Chilli and Lime at RiverFeast

Two top locally grown flavours – chilli and lime are coming home to RiverFeast for Taste Bundaberg this year. The food, drinks and entertainment are all taking a spicy turn and you won’t want to miss this one.

RiverFeast in Bundaberg
RiverFeast in Bundaberg

I love the space and atmosphere Karen has created at RiverFeast and while I know they’ll have some fabulous new menu items being planned I have my fingers crossed that David and Chris from the Bundy Burger Company will be back this year, with their burgers of course, but also a good supply of these decadent choc chilli cheesecake treats! Locally grown chilis stuffed with a lime cheesecake filling (Bundy limes of course) coated in rich dark chocolate. They are finished with a touch of salt and you guessed it, locally grown macadamia nuts. Yes, they really are as wow as they look and sound!

I’ll also be on the lookout for an old favourite cocktail, a refreshing Gin-Gin Mule.  It’s made with local distillery Kalki Moon‘s excellent dry gin and the Bundaberg ginger beer that the area is almost as famous for as its rum.   If you love gin as I do you won’t want to miss this year’s ‘Let the Night Be Gin’ event either.

There will be loads of other food choices here too showcasing local produce and catering to the varied preferences and requirements of diners. So grab a table overlooking the river or around the fire and listen to some live music as you dine.

We’ll be updating this article with more dates and locations for the current year’s events as they come through. We are really loving our new base up here in Wide Bay I’d love to hear what your ‘must do’ regional foodie events are in the comments below.

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