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.
The Taste Bundaberg Festival is back in 2021 with all the fun, flavours and community spirit you’d expect, so mark your calendar for Friday 11th to Sunday 20th June 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 planning to spend a bit of time in the area this winter and definitely have tweaked our calendar to be there for some 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 to 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.
You’ll find the cooking demos over in 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.
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.
When & Where: Saturday 12th June (7 am – 11 am)
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.
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.
Bundaberg Rum have a feature spot on the events list during Taste Bundaberg mixing some familiar and modern rum-based cocktails with live music, and a cocktail party atmosphere.
If you have the chance be sure to join a guided foodie tour in the area. We went with Suzie on one of her Meet the Farmers tours and it was absolutely fantastic.
Although I was sad to hear that Suzie isn’t running these in 2021 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.
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.
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.
There will 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.
When & Where: Saturday 12th June (5 pm – 10 pm) at RiverFeast, 1A Scotland Street, Bundaberg East
We’ll be updating this article with more dates and locations for the current years events as they come through. As we slowly start to get out travelling again I’d love to hear what your ‘must do’ regional foodie events are in the comments below.
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