Brisbane really couldn’t get any foodier at the moment. This weekend yet another food-lovers haven popped up in the picturesque South Bank Parklands, Regional Flavours. As South Bank’s signature food, wine and lifestyle event, it features free entertainment from celebrity chefs and industry experts as well as an array of fresh produce and delectable eats from more than 100 of Queensland’s best providores. You can literally taste your way around Southbank in a day, it’s glorious.
This year, Regional Flavours focused on celebrating leisure food and lifestyle, experiencing the full spectrum of food for health and relaxation; for fun and pleasure; and when slowing down to respect local food sources. It really has it all, let me tell you more.
Of course one of the reasons why I love Regional Flavours is because of the FOOD! The fleet of food trucks were back and better than ever this year spread out lavishly along Little Stanley Street. The pop-up eateries run by some of the best restaurants in the business, were offering everything from hopcorn (Yes, ‘hops’ as in beer flavoured!) chicken to moreish haloumi with a fig glaze. Accompanied by a wide range of stalls selling artisan products and fresh produce the decision of what to have is heartbreakingly hard. In true food festival fashion, we decided to suss the scene out first, ooh and ah at the best-looking menus and grab a bunch of scrumptious things and share. In the end we went for Cucina’s food truck and chose some absolutely delicious roasted pumpkin and pesto arancini with a roasted pepper aioli as well as semolina crusted calamari with a lovely chilli-salt. Then on to Flowers of the World (a South Bris fave!) for a delectable Jamie Oliver inspired salad. They had me at Jamie Oliver. This delightful combo was filled with beetroot, pear, walnuts, feta and mint! YUM! So refreshing. This year dining was spread out on wooden trestle tables filled with herbs and plants.
When you needed to take a break to nurse your food coma, cooking demonstrations on the Eat, Show, Tell stage were the perfect break away from the crowds. Presented by Lifestyle Food and Network 10 foodies, Matt Preston (Masterchef), Annabel Langbien (The Free Range Cook), Paul West (River Cottage Australia) Miguel Maestre (The Living Room) and and of course plenty of Masterchef alumni, We gathered some neat tips about creating instant mayo, a delectable gluten-free cake recipe and learnt that we need to invest in a hand blender, those things are amazingly practical!
Brisbanites have long had a love affair with gourmet breakfasts – there’s nothing quite like crisp bacon, buttery eggs and a good coffee to put a smile on your dial right? Regional Flavours had this covered with the All-Day Breakfast area on the Little Stanley Street lawns. This genius idea served up gourmet brekkie delights right throughout the weekend and was home to a range of specialty coffee & cooking demonstrations from some of Queensland’s best baristas and food connoisseurs.
River Quay wasn’t forgotten either. Festival-goers could experience Queensland’s idyllic lifestyle at its best by indulging in high end food and wine matching and the smooth sounds of live lounge music while overlooking the sparkling Brisbane River. The Hunting Club proved to be a fave hang-out featuring craft brews and beef matching with a South American twist all decked out hacienda-style.
Regional Flavours seriously never fails to disappoint with an abundance on offer for everyone to enjoy spread over two-jam packed days. Counting down until next year already!