This year’s Sunshine Coast Real Food Festival will be the largest yet, with more than 50 presentations and over 100 exhibitors participating throughout the weekend of 13 & 14 September.
“The festival, now in its fourth year, is really a showcase of everything the Sunshine Coast has to offer from paddock to plate,” Festival Director Julie Shelton said.
“The Real Food Festival has always been about local produce and food products but this year we are demonstrating the strengths and value of those connections.”
The Festival program now includes five exciting venues offering a range of demonstrations, conversations about food and health issues, as well as practical advice and workshops.
Julie said in the Kunara Real Food Kitchen this year, chefs from throughout the region and beyond would team up with Sunshine Coast food producers to talk about the produce and share stories while whipping up a fabulous dish.
The Sunshine Coast chefs presenting in the Real Food Kitchen include Kelly Lord from the Spirit House at Yandina, Cameron Matthews from The Long Apron at Spicers Clovelly Estate at Montville, Daniel Jarrett from Spicers Tamarind Retreat at Maleny, Monica Topliss from Kunara Organic Café at Forest Glen, Chris White from Hungry Feel at Buderim, Eric Pernoud from Maison de Provence at Cooroy and Peter Wolfe from Cedar Creek Farm Bush Foods at Belli Park.
They, along with acclaimed Australian chef and food writer Christine Manfield, will be working with Sunshine Coast food producers including Cedar St Cheeserie, My Berries, Second Nature Organics, Walker Farm Foods, Obi Obi Essentials, Hermes Strawberries and Noosa Fish Providors.
“This list of extraordinary chefs and producers demonstrates the excellent quality of produce in the region, which is fast becoming known as one of Australia’s best food regions,” Julie said.
Julie said this year the Kunara Real Food Kitchen would offer an opportunity for up to 50 people to sit with the chefs and producers as they told their stories, while demonstrating the versatility of the produce and the creative and delicious ways it could be used.
“Spring is the perfect time to showcase everything this region has to offer and we are really excited about the extended program,” Julie said.
She said another new feature of this year’s show was the Kitchen Garden.
“The Kitchen Garden will be a great practical workshop space where visitors can learn about everything from growing herbs, native plants and sub-tropical fruits to worm farming, keeping chooks or bees, establishing a micro garden or finding out more about the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden schools program,” Julie said.
There is also plenty of family-friendly entertainment and activities for the kids including potting up a seedling to take home, Old MacDonald’s Travelling Farm, a jumping castle, face painting and more.
Visitors will also have the opportunity to taste the flavours of the world at a wide range of ready-to-eat food stalls or taste and experience new and interesting ingredients from exhibitors from throughout the region.
The Real Food Festival will be held at the Maleny Showgrounds, 13 Stanley River Road, Maleny on 13 & 14 September from 9am to 4pm daily and will showcase an abundance of good foods from Sunshine Coast producers, manufacturers and restaurants. Entry is $20 for a daily adult pass and children under 16 are free.
Last year’s festival saw more than 8000 people attend. It was also a huge boost for the Sunshine Coast economy with more than 30% of visitors coming from outside the region.
For more information on the Real Food Festival, or to register your interest, visit the website at www.realfoodfestivals.com.au.