Noosa Food and Wine 2017 captivated the foodies, winos and everyone who appreciates the finer things in life. The big name chefs have jetted home, the tipis packed away for another year, and now all we can look forward to is doing it all again next year.
Here’s some of ThisMagnificentLife’s Noosa Food and Wine 2017 highlights:
Gin Masterclass with Seb Reaburn
What does one expect when you’re heading to a Gin Masterclass run by the ‘Australian Bartender of the Year’, a recipient of ‘Best Cocktail Menu in the World’ and who also made the Top 10 of Bartender Magazine’s ‘Most Influential’ list?
A damn fine time, that’s what.
Especially when the man in question is Seb Reaburn, who has just launched Artemis Distilled Australian Gin. Created by Dervilla McGowan and Mr Reaburn, Artemis is the first craft gin to be distilled in the City of Melbourne.
But this Gin is not a shallow attempt to take advantage of some current ‘craft-distilling fad’. These two distillers know gin inside and out, with McGowan being a former bartender turned scientist after completing her recent PhD in microbiology.
Artemis is crafted to match classic and native Australian botanicals and as Mr Reaburn noted, “Artemis is a dry gin with the botanical Artemisia filling out the middle palate, and native eucalyptus to boost the juniper’. This Masterclass was a lesson in gin history (and how the world nearly lost gin forever), as well as an exploration of the versatility and subtleness of gin as a cocktail base… compare the difference between a Negroni cocktail and a White Lady. (And just as a side note Artemisia is the dominant flavour in Vermouth, and “that makes Artemis perfect for a Martini or G&T).
This was a terrific inclusion in Noosa Food and Wine – informative, fun, delicious – and at 44% alcohol – a Masterclass with punch!
Opening Night Cocktail Party
Despite the heavens opening on Friday threatening to rain on everyone’s parade, by nightfall the worst of it was over. Mother Nature got it together just as some serious partying on the sand was just getting started.
Under the tipis on Main Beach was the place to be to catch up with long, lost friends and make some new ones. Wine, beer and sliders went down a treat as selfies were snapped at a furious pace and the DJ got the party crowd dancing.
Mayor Tony Wellington greeted the crowd before handing over to Lyndon Davis representing the original owners of the land – the Gubbi Gubbi people. Lyndon welcomed all to country before a short burst on the didgeridoo.
Sound of White Vineyard presents French Saloon
Chef Ian Curley brought his French Saloon team from Melbourne for three nights to far north of Main Beach. Through the light rain, and wet sand some made the trek to find the beautifully lit marquee in the distance. Mobile phones switched from selfie mode to the sole light source in the somewhat forbidding darkness. Then miraculously, a trail of luminarias leading to the elegant, silk draped and fairy light adorned tent appeared.
All was quickly forgotten when we were greeted by the sight of smiling bar staff with glasses of Catalina Sounds wines. Ora King Salmon rillettes and smoked red gum gougeres were served with a yummy Catalina Sounds Pinot Gris.
Ian Curley told us a little about the ethos of French Saloon, “… We don’t profess to be the greatest restaurant in the world we just try and enjoy ourselves, do what we can do and see if people like it. They seem to be liking at the moment in Melbourne, we’ve been quite busy and fifteen months in so far, so good.”
Dinner was served family style, starting with a delectable little slices of briny, salty heaven in the shape of blinis topped with Yarra Valley Salmon Caviar and taramasalata. Then it was Olsson salt cured Hiramasa Kingfish & charcuterie. The delicious mains of King Ora Salmon and King Island Beef were served potatoes, salad and Catalina Sounds Sound of White Pinot Noir.
Champagne Masterclass with Bernadette O’Shea & Ken Gargett
What a good morning. This was 2 hours packed with information, exquisite champagne, mouth-watering bites and lots of fun supplied courtesy of experts Ken Gargett and the original Champagne goddess, Bernadette O’Shea.
Five splendid drops were first poured solo and later again but this time with a plate of five superb morsels from the kitchens of Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort. All the champagnes had scores of 93% and above and were accompanied with 100% laughs.
Bernadette’s knowledge and palate is second to none. She explained how Champagne would only ever be grown in the unique terroir. Ken and Bernadette tag-teamed the anecdotes, the history and the Houses differing takes on particular blends and vintages.
Bernadette sagely advised, “2 beautiful wines … first the NV Palmer & Co and then the 2009 Louis Roederer Brut Nature. What a good morning! This is the start of the day …those people out there at the big luncheon out on the street won’t be drinking what we’re drinking. Absolutely they won’t”.
Noosa’s northern end where the bush meets Hastings Street was the location for a new Noosa Food and Wine event – The Woods. The pop-up food and wine village featured wineries from across Australia alongside food trucks and improvised kitchens with barbecue smokers. There was the mandatory Aperol Spritz bar, DJ’s spinning and pizzaiolas tossing while chefs were interviewed on stage all under sunny skies.
Noosa Blue was our base for our night in Noosa. The spacious one bedroom suite was built for romance with an indulgent corner spa bath. Our suite led to the pool deck and with Noosa’s perfect year-round climate you could spend some serious leisure time here in the two heated pools.
Complimentary Wi-Fi worked quickly and on all our devices. If you were staying a week the fully equipped kitchen would be the spot to whip up a pre-dinner cocktail before enjoying a barbie on your terrace. http://www.noosablueresorts.com
Tickets will be on sale for Noosa Food and Wine 2018 before you know it – so keep an eye out here for all the news as soon as we get from the good people at http://noosafoodandwine.com.au
Disclaimer: TML were guests of Noosa Food and Wine 2017 and Visit Noosa.