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The Plate Escape

Where else but the Sunshine Coast can you escape winter and indulge in one of Australia’s greatest local food festivals?

Queensland’s Sunshine Coast is more than postcard-perfect beaches. It’s the only place on Earth where three Unesco Biosphere Reserves sit side by side. The Sunshine Coast, Noosa and Great Sandy Biospheres headline a region where nature’s greatest treasures never let up.

Enterprising locals are building agritourism dreams, carbon-neutral escapes, and eco-conscious breweries. Working with the land rather than working it, a mini-revolution is underway. History, village life, and boutique country comfort combine to future-proof this rich coastline and hinterland.

The Curated Plate runs from July 26 to August 4 across the Sunshine Coast.

 

With over 90 outstanding, mouthwatering events over 10 days, the region’s most inspiring food artisans, chefs and producers will celebrate the Sunny Coast’s spectacular produce and superb culinary credentials.

The Curated Plate This Magnificent Life
(The Mapleton Pub) Image: Tim Bond Photography

Chef Peter Kuruvita kicked off our lunch at Warrior Restaurant and Bar, saying, “…when I got to the Sunshine Coast, I found so many things are endemic. Finger limes, macadamias, red claw marron, spanner crabs. You start thinking about the white scallops, the best prawns in the whole country, and the most sustainable fisheries. There are all kinds of incomparable things that are available to us on the Sunshine Coast, and The Curated Plate is about that”.

Peter Kuruvita The Curated Plate

Chef continued, ”What we’re trying to do is bring people together for 10 days and show everything local. It’s not hard to do. We have gin distilleries. We have the highest concentration of craft breweries, and we have these incredible chefs, restauranteurs, and producers everywhere. …from the ocean all the way up into the hinterland, we have people who are creating and producing amazing food. They’re going organic. They’re thinking really about the future. And they’re thinking about how this region can grow”.

The Curated Plate This Magnificent LIfe

After doing the hard yards for you over a delicious 48-hour preview of this year’s Curated Plate highlights, think of me as your official taste tester. Here are the events you shouldn’t miss.

Many of these events are selling fast, so check out the details, pricing and locations for all events here.

Seasonal Tastings – Winter Farm Open Day – the Falls Farm, Mapleton Saturday, July 27, 10 am – 3 pm

Spend the day wandering the extensive gardens, orchards and fields of the 2022 winner of the delicious Produce From the Earth Award.

The Curated Plate This Magnificent LIfe
Jess Huddart Falls Farm

Falls Farm supplies many of the finest restaurants with its bespoke organic fruits, vegetables, and herbs that are farmed using regenerative processes.

Falls Farm This Magnfiicent Life

The event is perfect for families, keen home gardeners, and those who love fresh, seasonal produce. Falls Farm’s head gardeners will lead farm walking tours.

The Mapleton Pub
Creative Tours – Trawler to Table from The Wharf Mooloolaba, Thursday, August 1 11 am – 2.30 pm

Cruise from the Wharf to Mooloolaba fisheries with a glass of sparkling before sampling the jewel of Australian seafood – Mooloolaba prawns. Next, tour the fish markets, followed by a sumptuous over-water lunch at See Restaurant.

The Curated Plate This Magnificent LIfe

Peter Schenk Mooloolaba Fisheries The Sunshine Coast is now home to the largest long-line tuna and prawn fishing fleets on the East Coast.

Canefields Distillery Farm Tour (multiple dates) Pacific Paradise

On the southern end of the Sunshine Coast, Canefields is an artisan distillery based on Luke and Kylie Farrelly’s 4th-generation family sugar cane farm.

Canefields Distillery This Magnificent Life
Canefields distiller Kylie Farrelly

Canefields produce quality, small-batch, single-origin rums and sugar cane spirit. The family grows, harvests, crushes, ferments, distils, bottles, and sells from the farm shed.

The Curated Plate 2024 This Magnificent Life
Canefields spirits

Each of the events includes a tour of the family cane farm and distillery, with 3 tastings.

Brunch on the Balcony at The Mapleton Pub – Sunday, August 4

It doesn’t get better than kicking back on the balcony at the Mapleton Pub for Sunday brunch with a side order of incredible Sunny Coast views.

The Mapleton Pub This Magnificent Life

Fresh from Falls Farm, the sustainable produce is served with some of the finest local protein. Chef Cam Matthews consistently dishes up the most inventive cuisine in the relaxed atmosphere of the local – The Mapleton Pub.

The Mapleton Pub This Magnificent Life
The Mapleton Pub Image: Tim Bond Photography
Chefs 7 Step Tasting Menu (A Journey to Italy) at Bella Venezia, Mooloolaba, Saturday, July 27, 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm

The Classico cuisine, the elegant service and the attention to detail all add up to one of the truly special Curated Plate evenings.

Chef Ben Achurch (formerly Bistro C) has carefully curated a menu that takes you on a journey to Italy and sensational Sunshine Coast seafood and produce. It’s love at first bite with the leek and caviar shortcrust tart crowned with yuzu gel. From Mooloolaba yellowfin tuna crudo with fennel, lime, chilli, and leek oil to lobster and the famous Mooloolaba prawn ravioli with a champagne sauce and caviar, it’s luxurious.

The Curated Plate This Magnificent LIfe
Coconut & Lime panna cotta w raspberry sorbet, blackberry, roasted almond, caramelised white chocolate, meringue & basil

Next? Grain-fed eye fillet, with a cleansing yuzu and lemon sorbet with fingerlime to follow with an eye-catching panna cotta, sorbet, blackberry, white chocolate and meringue desert to do for. And keep room for the magical petit fours.

The Curated Plate This Magnificent LIfe
Premium wines at Bella Venezia Mooloolaba

You only live once, so take the premium wine pairing with some of Europe’s most elegant wines, which match perfectly with the menu.

The Crocodile Hunter Lodge Smoke & Charcoal BBQ Under the Stars Friday, July 26, 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Tickets are selling fast for this opening night event. The roar of the wild will be loud and clear at The Crocodile Hunter Lodge at Australia Zoo when Curated Plate ambassador and Chef Peter Kuruvita joins Warrior Restaurant & Bar’s Executive Chef Karl Wulf for a fiery night.

Image: Creative Tours

A selection of charred, smoked, fired, and roasted canapés will be served with premium Sunshine & Son cocktails. The chefs will also demo their skills

Fire Cheese Club – Sunday, August 4, Woombye Cheese Company 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM

The Curated Plate grand finale will be fired up. At the home of International award-winning Woombye Cheese, there’s a 3-course menu of cheese cooked over fire followed by dessert. It’s a lazy Sunday afternoon filled with music, cheese and good times. BYO picnic rug – the rest will all be done for you, with drinks available to buy.

CEO (Cheese Eating Officer) Beth O’Leary shared a few cheese-making secrets that won Woombye Cheese second place at the World Cheese Awards in Wisconsin.

Woombye Cheese This Magnificent Life

 

And in 2024, 3 signature experiences will anchor The Curated Plate.

Sunshine Coast Asian Food Festival at Spicers Tamarind, August 3 and 4

This year’s Festival’s ambassadors are acclaimed local chefs Peter Kuravita, Cam Matthews and Tom Hitchcock. Together, they have curated a program that is sure to be a sellout like 2023.

The Sunshine Coast’s favourite Asian restaurants – Spirit House, Rice Boi and The Tamarind will be supplying the eats, while the drinks are by Brouhaha Brewery, Sunshine and Sons Cocktail Bar, Brockenchack Wines, as well as House of Taittinger Champagne by the Glass and bottle. There is also a Riesling Masterclass as an additional option.

A range of ticket prices are available, and buses will run from Noosa, Caloundra, and Mooloolaba at an additional cost. The Festival will run over two days from 1.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m.

Chefs in Conversation at Altitude Nine, Maroochydore, Saturday 27 July, 2:00 pm arrival, and concluding by 6:00 pm

Popular celebrity cook Hayden Quinn will lead a panel of some of the Sunshine Coast’s most acclaimed chefs: Peter Kuruvita (former Head Chef Alba), Tom Hitchcock (Head Chef of Spirit House, Cameron Mathews (Executive Chef/Partner Mapleton Public House) and Stacey Conner (Head Chef / Owner of Humble on Duke).

The afternoon begins with a welcome drink by local First Nation gin producer, Beachtree Distillery. Afterwards, at the rooftop bar, chat with the chefs over a selection of fine locally-produced canapés as the sun sets over the Glasshouse Mountains.

Queensland’s Sunshine Pantry Sunday, July 28 10.00 am – 3.00 pm The Station SC, Birtinya

The Sunshine Pantry is the ultimate showcase of everything gastronomic on the Sunshine Coast.

Over 70 stall holders will offer flavourful products. Think fresh farm produce, boutique chocolates, handcrafted cheeses, artisanal bread and pastries, grass-fed beef and lamb, local honey, and artisanal coffee.

The main stage will host events throughout the day, with culinary demonstrations by some of the Sunny Coast’s beloved chefs.

There are VIP Experiences, too, with the Ohana Group’s Executive Chef Ryan Fitzpatrick overseeing a special brunch and two-course lunch.

Free buses will run from Caloundra, Landsborough and Maroochydore via Mooloolaba. If you plan to stock up and need the car, there is also a shuttle service from Katana Sports Western Fields.

All tickets and details here

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Liz Bond

Liz Bond comes from a PR background and loves fine wine, great food and rewarding travel - all the magnificent things in life. She prides herself in meeting famous celebrities at baggage carousels.

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