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Monday 3 July 2023

Spice up your life at a Sunshine Coast gourmet festival

Some like it hot. 

Those who like their food spicy can head to Spicers Tamarind Retreat outside Maleny next month to sample food from some of the Sunshine Coast's top Asian restaurants. 

The Sunshine Coast Asian Food Festival on Saturday, August 5, is now part of the Curated Plate 2023 event and will feature live music, chilled drinks, market stalls and masterclasses. 

Visitors will be able to sample street-food style dishes from the Spirit House restaurant, as well as local favourites Sum Yung Guys and Rice Boi, and the Retreat’s own Tamarind Restaurant. 

“For all of these chefs, it’s an opportunity to put a spotlight on the amazing produce we get to use every day, and show off our skills for more people in an afternoon than we’d usually see in a week,” says Tamarind head chef Daniel Jarrett. 

There will be craft beer from Moffat Beach Brewing Co, cocktails from Sunshine and Sons Cocktail Bar, wines from Brockenchack Wines (a locally owned Barossa Valley winery), as well as Champagne by the glass and bottle from the prestige House of Taittinger.

Return buses will be run to Spicers Tamarind Retreat from Brisbane, Noosa, Caloundra and Mooloolaba, delivering guests 15 minutes before the festival opens at 1pm, and departing at 5pm. A park-and-ride shuttle will also run between Spicers and the Maleny Historical Society throughout the day.

Tom Hitchcock, head chef of Spirit House in Yandina is a big fan of the Sunshine Coast Asian Food Festival. 

“Asian cuisine has a big part of my background, and I want to showcase our local produce in Spirit House style," he says. "It will be interesting to see what all these chefs, who specialise in different Asian cuisines, come up with.”

He and his team will be offering a prawn roll made with Mooloolaba king prawn meat in barbecue-toasted Taiwanese milk buns, covered with a slaw of cabbage, kaffir lime, shallots, spring onion, Vietnamese mint and Thai basil, with a green nam jim dressing of local Green Valley finger lime, mayonnaise and chervil.

Chef Jarrett and his team will be offering Chinese-style BBQ pork ribs made with local honey: coated in a Hoi Sin and five spice-flavoured sauce (above). 

The Sunshine Coast Asian Food Festival is part of The Curated Plate, a 10-day celebration of the region’s produce, producers and chefs. 

Spicers has an accommodation offer for two nights from August 4-6 and event tickets are available through Humantix or Spicers Tamarind Retreat Sunshine Coast Asian Food Festival. 


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