Gourmet on the go – August 2017

This month we’ll help you discover where to release your inner Julia Child, find a bottle shop with a difference, dine on sashimi tacos and enjoy the eats at the Sample Food Festival at Bangalow.

By Kerry Heaney

Masterclasses at Madame Rouge

Take a seat around the bar at Fortitude Valley’s Madame Rouge Bar+Bistro and learn how to channel your inner Julia Child and prepare restaurant-quality food at home.

The first food and wine masterclass will start on Saturday, August 19 and is designed to help guests hone their cooking knowledge while enjoying amazing food and wine.

Restaurateur and chef Philip Johnson will host the event alongside Madame Rouge’s head chef Gert Pretorius. Guests will enjoy the tastes, textures and aromas of simple and sophisticated cuisine, harmoniously matched with wine. Tres bien!

The menu includes feature dishes from the Madame Rouge a la carte menu plus dishes specially created for the event. The masterclasses are perfect for avid home cooks, foodies and small groups seeking a unique food and wine experience. Find out more from Madame Rouge.

Bottle shop with a brewing station

Sense of Taste is a new boutique bottle shop at Portside Wharf with a brewing station and mini-fromagerie.

Expect to learn a little from Sense of Taste’s interactive experience which incorporates education, demonstrations and tastings alongside boutique craft beers, small batch spirits and limited release wines.

Sense of Taste Store Manager Scott Christie said while the store still stocks old favourites, the idea was to give people an opportunity to learn about Australia’s smaller producers and boutique varieties.

“We want to create an ‘interactive’ environment that encourages customers to taste and learn about the beverages, the people who make them and the stories behind them,” he said.

“We have a permanent brewing station where people can meet a local brewer and watch a live demonstration of the end-to-end process at our monthly brewing nights, returning three weeks later to try the end-product.

“There are also four taps of freshly-brewed craft beer available for tasting that will be rotated regularly and can be taken home in glass bottles.

“For the vino lovers, we’ll have a selection of wines to try in our eight-bottle enomatic unit, as well as sit-down tasting nights hosted by experts and producers of everything from whisky and wine; to gin and cider.

“If you’re looking for something to complement your drink of choice, our mini-fromagerie is filled with local and international cheeses and accompaniments, including ready-made cheese platters hand-picked by the husband-and-wife-team behind Le Fromage Yard.”


Countdown to the 7th annual Sample Food Festival

Bangalow Showground will be bursting with flavour for the seventh annual Sample Food Festival on September 2.

The full-day festival (8am to 2pm) will be held in the village of Bangalow – 10 kilometres from Byron Bay – and more than 17,000 food lovers are expected attend.

Twenty-six of the region’s best restaurants and caterers will offer $5 and $10 tasting plates inspired by their signature dishes. Experience their cuisine for a fraction of the cost of dining in their well-known establishments.

Joining them will be 100 lifestyle exhibitors including local growers, artisans and boutique distilleries. Renowned brewery Stone & Wood will offer a range of beers with Cape Byron’s Brookies Gin and the Tweed Valley’s Ink Gin in the line-up.

Paul West from Foxtel Food Channel’s River Cottage Australia and original Ready Steady Cook chef Matt Golinski will battle it out in the Olsson Salt Celebrity cook off.
Festival founder Remy Tancred said the Festival is designed to celebrate the region’s vast array of top quality farmers, producers, chefs and artisans.

“There will be cheese-makers, macadamia farmers, spice artisans, Asian street food specialists, fruit growers and dozens more delicious opportunities to try our region’s amazing fresh produce,” he said.

“We have live music, baby animals for the little ones, cooking demonstrations, gifts and homewares as well as the chance to try to best food from our amazing region.”

Everything old is new again at Yamagen

Hero of the Gold Coast dining scene for over 30 years, QT Gold Coast’s Yamagen has reopened the doors on a new look restaurant.

This stylish and innovative reinvention of the traditional Japanese izakaya blends old school kitchen samurai skills with new school chef invention, with an innovative menu that includes Sashimi Tacos and Ura Maki Rolls.

Table-seki is the restaurant’s main dining area and the best place to take advantage of the full Yamagen experience. Expect dishes such as Teriyaki Chicken with crispy skin, local warrigal greens, charcoal roasted leeks in a house made teriyaki glaze to Crispy Pork Belly with nashi pear, wasabi, watermelon radish and smoked vinegar.

Adding to the experience is Yamagen’s exclusive sushi counter, led by Mitsuo Yoshino. Here, guests experience an authentic omakase – a stream of market fresh sashimi and sushi, as well as delicate share plates, like Yellowfin Tuna Tartare, all expertly selected by the chef.