Gourmet on the Go: September 2017

Here’s what you need to know to keep feasting through September.

By Kerry Heaney

Fancy a picnic in white?

Diner en Blanc, which started as a simple gathering of friends in Paris 27 years ago, will be held in Brisbane on November 4.

The dinner concept sprang to life in 1988 in Paris when, after a few years abroad, François Pasquier held a dinner party to reconnect with friends. To deal with a mounting guest list, he asked attendees to convene at the Bois de Boulogne outside Paris, dressed in white so they could all find each other.

What started by word of mouth as a simple, friends-inviting-friends occasion, now involves up to 15,000 white-clad guests meeting annually in Paris’ public spaces. There are tens of thousands more on a waiting list, hoping to get a sought-after ticket.

The tradition has caught on and now more than 80 cities across all continents host their own Diner en Blanc. In Australia, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Canberra, Adelaide and Coffs Harbour host to the chic affair.

The event comes with rules that must followed. Guests are asked to dress elegantly in white and bring an epicurean picnic basket of food, fine china and silverware, white table and chairs. They assemble in a secret location, which changes every year and is only revealed at the last minute.

Once the white-swathed tables are set up in orderly rows on site, the dinner party may start. Guests tuck in their fine picnic and embrace, for a few hours, the opportunity to share a meal with friends and experience a public space in a new way. When the time has come to leave, guests fold their tables and chairs, pack their crystal and dinnerware, gather all their debris and head into the night. No sign of their elegant revelry is left behind.

Put yourself on the Brisbane Diner en Blanc list here.

Much-loved Brisbane chef announces his next move

Acclaimed Brisbane-based chef Josue (Josh) Lopez has joined Emporium Hotels as Executive Chef, and will be based at the new flagship Hotel in South Bank, due to open in mid-2018.

This concludes Josh’s five-year stint as Executive Chef at GOMA Restaurant. During his time at GOMA, Josh was awarded two hats by the Brisbane Times Good Food Guide in 2016 and CITI Chef of the Year, as well an Australian Gourmet Traveller Star for 2017. He recently appeared on MasterChef, where he set a pressure test challenge.

Emporium Hotel owner and Anthony John Group Managing Director Tony John said Josh’s acceptance of the position was a watershed moment for the Hotel.

“We are very excited and humbled that Josh has confirmed he will join our award-winning team,” Mr John said.

“As Executive Chef at GOMA Restaurant, Josh continually impressed with high quality, innovative dishes that always delivered on flavour.

“It is his commitment to celebrating local produce and his international experience, together with his vision for the Brisbane dining scene, that makes him such a wonderful culinary leader for Emporium Hotels.”

Sister to Emporium Hotel Fortitude Valley, Australia’s most-awarded boutique luxury hotel, Emporium Hotel Southpoint will open in mid-2018 and feature 143 luxuriously-appointed suites, Belle Époque Patisserie, restaurant and Sky Bar, overlooking a 23-metre infinity edge pool with views to Brisbane’s CBD and beyond. Located in the same tower as the hotel will be 217 premium residential apartments. Find out more at emporiumhotels.com.au.

Atherton Tablelands on a plate

Fresh local produce, unique food experiences and some of the region’s favourite chefs will be celebrated at the Atherton Tablelands’ Tastes of the Tablelands in October.

This year’s expanded format will include a dinner on Saturday evening (October 14), along with an all-day festival on Sunday, October 15, at Hou Wang Temple, Atherton.

The Rotary Club of Atherton, which celebrates its 70-year anniversary this year, will once again host this dynamic weekend filled with inspirational food and fun cooking demonstrations. Seating under shady canopies will provide the perfect vantage point for the new cookery stage.

Assorted artists and children’s entertainment will also fill the grounds of the old temple, a link to the Tablelands’ Chinese past. There will be live music from some of Yungaburra Folk Festival’s headline acts including Jango in the Jungle and Swamp Dogs.

New events this year include a barbecue competition, showcasing high quality sustainably-raised meat and mystery box competitions.

For more information visit tastesofthetablelands.com.au.

Tastes Like Sunshine

Take a journey through Brisbane’s food scene with the latest exhibition at the Museum of Brisbane, Tastes Like Sunshine.

On show until November 12, the exhibition encompasses everything from gooey marshmallows and possum skins to produce boxes mounted on a wall. It will remind you of growing up in Queensland.

Highlights include a Sunday afternoon Good Food Club speaking series, tips on growing food in the city and tours of Sunnybank and the Brisbane Markets.

Find out more at museumofbrisbane.com.au.

Burnt Ends opens at The Barracks

Brisbane’s newest food destination is NKB Group’s Burnt Ends Kitchen & Bar at Petrie Terrace, which showcases coal-fired, Asian-fusion and modern Australian fare.

Burnt Ends Bar has Asian-inspired delicacies with a fiery twist cooked over a custom-built fire pit. Think skewers, baos, charred veg and plenty of room to move in one of Brisbane’s largest bars.

In Burnt Ends Kitchen, modern Australian fare meets clever and unique cooking techniques, with a charcoal-fuelled oven and fire pit.

It’s all tucked in just off Petrie Terrace in a building which once housed The Underground, perfectly located for footy game nights at Lang Park. Find out more at burntendskitchenbar.com.au.