Need to know - Top cuts from this week's food news


This week find out what's growing in your own 'backyard', get the goss on a new restaurant/bar opening, discover cold press coffee, enjoy a royal afternoon tea or weekday lunch special, take an Asian cooking class and eat healthy chocolate.

Eat local week

It's time to find out where your food really comes from with a visit to the Scenic Rim. See those mountains in the distance? That area just out of Brisbane is the Scenic Rim and it's and incredibly rich agricultural area.

Eat Local Week is on from June 23 to 30 celebrating local food production with a Carrot Field Day on June 29 from 9am to noon. You can pick your own carrots, see the tractors, harvesters, planters etc and tour the washing and packing factory.

The week culminates in the Winter Harvest Festival on Saturday June 29 from noon to 5pm. There will be food and wine tastings, cooking demos, activities for children and a Tractor Pulling Competition.  Find our more at

Rugby Club revamp

From the people who brought you Byblos and 5ifth Element, the Ghanem family,  will come Blackbird in the massive 1000 square metre site formerly owned by the Queensland Rugby Club.

With construction starting in August, Blackbird will be a sophisticated and funky bar and restaurant space with a 1920s prohibition theme. The bar will feature an extensive cocktail list paired with a grazing menu which will be available until late in the night.

‘We are really excited to launch a venue in the heart of the CBD.  While many of the details are still being finalised, I can say Blackbird will be unlike anything Brisbane has seen before.  We have an extremely well-regarded chef coming in to take charge of the kitchen and he’ll be doing amazing things with the restaurant,” says Nehme Ghanem.

Deer Sir serves it up cold

Portside Wharf's Deer Sir has released its own blend of bottled iced-coffee, serving a distinct blend of AllPress Espresso produced using traditional methods of cold press.

Brewed and bottled on-premise and served in beer bottles with Deer Sir's unique label, there's a mix to suit every taste with options of black, soy, skim or full-cream milk.

"I absolutely love it and have been making it at home for years," Co-owner of Deer Sir, Michael Cotton said.

Mr Cotton said cold-brewing coffee was a precise process that involved 12 hours of cold water brewing, designed to enrich the flavours of the coffee. Deer Sir Cold Press is available in-store or in take-home packs of six. A single bottle of black cold press can be taken home and made into one to two litres of iced-coffee when mixed with milk.

Take tea with the Queen

It's not an invitation to Buckingham Palace, but Royal Tea at the Athenaeum Hotel in Mayfair, London within sight of Buckingham Palace, will see you sharing a few palace secrets.

The Athenaeum is hosting an exhibition of more than 40 rarely-seen photos of the Royal family‘s children, from Victorian times to the present day, including a striking, never-before-published image of HM The Queen making sand castles in Sussex at the age of four.

On weekends until the end of August, guests will be able to view the photographs over a sumptuous afternoon tea in the Hyde Park suite and listen to the insights from Royal photographer Ian Pelham Turner and Helena Chard. They have a store of fascinating anecdotes, including the shaving of Bertie's head by Queen Victoria; HM The Queen‘s famous left hook, displayed in disputes with her sister Margaret (known as The Mauler); and the reason George VI is thought to have gained his stammer.

The Athenaeum‘s Royal Summer Afternoon Tea includes honey roast ham with Royal Park honey, arugula and red onion marmalade sandwiches, along with Royal drop orange blossom scones with rich Devonshire clotted cream and homemade

English strawberry jam. Also on the menu is a selection of traditional British cakes and pastries, including Victoria sponge cake with Royal icing, Battenberg cake and English strawberry tartlets.

There are two sittings per day at weekends, subject to availability at 1:30pm – 3:00pm and 4:00pm – 5:30pm and is priced at (approximately $93) per person. Reservations toll free 1-800-335-3300 or

Appy dinner planner

Time to Dine is a new app that helps you prepare a meal with many dishes at once ensuring that they are all ready at the same time. With reminders each step of the way it keeps you on track to deliver a meal to the table with all the dishes ready on time. Available for the iPhone for $1.00 in the app store visit

International Flavours with Spring Cooking School

From France to Asia, choose your flavour and learn the secrets to cooking your favourite authentic dishes with Spring’s upcoming cooking classes. The Asian Street Food class on Thursday, 27 June ($110), will help you learn to whip up delicious, aromatic and soulful street-style Asian favourites. Visit for full cooking class schedules and bookings, or call Spring on (07) 3229 0460.

Warm up to weekday lunch at Stokehouse


This season, Stokehouse invites guests to indulge in a new weekday lunch special. Throughout winter, enjoy a delicious main course with a glass of wine for just $28! Eat and go on your lunch break or treat yourself to a leisurely, long lunch in the restaurant’s relaxed, waterfront surrounds. The special main course changes weekly, allowing you to sample a new, delicious offering each week – more reason to go back for more! The winter weekday lunch special is available each Monday – Friday at Stokehouse, from 12.00 – 2.30pm. Bookings on (07) 3020 0600.

This week I'm liking

I'm rationing chocolate in my house as we seem to be constantly consuming it as an after dinner treat in the cold weather.  I didn't feel so guilty with the samples of  AntiOx Chocolate and Snack Bars that arrived at my door - lower calories and health benefits are a great way to ease a guilty conscience.  This chocolate and snack bars are high in natural antioxidants and made with superfruits and covered in 70% cocoa dark chocolate (which is sugar-free and sweetened naturally with stevia). Best of all they give you a good chocolate fix without the calories you also gain with a standard block of chocolate. AntiOx Snack Bars are available in Acai, Goji and Chia & Quinoa flavours and AntiOx Chocolate is available in Acai or Goji flavours. AntiOx Snack Bars (RRP $2.49 for a 40g bar size) and AntiOx Chocolate (RRP $4.65 for an 80g block) are available in the health section of Woolworths, Coles, IGA stores and health food stores.

Kerry Heaney

Disclaimer: This is not a paid post.