Head to Hampton - it's festival time!

Keep it local and head to Hampton to celebrate Queensland's regional produce at the Hampton Festival, held just north of Toowoomba on Sunday May 18.

This is a really fun day with plenty of local flavour including art and wine.

Headlining this year will be celebrity chef and popular Hampton regular Matt Golinski teamed up with food identity Sally Lynch.  These two will keep you entertained with interactive cooking but there will also be art demonstrations, musical entertainment and an annual art exhibition.

Don't miss Sally's delicious recipe for Walnut & Treacle muffins at the end of this post.

Sally Lynch
Matt Golinski
Food enthusiasts will also be able talk to local growers and taste regional produce at the onsite fresh food Market Place.

There's nothing like the enthusiasm for food that you catch off the person who has seen the carrots or potatoes grow from seed into something that's so delicious to eat.

Make sure you ask the growers for their best tips and suggestions on preparing and eating their produce.  Often they'll tell you just to cook them lightly or not at all because they taste great just the way they are!

The day starts at 9.30am and continues until 4pm on Sunday 18 May at Chapman Park, Hampton, Queensland. Tickets are available at the gate for $10 and children under 12 free.

I asked Sally Lynch more about what’s on at the Hampton Festival 

Q.           What is going to delight visitors at this year’s festival?

I have never actually been to the Hampton Festival before but have had it on my bucket list for ages. Hampton is such an fertile area of dedicated food producers, small manufacturers, and artists so the offerings are bound to please and surprise. It's going to be an awesome showcase of passionate deliciousness and motivation to go home and grow and cook your own.

It's all about getting to meet the face behind the food, taking us back to a place where we appreciate every mouthful we take and the work and effort that goes into producing fresh honest food, pressed oil or a lovingly made cake.  Regeneration, growing and making your own food is such a labour of love and hard work.

Q.           What will you be demonstrating/doing at the festival?

I will be using local produce to whip up a storm. Expect walnut, apple and treacle crumble muffins, Tillari Trotters Balinese pork belly with a roasted rhubarb and beet salad, avocado pesto with Chalala crostini.... along with loads of other dishes. I am going to see what the weather blows in and cook up a few things on the spur of the moment - my favourite way to cook.

Q.        What’s your favourite fruit/veg at this time of the year? How do you use it?

I am at the moment totally and utterly head over heels in love with walnuts. I eat them crushed up on everything...pasta, soup, oats, salads. Fresh local walnuts are not like anything you have tasted before. They are incredibly creamy and dare I say it golden syrupy and nutty! I can hardly wait to get my hands on Shum Lane's walnuts....walnut butter brownies maybe.

My other favourites are pomelo and jackfruit. Jackfruit I have to have with sticky rice and coconut cream and pomelo just makes such a tasty fresh salad with toasted coconut, crab or shredded chicken and loads of fresh herbs and chilli.

Q.     Have you visited any of the producers who will be coming to the festival? What do you like about their products?

I teach at Sauce Kitchen in Toowoomba so have had the pleasure of meeting many of the producers coming along to the Hampton Festival and have used their products many times before. As I used to manufacture my own products, I have spent many a crazy afternoon at food shows and markets with Bunnyconellan and Pasta Riviera.

I have started following Justin Russell from Thistlebrook Farm on Facebook. I'm loving his philosophy on life and how the weather and nature rule his life and livelihood - so am looking forward to meeting him and all the other producers.

Walnut & treacle muffins


2 cups SR flour
1 cup plain flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 tspn bi-carb
1 cup roughly chopped walnuts
3 peeled and chopped apples

2 eggs – lightly beaten
1 cup milk
½ cup veg oil
½ cup treacle

300gm brown sugar
150gm butter
¼ cup thickened cream
300gm walnuts


• Place the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl – along with the walnuts and chopped apples.

• Add the eggs, oil and treacle and the milk – mix while being careful not to over-mix. A few lumps of flour are fine they will cook out – it is just important not to mix like crazy and end up with an overworked batter.

• Divide the mixture into a 12 pan muffin tin (just a regular size pan) and bake in a pre heated oven (170ยบรง) for 25 minutes.

• While the muffins are cooking place a pot on the stove top on the heat and place the sugar and butter in it. I like to cook my sugar and butter until it starts to smell a little nutty – not burnt but the bit just before that where it is nutty…quickly add the cream when you smell this as the cold cream will stop the cooking process and prevent it from burning.

• Add the walnuts and allow to cool.

• I like to spoon out a little of the muffin top and make a bit of a hole and pour the caramel in to serve. A dollop of cream and you have heaven on earth!

Kerry Heaney

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