Where to dine like a real Queenslander

It’s time to set the record straight. Queenslanders are totally spoilt when it comes finding quality fresh food on the doorstep.

Yep, we’ve got it good and here're three chefs who are prepared to put their reputations on the plate to prove the point.

My dish is a postcard from Noosa.

The Queensland Produce on Show dinner at Noosa Food & Wine Festival will leave no doubt about the quality of our food backed by the inventive cooking excellence of chefs Alastair McLeod, Matt Golinski and Andreas Nielsen.

Dine like a Queenslander

Alastair McLeod, chef for Queensland Produce on Show
Alastair McLeod
It all starts with a little magic from Alistair who has long championed local ingredients and a dish of cobia sashimi, avocado, cuttlefish, seaweed and accompanied by 2014 Hunter Valley Semillon.

“My dish is a postcard from Noosa,” says Alistair. “As a cook, I am drawn to the region because of its produce. Preparing seafood raw and cured is the ultimate expression of quality.

“Texture is very important to me - almost as important as flavour. The seaweed crisps and the handmade sashimi will provide an engaging foil for the local seafood.”

Winemaker Iain Riggs from Brokenwood has matched the course with a Hunter Valley Semillon.

“It’s is a natural fit with seafood due to its low alcohol, generally 10.5 – 11 percent and does not have any oak maturation,” says Iain. “The wine was bottled early after harvest and has lots of natural lime zest aromas and citrus juice acidity making it an excellent match with the sashimi and saline seaweed and the acid provides the cut for the avocado.”

Matt Golinski, Queensland Produce on Show chef
Matt Golinski
Matt Golinski’s main dish of Bendele Farm duck, forbidden figs, fennel soubise, walnuts and truffled honey, brings together four producers who love what they do into one dish.

“The dinner is all about Queensland producers, so I'm using four products which I consider to be interesting and unique, and they're all producers I have a great connection with,” says Matt.

“Bendele Farm is a poultry producer from Kilkivan, who supplies very high-quality free-range duck. They have limited supply, so I've given them a couple of month’s notice to fill my order of 200 legs and 100 breasts to feed the 200 guests on the night.

“Forbidden Figs is a great farm in Bundy which is producing hothouse figs all year round (thus the name) Their figs are really good!

“The walnuts are from Crows Nest out near Toowoomba. Rosalie Eustace from Shum Lane Walnuts hand cracks them and sends me a couple of kg in the mail when I want some and if she's got some. They're like pecans because they're so fresh and sweet.

“Leisa Sams is a fourth generation apiarist from Peachester who started a brand of honey called Hum Honey which she infuses with different flavours such as ginger, lavender, cinnamon and vanilla. She's also buying Tasmanian truffles and grating them into her honey to make a truffled honey. Just the honey alone is good, but with the truffle, it is bloody amazing.”

Duck and Pinot Noir is a match made in heaven.

“This 2013 Pinot Noir is from our Beechworth vineyard in northern Victoria and has plenty of foresty, earthy notes to accompany the fennel, walnuts and truffle," says winemaker Iain Riggs. Pinot is a lighter framed red but has stacks of flavour not unlike duck – a lighter meat but flavours abound.”

“The Sticky Wicket with dessert is made from Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc grapes left on the vine at our Cowra vineyard until very they are high in sugar. The wine is not fermented to dryness so there is a reasonable high residual sweetness. Plenty of acidity as this also concentrates along with the sugar, so not at all cloying. The wine will contrast and complement the bittersweet chocolate, macadamia and berries.”

Andreas Nielsen, Excecutive Chef at Peppers Noosa Resort

“We are so spoilt in this region with quality ingredients that we have available,” says Andreas Nielsen, Executive Chef at Peppers Noosa Resort who is preparing the dessert course.

“I have chosen this dish as even though it requires a little technical flair it also allows us to showcase the share concept we have in our restaurant.”

Using only the finest ingredients of Callebaut chocolate and local Cooloolah farm berries, roasted macadamias, served with ice cream and a few other surprises, it’s really a perfect match for the menu.

Here's your chance to dine like a real Queenslander - the dinner takes place on Friday, May 20 at Peppers Noosa Resort & Villas at 7.30pm and costs $175. Bookings at Noosa Food & Wine

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Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Tourism Noosa.

Kerry Heaney

Kerry Heaney is a food sherpa, travelling the world bite by bite. For her, it's all about where to go to eat and where to eat when you go, and she's been writing about that for the past 20 years. A writer and editor who contributes regular food and travel feature stories for RACQ's The Road Ahead and a range of other print publications, Kerry has been sharing food love through Eat, drink + be Kerry for eight years. Although dedicated to eating her way around the world, Kerry is an expert on Queensland food and has written the Queensland food component for several Hardie Grant titles.  Kerry is immediate past president and a current committee member of the Australian Travel Writers Society (ASTW). Talk to Kerry on Facebook , Twitter or Instagram