FOOD fans from across the region are expected to converge on Port Douglas this weekend as Carnivale launches its inaugural signature event - A Taste of Paradise.
Port Douglas Carnivale manager Ken Dobbs said months of planning had gone into the new event, which will see a huge contingent of local and celebrity chefs up on the main stage showing off their cooking skills.
He said the Taste of Paradise at the Sugar Wharf on Saturday would round out a weekend of food events including Palates of Port on Friday and the Seafood Extravaganza on Sunday.
‘‘This all day event will showcase the region’s best produce with cooking demonstrations and free food, wine and beer tastings from many wellregarded suppliers,’’ he said.
These include Daintree Estate Chocolates, Daintree Vanilla and Spice, Julatten Earth Foods, Coffee Works, Soap Herb, The Tea Chest, Rainforest Bounty, Wonga Food and The Hungry Humming Bird while Origin Coffee will be serving its house roasted blend all day.
The Blue Sky Brewery, Red & White, and Yalumba have also been confirmed and will represent local wine and beer suppliers in the region as part of the event, while local restaurants Harrisons, Bucci, Salsa, The Tin Shed, Nu Nu, 2 Fish and Ochre are also excited to come on board.
The event will open at 9am with coffee and pastries available with cooking demonstrations to begin on the main stage at 9.30am with celebrity chef Ben O’Donoghue to start.
He will be supported by local star chefs who will also take to the stage throughout the day along with My Kitchen Rules contestants from the 2012 series David Hopgood and Leigh Sexton .
Mr Dobbs was urging people to spend the day at A Taste of Paradise and enjoy dinner at one of the Carnivale set menu participating res- taurants before heading onto the Taste of Paradise concert with Daryl Braithwaite at the Sheraton Mirage Resort.
‘‘There are a number of restaurants offering special Carnivale set menus - order between 5pm and 6.30pm and receive a complimentary glass of wine on Saturday.
‘‘Participating restaurants include Harrisons, Bucci, Salsa Bar & Grill, 2 Fish, Sassi Cucina E Bar, Zinc, Finz,
Otz, Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas Resort, Cocos, Aqua at Pullman Port Douglas and Bel Cibo.
A Taste of Paradise is a free event. Tickets for Palates of Port and Daryl Braithwaite can be purchased online at www.carnivale.com.au/tickets.
COOKING UP A TREAT: celebrity chef Ben O’Donoghue