Matt Pre­ston be­lieves that the best mem­o­ries are cre­ated while shar­ing qual­ity food and a good glass of wine with even bet­ter com­pany. Best known for his role as a judge and co-host of Masterchef Aus­tralia, Matt claims he will be do­ing just that at this year’s Noosa Food and Wine Fes­ti­val. Matt is join­ing the line-up of celebrity chefs who will be show­cas­ing their culi­nary flair and shar­ing their knowl­edge on the main stage at the four-day foodie event, which kicks off on May 16. It’s an event that Matt said was marked down ea­gerly in his cal­en­der each year and he was once again proud to be a part of. “I’ll be do­ing two demon­stra­tions on the main stage and I’ll be joined by some in­cred­i­ble chefs,” he said. “There’s the likes of Matt Moran, Alessan­dro Pavoni, Matt Golin­ski and our new Masterchef men­tor Matt Sin­clair and it will be great to muck around and have fun with them on stage.” As the author of three best-sell­ing cook­books and a renowned food critic and colum­nist, Matt knows a thing or two about a good plate of food. He said he had at­tended an “aw­ful amount” of food events in his time and the Noosa fes­ti­val was up there among his favourites. “What’s fan­tas­tic about this fes­ti­val is that it is fo­cused on Aus­tralian chefs and what they have to of­fer,” he said. “A lot of events bring in in­ter­na­tional tal­ent, which is great, but it’s also won­der­ful to see a gath­er­ing of chefs from all around the coun­try. “It also has a real laid-back vibe where you can go up and chat to the chefs and there is a won­der­ful se­lec­tion of events across the four days.” Matt said the fes­ti­val would show­case the best lo­cal food and pro­duce that was on of­fer on the Coast and through­out Queens­land. He said it was im­por­tant for peo­ple to re­alise that they did not have to travel far to sam­ple some stand-out dishes. “It’s a bril­liant op­por­tu­nity for peo­ple to come to Noosa and en­joy not just the unique stuff on of­fer but get out there and sam­ple food from great lo­cal restau­rants,” he said. “Ev­ery corner of Aus­tralia has great food and pro­duce and whether you’re en­joy­ing freshly-cooked lo­cal span­ner crab, a curry from Sum Yung Guys or a cock­tail from a great lo­cal bar, the whole idea of the fes­ti­val

is to cel­e­brate those of­fer­ings.” Matt is film­ing the new sea­son of Masterchef Aus­tralia and he said this year’s show would be par­tic­u­larly ex­cit­ing for Queens­land view­ers. This would be the first time the Lo­gie-win­ning show, now in its 11th sea­son, had filmed in the Sunshine State. “It’s re­ally ex­cit­ing to fi­nally be able to film in Queens­land, af­ter years of try­ing to get it to hap­pen,” he said. “It will re­ally shine a spot­light on what’s go­ing on here as we filmed in the hin­ter­land and at Noosa and it will be great to be able to paint that im­age of won­der­ful Queens­land pro­duce. “We have over 20 mil­lion peo­ple tun­ing in to the show from all around the world so it will be great for tourism in the re­gion.” Matt said there would be plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties for fes­ti­val-go­ers to go up and have a chat about the show, cook­ing tips and any­thing in gen­eral dur­ing his demon­stra­tions across the Satur­day and Sun­day of the event. “I will be talk­ing about food that is un­der­val­ued and that we of­ten forget about and how we can use it in great dishes and also min­imise waste,” he said. “Last year, I demon­strated how to cook na­chos for break­fast, lunch and din­ner so you can ex­pect some­thing a lit­tle left-field again this year. “It’s great be­cause it is all very re­laxed and peo­ple get lovely ac­cess to the chefs and it’s a great op­por­tu­nity to be able to talk one on one with them.” Matt’s demon­stra­tions will be tak­ing place in the main stage in the Fes­ti­val Vil­lage. “It you are look­ing for a re­ally cool thing to do on the week­end, gather your mates and have a re­ally cruisy day en­joy­ing great wine, great cock­tails, some delicious food and some en­ter­tain­ment from some idiots on stage,” he joked. “You should all be very proud of what you have on the Sunshine Coast and this is a great way to en­joy it.” Noosa Food and Wine Fes­ti­val direc­tor Sheri­dah Puttick said some big events were in store for this year’s fes­ti­val. “It’s re­ally ex­cit­ing this year be­cause we have two new spa­ces in our fes­ti­val vil­lage,” she said. “We have or­gan­ised a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the chefs and have cre­ated ex­pe­ri­ences that peo­ple can’t ex­pe­ri­ence any­where else in Aus­tralia.” The River Lounge and the Drinks Lab are the two new spa­ces that are be­ing in­tro­duced this year. They will pro­vide event-go­ers the chance to learn from some of the best chefs, pro­duc­ers, mixol­o­gists, wine con­nois­seurs and spirit gu­rus from across the coun­try. Sheri­dah said the ses­sions were all about pair­ing great food with the right bev­er­age and work­ing with ac­claimed chefs. “One of the chefs came up with the idea of pair­ing up and we thought it would be a great way to pro­duce some re­ally cre­ative and cool ses­sions,” she said. “There will be some­thing for ev­ery­one: a new take on the Bloody Mary, cock­tails de­signed es­pe­cially for the Noosa Food and Wine Fes­ti­val and whiskey paired with some bar­be­cued meats.” Sheri­dah said the pro­gram also had two chefs from Seminyak in Bali show­cas­ing their amaz­ing tal­ents with dry ice and theatrics in­volved in their cook­ing ses­sion. “They are from the fa­mous restau­rant in Bali, Bikini, and they cook se­ri­ous food in a not-so-se­ri­ous way,” she said. “The key with the River Lounge and Drinks Lab ses­sions is about hav­ing fun, be­ing so­cial and get­ting up close and per­sonal with the chefs.” As well as the two new spa­ces, Sheri­dah said all of the favourites would be back this year in­clud­ing the Olsen mas­ter­classes and the live demon­stra­tions in The Vil­lage. “We also have new Baci mas­ter­classes which will be par­tic­u­larly ex­cit­ing for those who love sweets,” she said. “Some of our favourite dessert con­nois­seurs in­clud­ing the likes of Adri­ano Zumbo and Anna Polyviou will be shar­ing their favourite sweet cre­ations in­spired by Baci choco­lates.” Sheri­dah said a num­ber of events al­ready had sold out or were sell­ing out fast so she ad­vised peo­ple to get in early to get tick­ets. This year’s event will be sin­gle-use plas­tic bot­tle- and bag-free. Three types of bins will be avail­able and Waste War­riors will be on hand, ad­vis­ing fes­ti­val-go­ers how to dis­pose of their waste prop­erly.

The Noosa Food and Wine Fes­ti­val will run from May 16-19. For more in­for­ma­tion and to pur­chase tick­ets, visit www.noosafooda­nd­

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