True Blue

This month we cel­e­brate Queens­land Day— wel­come to the land of seafood, man­goes and lam­ing­tons!

Where Brisbane - - Contents - By Kerry Heaney.

CEL­E­BRATE QUEENS­LAND DAY on 6 June by in­dulging in some of the best lo­cal treats and ex­pe­ri­ences as judged by lo­cals.

We asked seven prom­i­nent lo­cals to share their tips for the state’s 159th birth­day.

Liz Can­tor, Chan­nel Seven pre­sen­ter

“My favourite Queens­land food? Fresh lo­cal seafood, it’s in­cred­i­ble!” says Liz. Liz says she is a mas­sive fan of Jellyfish Restau­rant in the River­side Cen­tre, Ea­gle Street.

“My per­fect Queens­land Day would be to grab the hubby and son and spend the day ex­plor­ing the Botanic Gar­dens be­fore a yum cha lunch in For­ti­tude Val­ley’s Chi­na­town be­cause a mul­ti­cul­tural day is what Bris­bane is about.”

Josh Lopez, Ex­ec­u­tive Chef OPAL, Em­po­rium Ho­tel South Bank

The hum­ble lam­ing­ton, with its roots in the kitchens of Bris­bane’s Old Gov­ern­ment House, tops the list for Josh’s favourite Queens­land food. “It is the per­fect com­bi­na­tion of soft sponge, jam, cho­co­late and co­conut. When made and served gen­er­ously it is a meal in it­self. As a chef, I have also played around with this for­mula and made de­li­cious na­tive in­gre­di­ent fo­cused combinations with lilly pilly jam and wat­tle seed in­fused cho­co­late,” says Josh.

“It is so easy to come across a qual­ity lam­ing­ton in a bak­ery par­tic­u­larly when go­ing on a fam­ily drive in the coun­try or along the coast. I have such fond mem­o­ries of a morn­ing swim at the gorge at Point Look­out at North Strad­broke and then barg­ing into the bak­ery to grab a cou­ple of lam­ing­tons.”

Queens­land Day is a spe­cial day for Josh bring­ing back mem­o­ries of when he ar­rived in Aus­tralia as a two-year-old with his fam­ily in 1986 to start a new life.

“Spend­ing time with fam­ily on a day trip ex­plor­ing more of our beau­ti­ful city and its sur­rounds like catch­ing an ex­hi­bi­tion at GOMA would be my ideal way to spend Queens­land Day.”

Tracey Watkins, White La­bel Noba

Just give Tracey some man­goes and prawns on Queens­land Day, and she will be happy.

“There is some­thing purely Queens­land about these foods. I rel­ish their ever abun­dance at James Street Mar­kets and Reef Seafood and Sushi and the sim­ple prepa­ra­tion that they re­quire,” says Tracey.

Walk­ing the river paths and din­ing in the al­ley­ways of the in­ner-city hub of Tener­iffe is how Tracey would pre­fer to spend Queens­land Day.

“Who can tire of ex­quis­ite river views and some of the best culi­nary de­lights around her?” Ali­son Alexan­der, Queens­land Gov­ern­ment Food Fel­low, ABC Ra­dio pre­sen­ter and RNA Judge Ali­son says it is hard to pick her favourite Queens­land food be­cause of the wide di­ver­sity of pro­duce, but she also can’t go past fresh seafood.

“Prawns, fish, scal­lops, bugs can be cooked in many ways, but it takes a lot to beat pan-fried fresh fish fil­lets, es­pe­cially di­a­mond scale mul­let,” says Ali­son.

A true Queens­lan­der, Ali­son’s per­fect Queens­land Day would be to pack a pic­nic, pick up a cake from Three Girls Skip­ping in Graceville and head west to Bris­bane Botanic Gar­dens at Mt Coot-tha.

“You could also take a Ci­ty­cat Ferry ride down the river to South Bank and en­joy a re­lax­ing lunch at Stoke­house Q which has a great po­si­tion on the river.”

Richard Ousby, Ex­ec­u­tive Chef, Stoke­house Group

“Give me grilled prawns with a sim­ple dress­ing,” says Richard.

“It’s so easy and de­li­cious, and it suits the weather here 365 days a year,” he says. “We took a por­ta­ble BBQ to the Enog­gera reser­voir re­cently and had grilled prawns for lunch, it was a beau­ti­ful day.”

Jump­ing on the Ci­ty­cat with his wife and two-year-old son and just chill­ing is an­other of his top sug­ges­tions for Queens­land Day. Sofie Formica, Chan­nel Seven tele­vi­sion pre­sen­ter Gam­baros Seafood Restau­rant is where Sofie will be head­ing for her Queens­land Day fix of the best Queens­land seafood on a plate.

Her sug­ges­tion for the per­fect Queens­land Day is a hike up Mt Coot-tha in the morn­ing and a cold beer at the Re­gatta lis­ten­ing to live mu­sic in the af­ter­noon.

Natalie Weir, Artis­tic Direc­tor, Ex­pres­sions Dance Com­pany

Mem­o­ries of boat­ing ex­pe­di­tions with her par­ents make mud crabs Natalie’s favourite Queens­land food.

Her per­fect Queens­land day would be near the mighty Bris­bane River with a pic­nic in New Farm Park or lunch on the river somewhere with fam­ily or friends.

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Jos h . Lopez Kelly .Photo: David

Liz Can­tor with son Kit. Photo: © News Corp Aus­tralia.

Bris­bane Look­out, Mt Coot-tha. Photo: © Jesse Smith Pho­tog­ra­pher/bris­bane Mar­ket­ing. Sofie Formica. Tracey Watkins.

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