South Burnett Cuisine > News Archives > August 2004
   
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South Burnett Wine and Food News with Jason Ford

Get Ready For Kingaroy's Centenary Picnic In The Park!
James Morrison23rd August 2004: This year marks Kingaroy's 100th birthday. And one of the highlights of the many celebrations that will be taking place is the Centenary Picnic In The Park. It's being held at Memorial Park in Kingaroy on Saturday 18th September and it's already taking on the shape of one of our region's most popular annual events: a mini Wine & Food In The Park Festival (which is held at the same location every March). When the gates open at noon visitors will be wined-and-dined by all of Kingaroy's winemakers and a staggering array of gourmet food stalls to suit all tastes. Captain's Paddock, Crane Wines, Stuart Range, Ziebarths and Kingsley Grove will be on hand for tastings and sales of their multi-award winning vintages. Some of the culinary delights that will be on offer include Malaysian chicken satays, gourmet pies, oysters, lamb shanks, European-style gourmet hot dogs, curries, stir fries, gelati, scones, coffee and tea, pancakes, nachos, Kingaroy cheese, burgers… (pause for a breath) and what would a Kingaroy centenary be without peanuts? To compliment the gastronomic pleasures of the day there'll also be a line up of great live entertainment including international virtuoso, jazz musician, trumpet player and multi-instrumentalist James Morrison (pictured). Best of all, the whole day is free (except, of course, for whatever you choose to purchase). I can't wait! If you'd like more information about Kingaroy's centenary celebrations, contact the South Burnett Visitor Information Centre - Kingaroy on (07) 4162-3199.
Coffee Making Course At The Bell Tower Restaurant
20th August 2004: If you thought that tea, beer or wine was the most consumed beverage in Australia, you're wrong … coffee rules! (this probably explains the record number of domestic espresso machines being sold these days). And if coffee is as much your vice as it is mine, then you'll be excited to learn that a coffee making course will be held at the Bell Tower Restaurant on Wednesday 8th September between 6:00pm and 9:00pm. The new managers of the Bell Tower - Brad and Megan Clark - have kindly offered their picturesque establishment to Kingaroy TAFE for the night. Skilled barista and hospitality teacher Sylvia Parsons will be demonstrating the ins and outs of speciality coffee-making. She's told me that there will be four different brands of home coffee machines used during the course, along with the Bell Tower Restaurant's mobster industrial machine. "A lot of people are buying these whiz-bang espresso machines for their home," Sylvia says, "just to be banish them into the kitchen cupboard when they can't operate them. The machines seem a little temperamental at first but with a little help I can have students frothing mountains of cappuccino milk and percolating the richest black coffee imaginable". If you'd like to join the class, you can get more details by calling TAFE on (07) 4160-4429.
Kingsley Grove's New Cellar Door Now Open For Business
Patricia Berry behind the counter at Kingsley Grove17th August 2004: In July last year I broke the story about the exciting new Kingsley Grove Winery located at 49 Stuart Valley Drive just west of Kingaroy. Michael and Patricia Berry - who planted their first grapes in 1997 - built the impressive state-of-the-art winery on the property and they've been quietly producing a large variety of wine styles from their own grapes since 2001. But until now the only way you could get your hands on Kingsley Grove's products was either from their website; from various local bottle shops; from a couple of Brisbane restaurants and hotels; or from the Wine & Food In The Park Festival held in Kingaroy every March. But as of Thursday 12th August South Burnett locals and tourists are now able to visit Kingsley Grove and sample the wines directly at their new cellar door (see photo at right). Patricia Berry says "we call it tastings in the winery because the cellar door is built within the wine-making facility amongst the fermentation vats, pipes and barrels". But that's not all! Here's the real scoop: construction of the winery's new café/restaurant and yet another cellar door will be commencing soon. And it could well turn out out to be the next Big Thing for the South Burnett's food and wine scene (I've had the privilege of seeing the proposed floor plan and it's very impressive!). In the meantime, though, you can pay a visit to Kingsley Grove and try their latest vintages on site. You can also call then on (07) 4162 2229 if you want to check their opening hours, which are still being finalised.
My Apologies! Technical Glitches Delay Cuisine Updates
11th August 2004: Regular readers probably noticed that this site wasn't updated for the last 10 days and I apologise for this. The reason this happened was that South Burnett Online - our publishers - had a major hardware fault in their office systems early this month and the backlog that built up during the brief 72 hours they were out of action pushed everything (including this site) severely off schedule. Computer faults and burnouts are becoming increasingly common in Queensland as our electricity supply starts to assume all the characteristics of living in the third world. Computers need a steady flow of current to operate correctly and they're such delicate instruments that fluctuating voltages can burn them out very easily. So far the only response the electricity suppliers offer is "well, you can't sue us" and perhaps that's true. But we sure can kick up a ruckus about how awful the state's power system is. And we can sheet the blame where it truly belongs: a State Government which has allowed this situation to develop over several years despite repeated warnings from experts that the State's power system was being run into the ground. In any event, all the stories that I would've posted over the last 10 days are listed below and (as usual) you won't find them anywhere else. Hopefully, things are now back to normal. But like most of you I have my fingers crossed for the summer time....
Amy To Compete For Ramsay Scholarship
Amy Ballin8th August 2004: Many of my long-term readers will probably remember Amy Ballin (pictured at right). Amy was the apprentice chef at Nanango's Copper Country Restaurant until about six months ago when she completed her training and decided to go see the world. Well I've just heard something exciting about her I'd like to share with you: right now Amy is living in Scotland with former Copper Country owners Derrick and Helena Winter - and this talented young chef has just been short-listed as one of thirty-two entries in this year's Ramsay Scholarship. The Ramsay Scholarship was created in 2001 by chef Gordon Ramsay to encourage and recognise the talents of young cooks. There are fantastic prizes on offer including valuable work experience in some of the world's best kitchens. For those who aren't familiar with him, Gordon Ramsay became notorious around the world for his short fuse in the fly-on-the-wall TV show Ramsay's Boiling Point in which he endeavoured to become the youngest chef ever to be awarded three Michelin Stars. And (most recently) he was seen on Channel Seven's comical Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares. Anyway, Amy will now be going on to compete in the semi finals on the 26th August. In these events competitors are given a box with secret ingredients and have to concoct a main course and dessert out of it in 2.5 hours. Two chefs from each group of six will then go on to the finals in September. I'm told that Amy is very excited about being chosen and also understandably nervous. But the South Burnett Cuisine team - and I'm sure, all her friends and former customers in the region - wish her the very best of luck. Good on you, Amy! Go for it!
South Burnett Wine and Food Takes The Brisbane Ekka By Storm
5th August 2004: Today two new stories landed on my desk and both of them relate to the Brisbane Ekka. The first is astounding! Fresh on the back of their phenomenal success at the prestigious Australian Specialist Cheesemakers Awards in Melbourne (see story 13th July), Kingaroy Cheese have barn-stormed the Brisbane Ekka Farmhouse Cheese and Dairy Produce Show by winning a colossal 6 gold medals, including 3 Champion Cheeses in the Farmhouse Cheese Category alone. And Runnymede Sheep Dairy (who are no slouches in the medal stakes either - see story 1st April 2004) won the Grand Champion Farmhouse Cheese at the Show with their marinated Sheep Milk Fetta and walked away with a bronze medal for their Acidophilus and Bifidus Pure Sheep Milk Yoghurt. Cheesemakers Chris Ganzer (Kingaroy Cheese) and Gary and Jean Monaghan (Runnymede) were elated at the result - and who could blame them? The second story that landed on my desk today was that three of our region's biggest wineries - Barambah Ridge, Stuart Range and Clovely Estate - are also attending the Ekka this year (and Stuart Range have just picked up a bronze medal for their stand!). Both of them will be offering wine tastings and selling their wine for the entire 10 days of the event in the Exhibition Building. All wineries will also be offering Ekka case specials at the show. This will be quite a bargain for Brisbaneites considering the avalanche of medals each winery has won for their products over the last year (including double gold for Barambah Ridge at the Queensland Wine Awards - one third of all the golds handed out in 2003).
Bottle Tree Hill Goes Online
The Seiler children with one of Bottle Tree Hill's organically-raised piglets2nd August 2004: Several months ago I wrote about Murgon's Bottle Tree Hill Organic Farm: a 540-acre certified organic farm owned by Will and Meagan Seiler which produces pork, beef, olives, honey and seasonal grains and vegetables, all within a traditional whole farm system. The reason I'm writing about them again is that Bottle Tree Hill recently took the next step in their growth by launching their own web site. The new site provides lists of their full product range and prices, including their popular double smoked bacon and their equally popular gourmet Australian bush sausages (GABS); a newsletter; a photo gallery; and contact details if you want to get in touch. Will and Megan tell me that the site will also soon include information on the various regional markets the couple regularly attend if you want to catch up with them in the flesh in other parts of south-east Queensland. "The Internet is a fantastic tool for giving customers instant information, whenever they require it," Megan told me. "And as our web site grows we hope to make it increasingly informative and help educate our readers by comparing free-range and organic practices with conventional farming". Back in May, Channel Seven's "On The Land" programme made a visit to the farm and filmed a segment which should air nationally within the next couple of weeks. But in the meantime I'd suggest having a gander at the new website, which already contains plenty of pictures and some useful insights into organic farming - the fastest growing niche food market in the country! Photo: The Seiler's children cuddle up to one of Bottle Tree Hill's organically-raised pigs.
 

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