It’s (basically) summertime, and that means one glorious thing to me:
While some people shy away (the crowds! the noise! my bun is cold!) I thrive on the anticipation of finding a new dish and—of course—a delicious cocktail to go with it.
The criteria for a phenomenal food fest is simple: keep the lines short, the food interesting, and the booze flowing. Which is exactly what the Noosa International Food & Wine Festival did this year.
Held on the beautiful Sunshine Coast of Australia in the city of Noosa, more than 200 chefs attended the event—many of them feeding hungry ticket holders (like me). They didn’t disappoint in flavor or variety.
From the opening concert and cooking demo with Australian celebrity chefs Simon Bryant and Maggie Beer, to the Qantas “Best Dinner in the World” (a seven course feast and wine pairing from the S. Pellegrino World’s Best Restaurant list) festival goers wandered the grounds with general admission or bought tickets to scheduled events.
Here are some of my favorite moments from the event. And if you, too, are excited about food festivals, next year marks the 10th anniversary, and promises to be just as delicious as this year:
Noosa Main Beach is a gorgeous, sandy stretch just down the hill from the fabulous Outrigger Little Hastings Street Resort and Spa. It’s the perfect spot for a morning stroll or surf before heading into the fetstival.
Kickoff dinner with Australian celebrity chef duo Simon Bryant and Maggie Beer
The Seafood Afloat Trail was a fresh, tasty adventure through Noosa’s waterways with stops for Spanner Crab, a look at the ultra-luxe Makepeace Island (Richard Branson’s rentable property), and a sushi demo.
Incredible tuna! Poolside sushi demo with Hajime Horiguchi at Makepeace Island.
Taking a (slight) break from eating, the fabulous Chubby Hubby bloggers and I got out on the water for a tour with the Noosa Dreamboats classic boat cruises. This beauty, the Noosa Dream, is a 1940s-inspired mahogany speed boat that seats up to five people for a variey of different cruise options including a Sandbar Picnic Cruise to a private beach.
Our captain Mike Guthrie (pictured) took us through Noosa’s waterways past giant pelicans, serene sandy shores, and stunning waterfront homes.
Back at the festival, the stylish hospitality pavilion for Gold Pass holders ($315 for a three-day pass).
Celebrating the final day of the festival with sweet potato fries and wonderful fried fish.