Tweed in good taste with food festival success

23 Jul

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By Kacey Gambin, Bond University Journalism Student

The Tweed Taste Festival has proven a great success in its first event, gaining support from the chairman for Good Food Guide Australia.

Jayne Henry, creator and organiser for Tweed’s unique 10- day food festival ,has been overwhelmed with support from local suppliers and accredited food reviewers.

“We just got the chairman for the Good Food Guide Australia for next year’s event, so I would say this year has been a great success,” she said. 

She said that the Tweed area was lacking in representation for all the quality food and hospitality culture it holds, and needed to be recognised for more than a tourist area.

“I’ve worked in the hospitality industry my entire career, and I’ve learnt of the amazing food we can produce. From Tweed all the way down to Byron Bay, it’s such a great collective of people.”

She also said Tweed was changing as a tourist area, with gourmet and organic food potentially becoming a new selling point.

“Winter is when we get really low tourist numbers, so I started this idea as a win-win strategy. We support local and organic suppliers to attract tourists, and they get more business.”

Many new and upcoming businesses were present at the final event of the festival in a market-style display, along with live cooking demos from local chefs from Casuarina to Byron Bay.

Nathan Lock and Sam Watson were happy to introduce their new business at the festival, in the hope of becoming a leading supplier for homegrown foods.

“We are just starting up as a collaborative farm in our new home in Byron Bay, and want to get the word out of what are all about,” said Sam.

“We’d like to think we’re bringing something new to the table, we even have our own rare cows to produce the cheese, so in the future we want that to be a big selling point,” said Nathan.

The entire festival was a collection of 10 events, including a Long Table Dinner in Salt Village, that showcased a gourmet selection of food from chefs around the Tweed, which Jayne believed cemented the hopes of a festival next year.

“The Long Table Dinner was great, so many people were impressed about what the area had to offer, and even food critics were coming up to me, saying how well it was presented for a first year event. After that I think we’re pretty much on for next year.”

Jayne utilised her large list of contacts from living in Kingscliff her entire life, and feels a great pride in providing quality events for her home town.

“This is my area, and I love it so much. I just want to use my event planning skills to give back to the community and create business for local farmers and suppliers that really deserve it.”

Attendees of the event were also wowed by the festival, with enthusiastic cooks attending to learn from the best in the area, including chefs from Bellini at Salt Village and Fins from Byron Bay. Preparing beef ragu with fresh gnocchi and rice cakes with king prawns, the chefs centered on local grown produce that anyone in the area can access at their market.

“I’m definitely going to have a look at buying organic food now, they made it look so easy and it’s better for my kids,” said attendee Rebecca Frough.

“I went to a few of the events and it was wonderful, a job well done.”

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