Enjoy dinner and drinks on the Burnett Bridge

The 10 day 2021 Taste Bundaberg Festival has been launched with a plethora of tasteful food and drink events to enjoy. Picture: AARON GOODWIN

By Aaron Goodwin

Foodies, coffee connoisseurs and anyone who loves quality food and beverages is encouraged to attend the 2021 Taste Bundaberg Festival.

Launched at Macadamias Australian on 29 March, this year’s 10 day festival features 21 events that showcase some of the best local food and drink on offer in the Bundaberg region.

Highlights of the culinary calendar include the new Banquet on the Bridge event and the return of the popular Farm Flavours Picnic.

The Banquet on Bridge to be held from 5.30pm-9pm on 12 June, will see the Burnett Traffic Bridge closed and decorated with fairy lights, with 200 people set to enjoy three courses and a three hour food and beverage package.

Bundaberg Regional Council events portfolio spokesperson Cr John Learmonth said the combination of exciting new events and “old favourites” meant the 2021 Taste Bundaberg Festival was shaping up to be the best yet.

“We are so lucky to live in the Bundaberg Region with ready access to an abundance of fresh produce and a range of talented chefs, creators, distillers and brewers who showcase these flavours to perfection,” Cr Learmonth said.

“Our culinary tourism status continues to grow and the Taste Bundaberg Festival provides a stage on which we can display our food bowl status proudly.

”Bundaberg has a very high population involved with the agricultural industry and we do cater for 25 percent of the Australian industry so it’s very important we showcase all the agriculture we do have here.

”This year it will be fantastic to make up for what we missed out on last year.”

Celebrity chef Poh Ling Yeow, best known as a former MasterChef contestant, will host cooking demonstrations and work with H20 Restaurant and Bar to deliver a signature dining experience.

Australia’s illustrious Indigenous Chef Mark Olive will deliver an evening of culture, community and togetherness in partnership with Bundaberg’s Joey Caruana at the inaugural Mon Repos First Nations Dinner.

Alex Cameron, owner of Water Street Kitchen will be busy coordinating The Long Lunch from 12pm-4pm on 13 June.

That will be six courses of meals, showcasing distillers, brewers, farmers and everyone in the Bundaberg region who produces quality food and drink products.

He said that the Bundaberg region can be proud and celebrate all the local food and drink that’s produced from paddock to plate.

”It’s something that we are really proud of and we can hero those ingredients in our region,” Mr Cameron said.

”Sweet potatoes, rum, gin, all those great things that everybody loves.

”Tickets usually sell quite fast, that’s generally due to our small venue capacity.

”We are really appreciative of how the town has supported us through the pandemic and even know.”

The festival will be held from June 11 to 20.

Organisers have assured that the event will be run in a Covid-safe manner.

BRC’s manager of tourism and events Lisa Douglas said that there are plenty of highlights in the Bundaberg Taste Festival and she imagines the Banquet on the Bridge event will sell-out fast.

”Poh will be handing out singed cooked books of her new edition at the Taste Farmers Market,” Ms Douglas said.

”We have a whole weekend of Polo at the Recreational Precinct which is very popular.

”We have the Farm Flavours Picnic at Macadamias Australia on 20 June as well.

”There’s a number of partners that as well that have long table lunches, coffee making classes, drinks tours where you can visit Bundaberg Brewed Drinks, Bundaberg Rum and Ohana Winery.

”It’s an amazing jam-packed festival and I’m sure everyone will have a wonderful time.”

Cr Learmonth said the Bundaberg Regional Council event was delivered in partnership with Bundaberg Tourism and the local culinary and tourism industries.

For the full program and to purchase tickets head to tastebundabergfestival.com.au.