Meet the food dudes

Peter and Belinda Brettell of Wild Rocket @ Misty's in Montville
Peter and Belinda Brettell of Wild Rocket @ Misty's in Montville Brett Wortman

THE fact that Peter Brettell sources his beef locally, from Eumundi's Fortune 8 grass and sprout-fed stock, gets his milk, cream and yogurt from Maleny Dairies, and grows many of his own vegetables and herbs adds to the experience at Wild Rocket @ Mistys.

Peter is passionate about using seasonal local produce and making everything from scratch at his Montville restaurant.

Peter's creations are what organisers of the Noosa International Food and Wine Festival hope visitors will enjoy during the four-day event from May 17.

This year's food and wine program aims to delight amateur cooks, serious foodies, industry professionals and families alike. Some of the world's best chefs and winemakers will be there.

For tourists, a day trip to the hinterland often involves a visit to Colin James Fine Foods for ice-cream or gourmet cheese, to Geordie Lane Antiques for scones and then to the fudge and candy shops in Montville.

But there are many more places worth discovering if you have a little more time to explore.

Unwind at the rejuvenating Spicers' Tamarind Retreat by taking a stroll to nearby Gardners Falls, swinging in a pod hanging from one of the majestic trees or indulging in a vicarious tour of Thailand through speciality cooking classes.

Or leave the world behind and take time to get back to nature at the Freestyle Escape at Towen Mountain.

Intimate cooking classes remind visitors where their food comes from. Picture picking luscious lychees, longans, cumquats, pomegranates and grapes from the tree or vine instead of from a box at the supermarket.

Then summon up images of selecting cloves, cinnamon, bay and kaffir lime leaves - all growing on a slope with ocean and rainforest views.

As well as harvesting your own ingredients from the orchard and herb garden, you can bake your meals onsite in a wood-fired oven in a fully operational outdoor kitchen and then indulge in some delightful dishes with friends at a rustic wooden table.

Other places worth a look, among too many to mention, are La Botiga, a cheery and stylish eatery in Mapleton and Noosaville's Metal Tiger Tea Emporium on Gympie Tce, a special Asian experience with yum cha ordered fresh from the vegan master Colin Fung in Sydney

For more details, visit queensland holidays.com.au.

GOOD TO KNOW

What: Noosa International Food and Wine Festival

When: Thursday, May 17, to Sunday, May 20

Cost: $65 a day ($20 for children under 13) or a weekend gold pass for $315 per adult.

To see the full program and buy tickets,



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