I travelled to Bundaberg recently for the Winterfeast Weekend which comprised two events – the Kendall Flats Farmers Markets and the Sunday Soiree. The Sunday Soiree is a wonderful lunch set on Bourbong Street in the centre of the city put together by Larry and Amanda Hinds who own Indulge Café. What a talented pair they are! The use of local produce is paramount to the operation of the café and there is a steady stream of farmers dropping off boxes throughout each week. Just to call in for coffee and cake is a great experience with Larry in charge of the coffee machine and also the cake maker. A constant on the menu is an Almandine Tart with seasonal fruit that is always hard to pass up until I see what else is in the cabinet and then the choice is nigh on impossible. The Sunday Soiree began in 2014 and this year’s event was a relaxed afternoon of an amazing range of dishes served on shared platters which showed off Amanda’s skills and the local produce superbly.
The Farmers Markets are a new event and I couldn’t help thinking I had to travel to Bundaberg to find a genuine market that featured only the produce of the region sold by the people who grow and make it. There were no resellers with produce from far away, no one selling imported produce – just a wide range of winter produce grown around Bundaberg and the North Burnett.
I met up again with ginger grower Anthony Rehbein who has value added his fresh crop with the best dried ground ginger I have ever tasted and also some excellent pickled ginger. By the time ground ginger arrives on our shores it is often old and lacking in flavor. Anthony is marketing his products under the label “Bunda Ginga” and since returning home I have made ginger cakes, crumbles, biscuits and all of them have a lovely ginger bite. I am yet to do anything with the pickled ginger except open the jar and eat it off the spoon.
Well known pastry chef and owner of Three Girls Skipping Café in Graceville Caroline Jones and I will be conducting a cooking class on Wednesday evening this week (29th July) at Executive Chef and Bunda Ginga will feature in some of the recipes. The class is titled “Warming Winter Desserts” and Anthony Rehbein will be joining us for the class and will have his ground ginger for sale. This will be the only opportunity to buy the product in Brisbane in the near future although I hope that as the word gets out he will be able to supply retail outlets.
The cooking class costs $80 per person with recipes and plenty of tastings and bookings can be made at Executive Chef 3844 4413.