The Good Food Month That Was

From the archive: This article is from our original site, MyCityLife, posted on 29 July 2014

Christmas in July has a different meaning for foodies around Australia. It’s a time where all your Christmases come at once in the form of Night Noodle Markets, gourmet masterclasses, laze about lunches, delectable dinners or family-oriented activities and festivals for everyone. Brisbane warmly welcomed Good Food Month and for the entirety of July, food lovers could indulge in all the scrumptious wonders of the culinary calendar event of the year. It was a chance for bars, cafes, restaurants and food spots to showcase their wares through pop-ups, parties, morning breakfast clubs and evening bar hops. 

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and Brisbane knows how to put on a great breakfast. Anouk in Paddington, Au Cirque in New Farm and Pourboy in the CBD joined the breakfast club to kick start each day into awesomeness with their creative and cheap options of breaking the fast. 

Taking the family out for lunch or dinner to a quality restaurant is a hit to the hip pocket, but in Good Food Month, restaurants tailored their menu with excellent prices; allowing families opportunities to enjoy and indulge in special foodie experiences. Good Food Month saw families eat well – and economically: The Night Noodle Markets at South Bank ran from July 17 to 27, with over 100,000 people running past the hawker-style eateries. Plenty of family foodie fortunes saw High Tea at Deer Duck Bistro in Auchenflower every Sunday and a family dinner with La Famiglia Percuoco meant three generations of the Percuoco family cooking up Neapolitan favourites at Ristorante Tartufo on Sunday, July 13. And the ultimate Sunday family dinner saw M&A’s Gordita serve up a roast that explored a different region of Spain each week.

Fine diners were spoilt for choice for what Brisbane’s best restaurants had in store. Let’s Do Lunch meant Queensland’s top-shelf restaurants offering set courses from fine dining spots like E’cco Bistro and Il Centro. But celebrations galore meant eating through a decade of dishes at Azafran on July 12 and blowing out the candles with Restaurant Two for their 15th Birthday celebrations on July 15. An education in sustainable food with Richard Ousby at Stokehouse over lunch on July 16 was followed by Matt Moran’s Aria nose-to-tail cooking event for dinner that night.

And of course, good food is also about a food education: on Sunday, July 13, Masterchefs in the making could sharpen their knives in preparation for a 3-hour master class for An Afternoon With The Stars featuring Sydney’s Quay’s Peter Gilmore, Ryan Squires from three-hatted restaurant Esquire, and Andrew McConnell of Melbourne’s Cutler & Co. Wasabi laid out the art of sake-making to guarantee you the hotshot for the next karaoke party while Laneway Learning meant every Thursday placed a spotlight on raw food cookery. On July 16, Urbane hosted Green Grown, exploring the relationships between Urbane and their suppliers, partners and growers with an evening of organic and sustainable food and wine. The four-course meal by chef and co-owner Alejandro Cancino was enlightenment with the ingredients on your plate and in your glass. The relaxing scene of a late-night film of food at GOMA meant the ultimate in food research, with Friday night films at this cultural edifice taking food education up a whole new level.

Every weekend saw fits of foodie fun, covering all corners of Brisbane. The first Saturday in July saw the infamous Teneriffe Festival run riot, in its fifth year running, the audience was blessed with glorious rays of sunshine and yummy street treats, listening to live music and browsing through markets. From Fortitude Valley, travel lovers embarked on an epicurean adventure through an African food odyssey at Mecca Bar, or a taste through tapas from Peasant in Paddington. Ooh lah lah! July 12 and 13 at South Bank was the place to taste and see all that France had to offer with the Brisbane French Festival. Backing it up the following weekend of July 19 and 20 was Regional Flavours where the streets of South Bank were lined with Eat Fleet Food Trucks as while special guests took to the stage. Matt Preston, Matt Kirkegaard, Alastair McLeod and the verrry sexy Miguel Maestre – among a deluge of foodie personalities and stars – were out in force. 

But with all this talk of food, the palate needed to stay wet with a cocktail or wine, where The Bar Hop program had Brisbane’s best bars shaking up a gin-inspired Tanqueray cocktail with a matched bar snack. Matched food and drinks were showcased at Drink & Dine events, with food and beer matching at New Farm’s Bittersuite and Pig & Pinot at The City’s Lab Bar + Restaurant

With only a few days left in July, there’s still time to tickle those tastebuds. Indulge in the Venetian Sensory Degustation at Bacchus South Bank on Wednesday, July 30 or fluff the feathers and fly into Blackbird with fancy frocks, for a Great Gatsby-themed Champagne and Truffle party on Thursday, July 31.

It’s certainly been Christmas in July where 150 events over 31 days meant banqueting, feasting, dining, feeding and general fêting of food. That was The Good Food Month that was. August will have to be Happy Fasting.

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