Close to Surface Paradise there is a peaceful oasis, a wonderful food bowl, populated by foodies, passionate chefs and locavores who are keen to share the region’s bounty with visitors. Did you know this?? I had no idea but am so pleased to have discovered it.
The area is Tamborine Mountain, or Mount Tamborine. It is is built on rich volcanic soil and is known for it’s production of avocados, macadamias and previously dairy farms. The area produces more kiwi fruit than New Zealand. I am told by the people “in the know” that this is true!
Last week I was fortunate enough to attend Tamborine Cooking School, Mount Tamborine Queensland as a guest of Gold Coast Tourism and Tourism and Events Queensland. In addition to the cooking school there were many picturesque and memorable places that we visited. I would love to share them with you if you are interested?? Please let me know in the comments below.
Mount Tamborine is located just 45 minutes from bustling Surfers Paradise. It was my kind of place. Chef Terri Taylor planned our lunch menu around what she had available from her garden, with a few things from her neighbors garden and extras from the local area. The entire menu was planned to showcase regional produce and products. Can you imagine how annoying four food bloggers with their cameras hovering over food while you tried to lead the class would be??!! Terri was totally relaxed and happy for us to do our thing while she went ahead providing handy kitchen tips and telling us about the gorgeous produce in the area.
My favorite tip from the day was to buy ginger when it is in season – simple, like all the best tips…. Store it in the freezer and use it as required. I love this idea as I always seem to have little pieces of ginger on the bench that are going wrinkly and shriveled. This is a great tip to prevent waste and also to have produce on hand at it’s best. The best time to grab ginger in Australia is April through to August. It is grown predominately around Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.
The collage below shows a sample of some of the things we enjoyed for lunch along with local Stanthorp Wines. The menu was fresh, creative, fun and tasted fabulous. Gluten free, dairy free and vegetarian requirements were happily accommodated.
Here is a sample of some of the produce that Terri told us about and we used in the dishes.
- Quail eggs from Jimboomba
- Whitches Chase Goats Cheese
- Scenic Rim Olive Oils
- Scenic Rim Olives
- Finger Limes that grow wild in the area. We saw them on our guided walk through Tamborine National Park Joalah Section with Southern Cross 4 Wheel Drive Tours
- Local Macadamias
- Greens, herbs and lemon myrtle from Terri’s garden and beans from her next door neighbor
Take a look at Terri’s vegetable garden in the images below. What a view she has! It was breath taking. I could have happily sat there staring out at the view all day. We ate lunch looking out at that view. Terri was nervous about me taking pictures of the vegetable garden as the property is about to be open as part of an Open Garden program and she explained that her and her husband have been so busy working on the presentation of the front (almost as beautiful) garden and were yet to work on the vegetable garden. It looked pretty good to me! What do you think?
I felt immediately at home here in Terri’s garden, especially with her collection of decorative chooks. I could have happily stayed for much longer….
Have you ever visited Mount Tamborine?
Would you like to see some images of the other places we visited around Mount Tamborine? There were so many lovely places we visited I would love to share them with you if you are interested?? Please let me know in the comments below.
*As mentioned above, I was a guest of Gold Coast Tourism and Tourism and Events Queensland on this trip. All content in this post is based on my experience and opinion.
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