As excitement builds for the 2022 Tastes of Moreton Bay Feastival, with tickets going on sale next week (June 7), we chat to the event’s ambassador whose “unbridled enthusiasm” for local produce makes him the perfect man for the job.
For six weeks (August 19 to September 25), Moreton Bay’s tastemakers and producers will serve up more than 40 unique events, dining experiences, masterclasses and tours.
The ‘Feastival’ will take foodies on a culinary journey from the farms to the bay, and everywhere in between, in partnership with the region’s restaurants, cafes, bars, tour operators, chefs, and producers.
Renowned chef and champion of local produce Alastair McLeod, who lives in the Samford Valley, has proudly taken on the Tastes of Moreton Bay Feastival Ambassador role.
The centrepiece of the ‘Feastival’ is the three-day Moreton Bay Food + Wine Festival from August 19-21 at Woody Point.
Alastair is passionate about using and promoting local produce, particularly since moving to the Moreton Bay Region nine years ago.
“It feels like a good fit for me to be given a platform to extol the virtues of our own backyard,” he says.
“People are acutely aware of the link between their wellbeing and what they put in their mouths.”
And he says it has been proven produce that is grown locally and has travelled fewer ‘food miles’ is more nutritious and tastes better.
His knowledge of what’s in season, plentiful and at its best – in his own backyard – informs what he includes on his own menus.
He’s proud to be an ambassador for the region’s “food heroes”.
| “These are the people feeding us, our children, our grandchildren, family, friends and loved ones,” Alastair says. |
In his view, one of the single-biggest challenges of our time is a “notion of food sovereignty”.
He’s noticed people at cooking events now wanting to know where the ingredients come from instead of just wanting his recipes.
Alastair says the rise of REKO markets, which enable producers to sell direct to customers, and success of events such as the Tastes of Moreton Bay Feastival and Samford Harvest are proof there’s an appetite for more information and better access to local producers and a celebration of what they do.
“The mood is really changing,” he says.
“Good cooking is not about technique and honing your craft over decades, it’s buying good ingredients.”
He’s been inspired by the efforts of producers in this region and describes the ‘Feastival’ as a six-week love letter to the region.
Besides being the event’s ambassador, he will also host the Samford Harvest Winter event at Loop Growers, Draper, and a new event called the Bribie Seafood Boil.
He says the events not only showcase the region’s best produce, they also bring people together in fun, social atmosphere which they are craving at present.
During Moreton Bay Food + Wine Festival, he will be hosting ticketed dinners and also giving cooking demonstrations.
| “I want to make sure every single person who enters my orbit leaves absolutely infatuated with Moreton Bay,” he says. |
“Cooks think they have dogged determination, but if you want to see real dogged determination, it’s the primary producer,” Alastair says.
He says despite labour shortages and weather events, including the February floods, producers are resolute and determined not to let these challenges get them down.
“It’s been a challenge, but as we head into the cooler months, produce here is at its best,” Alastair says.
| “It’s the perfect time to be having this festival because that’s when the produce is at its most bountiful in Moreton Bay.” |
He will channel his “unbridled enthusiasm” in welcoming people to the region.
“Having visiting chefs from around Australia being part of the festival and to have them go away and be our advocates … it’s a great opportunity,” he says.
The six-week Tastes of Moreton Bay Feastival starts on August 19 with the Moreton Bay Food + Wine Festival.
Tastes of Moreton Bay Feastival is delivered by Visit Moreton Bay Region, with the support of key strategic partner, Moreton Bay Regional Council.
Subscribe via the website to be among the first to be notified when tickets are released
Wearing a mask will remain compulsory for another week, as Queensland recorded one new case of overseas-acquired COVID-19 overnight. Read more here...…
The Bongaree Bowls Club is poised for a major refurbishment – including a new retirement complex. See what's in store...…