Green-thumbed guru to cook at festival

Published 4:00pm 12 June 2024

Green-thumbed guru to cook at festival
Words by Ashleigh Howarth

Second-generation herb farmer Sarah Heath is set to present a delicious twist on a classic Aussie treat when she takes to the stage at this year’s Moreton Bay Food + Wine Festival.

Sarah, owner of Basilea Living Herbs & Edible Flowers in Burpengary, will demonstrate how to infuse rosemary into honey crackles when she appears on The Kitchenette Stage.

Held over three big days from August 23-25, the Moreton Bay Food + Wine Festival is Queensland’s biggest foodie celebration with special appearances by a host of celebrity chefs, as well as live cooking demonstrations, unique dining experiences, pop-up bars and restaurants, food trucks, local produce, market stalls, music, hands-on workshops, and more.

With the beloved honey crackle or honey joy being a party favourite for decades, Sarah says this recipe is sure to make people feel nostalgic, with a delicious mature health twist straight from the garden.

“This recipe is a crowd favourite because a lot of us remember crackles being served at birthday parties when we were kids,” Sarah says.

“The recipe originally came from Nursing Mothers Australia, and I have added a rosemary infusion. It gives way to thinking about the idea of how you can use herbs in different ways in the recipes we already love.

“Rosemary is one herb that many people would have in their backyard, but they don’t exactly know what to do with it, other than pair it with roast potatoes or meats.

“I can tell you now, rosemary and honey are an amazing combination – it’s so delicious.”

Having made this recipe countless times for her kids, Sarah says it’s a terrific snack option for school lunchboxes.

“You can also pair this rosemary and honey combination with a beautiful baked brie or camembert from Bunya Cheese, another Queensland producer that will also be at the festival,” Sarah says.

As a Moreton Bay producer for 20 years, Sarah says she is proud to have been at the festival every year since its inaugural event in 2018.

“I have been going to the Moreton Bay Food + Wine Festival since the beginning – Basilea Living Herbs was one of the inaugural stallholders when it was held at Redcliffe back in 2018,” Sarah explains.

“I love being with fellow foodies and working with other local producers. Each year the festival grows, and I’m seeing more local producers also proudly putting ‘Made in Moreton Bay’ on their packaging too.

“Unfortunately, due to scheduling conflicts this year, I won’t have a stall at this year’s festival – so I’m so excited to be on The Kitchenette Stage.”

Sarah’s herbs have also been used by celebrity chefs on multiple occasions during their cooking demonstrations.

“I have been up on stage and presented with Dominique Rizzo and have supplied Alastair McLeod and Matt Golinski multiple times; they love using local fresh products in their dishes,” Sarah says.

You can catch Sarah on The Kitchenette Stage from 4.45-5.15pm on Friday, and from 2-2.30pm on Saturday.

The Basilea Story

Basilea (basil – lee) came about from a tree change move from Melbourne in 2000, when Sarah’s mother bought a hydroponic herb farm.

Since then, Sarah’s passion for growing and sharing her love of herbs and edible plants with others has continued to grow. 

In 2013, Sarah relocated her mother's farm to her smaller backyard in Burpengary.

For more than 20 years, Basilea Living Herbs has grown and delivered the very best selection of spray-free living herbs, edible flowers, salads, spinach, and mustard greens seedlings direct to chefs and the public via their farm open days, independent retail stockists, and specialty markets.

With a passion for sustainability, Sarah implemented several environmentally friendly initiatives, being awarded a finalist in the 2022 Moreton Bay Business and Innovation Awards for environmental and sustainability excellence.

Sarah is also a passionate culinary herb educator, hosting beginner and advanced grower workshops, talks, and regular presentations in Moreton Bay libraries, and at the QLD Garden Expo.

Sarah and Basilea Farm can be seen on a Gardening Australia Series 34, Episode 33 that aired nationally on November 10, 2023.

To see more pictures, click through the gallery below. 

Stock up at an upcoming open day

For a genuine experience, visitors can meet Sarah and her team, learn some useful tips for planting and using herbs at home, plus stock up on seedlings during farm open days.

Open days are held only three times a year on a Saturday from 9am-1pm, with the next one being on June 15.

“Our open days are an opportunity for visitors to come and choose their favourite herbs and edible flower seedlings to take home with them,” Sarah says.

“We also have many other local producers attend our open days. This Saturday, we will have Jimmy from Chilli Coffee on-site who will be doing a free coffee roasting demonstration, and Mitch from In the Loop BNE also attends, and he will be there to talk about composting brews.”

It is free to attend.

For more information, visit their website, or follow Basilea Living Herbs and Edible Flowers on Facebook and Instagram.

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