Sweet treats in store for Food + Wine Festival

Published 5:00am 7 July 2022

Sweet treats in store for Food + Wine Festival
Words by Jodie Powell

Chocoholics are in for a treat at this year’s Moreton Bay Food + Wine Festival.

CoCouture head chocolatier Monica Pearson is busy planning what she’ll have on offer and relishing the chance to be part of the festival again.

The winner of the Chocolate Artist of the Year at the Cake Oscars says she’s looking forward to setting up her own stall.

In previous years Monica has joined with REKO Moreton Bay, which connects customers with local famers, makers and growers, and she says the organisation was a godsend was a godsend when a snap COVID-19 lockdown forced the heartbreaking cancellation of last year’s festival.

“We put the call out on the REKO pages and the community was outstanding – we made a special pick up the very next day.

|“I had something like 380 brownies to get rid of,” Monica laughs.|

“Dayboro and Samford spent up big – I was sold out – it almost made me cry.

“Dayboro especially, the community out there is outstanding – they support local, local, local everything – they’re phenomenal people.”

Familiar favourites

Sweet treats in store for Food + Wine Festival

With a stall of her own, Monica is already in preparation mode in her Eatons Hill chocolate studio, with plans to create a swag of favourite treats and some special surprises.

|“I always have Rocky Road, it’s the biggest seller, and Turkish Delight.|

“I might even do some cakes with a choc-fudgy ganache.”

Local flavours

Sweet treats in store for Food + Wine Festival

Monica prides herself on pairing locally sourced ingredients with Belgian couverture chocolate.

“I use Buderim ginger and macadamias and Kingaroy peanuts and (Wamuran’s LuvaBerry owner) Mandy’s freeze-dried fruit.

“If I can’t get it locally, I go to South Australia for pears, apricots and nectarines – all the dried stuff, they do the most beautiful dried fruit.”

While COVID created some challenges for Monica’s business, it created opportunities too.

She made special miniature chocolate bars for some hotels on the Gold Coast to serve on dinner trays for guests in quarantine.

“It was so nice, every now and then I got a comment (from a guest). That meant more than anything.”

The Moreton Bay Food + Wine Festival is on August 19, 20 and 21 at Apex Park, Woody Point.

Find tickets here.

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