Gauge | Image credit: Esteban Rivera
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. A time where ‘diet’ is a dirty word and Urban Listers can be found face down in a bowl of pho from the Night Noodle Markets. That’s right—Good Food Month is back, baby!
Brisbane Times Good Food Month is returning to the River City for a second helping during July 9 to August 9, after smashing it out of the park and making us avoid the scales for four weeks last year.
Along with everyone’s favourite noodle fiesta at South Bank—which will up the ante to 12 nights in 2015—the month-long festivus will feature tonnes of breakfast and lunch specials, ‘Hats Off’ dinners, pop-ups, tastings and masterclasses. And that’s just for starters.
There’s plenty on the menu for penny-pinchers, including a cocktail–tapas combo for twenty bucks at more than a dozen of the city’s best bars, but it’s the big-ticket items we’re really drooling over.
Here’s a little taste of some of the indulgences you can book in for Good Food Month. It’s eggs on toast for dinner until then, kids.
Celebrate the Young Guns at Aria Restaurant
There are some next gen chefs out there absolutely slaying it at the moment. For Good Food Month, Aria will welcome the talented young’uns from the kitchens of The Long Apron, Gauge, Statler & Waldorf, Gerard’s Bistro, Ricky’s River Bar and Esquire to give you a taste of the future.
The six finalists for the Young Chef of the Year award will each create a unique dish for the July 14 event (find the details here). For the record, last year’s winner was Ben Devlin whose hop-happy bakery concept, Beerkary, continues to go great guns.
Tickets are $150 and include matched wine as well as tea and coffee.
Take your tastebuds to Levant at Gerard’s Bistro
Unless you have a degree in European history or have a serious atlas addiction, you might not know where ‘Levant’ is. Hint: Gerard’s Bistro gents Ben Williamson and Johnny Moubarak recently spent some time in Lebanon and returned with a bag of culinary secrets between them.
Let the lads give you a crash course on Levantian cuisine and have your senses whisked away to the eastern Mediterranean, from the Arabian Peninsula to Southern Turkey. It’s an area unfamiliar to most, but one that foodies will definitely want to discover.
Tickets are $150 and include Lebanese wines and spirits.
Cheers to a Cocktail-Matched Laneway Dinner at Urbane
Wine-matched meals are so passé. A cocktail paired degustation? Now we’re talking. Urbane continues to harvest the accolades, from squeezing into Gourmet Traveller’s top 20 to taking out Chef of the Year, Best New Talent and snagging two chef’s hats two years running.
Urbane’s head chef Josh Raine and The Laneway’s bar manager Matt Fearnley will be figuratively high-fiving over your plate for Good Food Month, creating a six-course international dining experience with matching cocktails for one night only on July 29.
Tickets are $130 and include matched cocktails.
Wet Your whistle with Nant’s Whisky Masterclass
Nant call their single malt whiskies ‘expressions’, which makes you think this masterclass might involve more than knocking back a few. There is so much art that goes into producing this multi-awarded Tassie tipple, from sherry-soaked barrels to the altitude of the estate.
Nant’s whisky connoisseurs will transform whisky novices into admirers, and enthusiasts into deadset doyens. There will be plenty of chances during July and August to learn more about the ‘Water of Life’, on July 9-11, 14-18, 21-25, 28-31, and August 1 and 4-8 (find the details here).
Tickets are $70 and include five expressions of whisky plus spirit from the still.
Sneak Off to Sunday Lunch as One of 20 guests With esq.
We all need to go with the flow a little more often and esq. is holding us to that self-made promise. As part of Good Food Month’s Pop-Ups & Precinct Parties, esq.’s chefs are heading out of their comfort zone and going bush.
Just 20 lucky guests will be treated to a five-course lunch, creek-side somewhere in inner city Brisbane (details here). It’s all very hush-hush, with the location revealed upon booking, but we know the postcode starts with 4-0. There will be a few installments of the Sunday lunch pop-up on July 12, 19, 26, and August 2 and 9.
Tickets are $150 and include matched wines.
Pay Homage to the Growers at GOMA Restaurant
Chef James Viles of Biota Dining fame is gracing GOMA with his presence for one night only on July 18. He’ll be bringing fare from the Southern Highlands of New South Wales—his stomping ground—to create a five-course dinner that brings the outside inside, saluting the growers and gatherers of our fair country.
Viles’ Bowral establishment is not only the proud holder of two chef’s hats, but also took out Regional Restaurant of the Year in the SMH Good Food Guide awards last year. Biota’s dishes are branded by their ingredients and are driven by both seasonality and technique. Yeah, this is kind of a big deal.
Tickets are $169 and include matched Yalumba wines.
Brush Up on Your Bush Tuckerat Wandering Cooks
If you’re more of a doer than a diner, you can become an ‘Instant Expert’ with four hands-on courses during Good Food Month. Everyone’s favourite roving creators Wandering Cooks, with the help of renowned bush tucker chef Dale Chapman, will run you through the bountiful harvest of our sunburnt land.
Tying in nicely with NAIDOC week on July 11, Dale will host an intimate workshop and impart her wisdom about native produce and how to use it in modern cooking. Think lemon myrtle, wattle, kangaroo, bush tomato and bunya nut.
Tickets are $150 and include tea and coffee.
Want more of the best events in Brisbane this month? Check out The Mini Edition: our guide to the best new openings and cool happenings in Brisbane this July!