Published on May 17th, 2013 | by Ann Rickard1
Edible Music – Gala Concert and Dinner
The Edible Music opening concert for the Noosa International Food & Wine Festival can only be described as WOW. An inadequate description, I know, but everything about it was quite simply wow wow wee wha wonderful.
After a cold and rainy day, the evening looked as though it could be miserable, but people piled into the Festival Village for pre-concert drinks under the Grand Marquee and there was an atmosphere of great humour. No-one seemed worried about the rain.
Then it was time to sit down in the vast undercover marquee in front of an enormous stage and the anticipation as we looked up at the 50 musicians about to perform – yes, 50 – was palpable.
When conductor Guy Noble struck up and the Queensland Virtuosi orchestra began to play there was this great hush in the crowd, and, I suspect, more than a few goosebumps popping up on arms and backs. It just kept on getting better and better from there.
In front of us, we all had a white box filled with delectable canapés. It was like a box of chocolates with each little canapé in a separate section.
Ten of the world’s best chefs (from the San Pelligrino World’s Best Chefs list) came out each presented their canapé to the music. How about a bon bon of petuna ocean trout from Tetsuya (he really hammed it up on stage) and a beef taco with lettuce mousse and chantilly cream from Andre Chiang, and a honey pickled cucumber with dill and goat cheese from Ben Shewry? These are just a few of the delicious bite-sized morsels.
Tetsuya seemed to be the most popular chef, although they were all really well received. He really is a chef rock star.
We forgot all about the cold as the entertainment ramped up and then up again with the sexy Jane Rutter in slinky silvery gown coming out to seduce us with her flute. Then amongst the crowd wandered a veritable bevvy of dinner-suited men (and one woman, as far as I could see) moving amongst us, singing their hearts out.
Well, beyond wonderful it was. The tribute to Pavarotti had everyone enthralled – all this while we were eating sublime morsels prepared by some of the world’s best chefs. You had to pinch yourself to believe you were experiencing this world-class entertainment in the Noosa Lions Park.
After the concert we sat down to dinner at white clothed tables with linen napkins, floral table decorations (in the marquee, we were still in the park) and were served a sublime three course dinner. Cloudy Bay clams, Huon ocean trou, shark Bay Prawns and Kinkawooka mussels appeared before us in a bowl and then staff came around and poured a galangal and tumeric broth over the lot. Keep in mind, we are in a marquee in the Noosa Heads Lions Park. Spectacular, no? Then, a meat I would gladly walk over hot coals for, beef cheeks. But these were Cape Grim beef cheeks (the best) all melty and warm and nourishing and with a carrot puree and speck, it was almost an out of body experience for me. Seppelt wines went with it all and by the time we got through a dragon fruit and berry panna cotta, I wanted to shout: “I LOVE THIS FESTIVAL.”
Everyone was in great spirits, the maquees were packed and nobody gave thought to the rain. Today we woke to a beautiful Noosa sunny morning – and now we really start The Noosa International Food & Wine Festival. BRING IT ON.
Full program on noosafoodandwine
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