Published on March 25th, 2014 | by Ann Rickard0
New Yorker’s Vision
I remember when a brash but likeable New Yorker named Jim Berardo landed in Noosa about 15 years ago and opened a swish restaurant called berardo’s.
The usual opening party with a few canapes and a glass of wine was not for him.
Not long after, Jim decided Noosa needed a food festival to showcase the wonderful fresh produce he had discovered on farms in the hinterland and from the bountiful ocean.
He invited southern media and food writers to Noosa, loaded them into a bus, drove them to a Nubian goat farm in the Sunshine Coast hinterland and sat them down to lunch beneath a lined marquee in the middle of a paddock.
All the luxe touches people had come to expect from this New Yorker were there in the paddock: white tablecloths over long rows of tables, elegant floral arrangements, apron-wearing waiters pouring champagne, exquisite food and a nearby farmers’ market table brimming with local produce.
Just before the lunch began, the goats decided a frolic on the tables was in order and up they leapt for a gambol up and down the white tablecloths, stopping only to nibble on the flower arrangements.
Fortunately, Jim and his team hastily rounded up the goats and reset the tables just minutes before the guests arrived and the event was an outstanding success.
Now, with some of the world’s top chefs, food writers and critics, entertainers and winemakers clamouring to get to Noosa to cook, demonstrate, perform, showcase and just be part of the exuberant party atmosphere of the Noosa International Food and Wine Festival every May, you could say Jim Barardo had vision.
May 15-18. 2014