Secret Foodies launched in Queensland with a battle. Italy: North vs South which region has the best food?

After six years of surprising foodies and over 200 dinner parties at luxe Sydney and Melbourne restaurants and random locations we couldn’t wait to pop the cork on Queensland, kicking off our first Secret Foodies event on the Sunshine Coast.
Tempted by the ‘Italy: North vs South’ cuisine-theme, over 50 lucky ticket-holders made their way past the fairy-light lit trees on Hastings Street to the romantic-chic Locale Ristorante E Bar.
Adventurerous foodies purchased their ticket to the themed event unaware of where they were going until moments before show-time. Two hours before to be precise, they were sent the location via sms.
The desination, Locale Ristorante E Bar didn’t disappoint, the theatre of fine dining prelude, a medieval castle-candelabra and Vespa outside ready to transport our senses away to Italy.
The meal started with mussel, clam, fennel, saffron fish soup ‘brodetto’ inspired by Italy’s north, Friuli, influenced by Central Europe and the fresh produce sourced in the mountains and Adriatic Sea.
This gorgeously scented soup was thoughtfully paired with a 2014 Tieffenbrunner, Pinot Bianco.
The region of Italy bordering France and Switzerland, Piemonte, continued the North challenge with a wagyu bresaola, fried zucchini flower, buffalo milk ricotta, woodland sorrel and porcini oil starter. A Piedmontese wine of fruit and flower notes was paired with this dish.
Hosts and restauranteurs Rio and Amanda ensured warm, welcome Italian hospitality was featured throughout the event with attentive waitstaff. The mood was elegant and the energy was high as we continued the journey down south to the boot of Italy.
Abruzzo is known for its national parks, hilltop medieval and Renaissance towns and nature reserves. This region inspired the Gympie pork, celeriac purée, cavalo nero, heirloom carrots, chestnut and truffled jus main. The wine match with this dish was a crowd favourite- a medium-bodied, plum and mocha scented 2014 Contesa Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.
If Italy was a boot, the dessert was inspired by the heal, Puglia. Whitewashed hill towns, summertime and farmland stone huts. The rustic, soft crust creme patissiere filled ‘pie’ with Amaro Lucano gelato and candied fruits baked with farm-hut ingredients and tasting of comfort and small-town conversation. A citrus scented sweet NV Normanno Zibibbo Sicilia dessert wine the perfect accompaniment to pastries and cakes.

After a little fun and frolic with the head chef Andy Davies and quizzing him on his favorite eat, drink, play we wrapped up a wonderful evening having made new friends. Our Queensland tribe has started. We’ll be back Queensland!

To see more pictures from the event click here.

Locale Ristorante
62 Hastings St Noosa Heads 4567
(07) 5447 5111