Published 23rd October, 2010
Nothing brings people together better than food, and what an enjoyable day it was at last weekend’s “Tastes of the Tablelands”? It exceeded my expectations of being one of the best food events in the region and I take my hat off to the organisers and volunteers who made it so. Every year this event gets bigger and better and with 53 stalls, a chef’s cooking competition, ice-carving demonstration and some great community performers, there was something for every one of the 5,000+ people who attended. ..and spending an hour or so on the gate I found there was a good mixture of people from the Tablelands and Cairns region and a surprising number of visiting tourists.
Of course my special interest was with the food growers and producers who displayed, offered tastings and sales of what the Tablelands region has to offer. Local coffee, waters, Indigenous sauces, jams and preserves, fruit wines, ice-cream, Italian nougat and biscuits, spices, fruits and vegetables, dried fruits dipped in chocolate, honey, macadamia’s and peanuts, the list goes on. It was all there – if not sold out. The stall holders all did well on the day.
One stall that caught my attention had books and a display of wonderful food photography from world famous photographer William Yang who was born in Dimbulah. These photos were part of a 2006 exhibition that documented the many cultures of Dimbulah families through their food. The success of the photographic exhibition led some energetic community members to produce the book that celebrates their artisan foods from their ethnic origins. Aptly named ‘Our Celebration – Stories behind the Food’ the book takes you into the homes and kitchens of the community to expose the richness of their cultural food traditions from Spain, Greece, Italy, Croatia, Philippines, as well as indigenous Australia. Looking like they had been designed, photographed and beautifully produced in Melbourne and not our sleepy little farming community of Dimbulah, I just had to buy a book which was well priced at $30.00.
This event organized by the Rotary Club of Atherton truly shows great community spirit and the amalgamation of all the regions of the Tablelands area. I’ll be sure to be there next year.