South Bank’s Regional Flavours Festival

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This past weekend was South Bank’s Regional Flavours festival. I thoroughly enjoyed myself! What better way to spend a couple of days than to hear and see live cooking demonstrations from some of Australia’s finest chefs and eat some yummy food?! I love watching cooking shows at home so this was a nice little change of pace to actually be there watching it first hand.

Saturday I ventured down to see what was all going on. I was excited for all the food trucks that were going to be there and was caught by surprise when I saw this…

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I got a bit of a laugh out of it, but they’re quite cute don’t ya think?

After walking through all the booths, I decided to venture over to the Smokehouse Beef stand. This stand was sponsored by MLA (Meat and Livestock Australia) and was all about beef. The first demonstration was entitled American Smokehouse Short Ribs. I had to watch this to see what their take on American short ribs was. Luckily, this extremely good-looking gentlemen (he was really hot) gave the demonstration.

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Hayden Quinn was on MasterChef Australia in 2011. He was very encouraging of questions throughout his demonstration and I finally gave in and asked one. I asked what part of the U.S. he likes to go to for barbecue. Then he asked me what part of the U.S. I was from and said I should be the one giving the demonstration instead of him. Come to find out, he studied in New Jersey for a bit and returns to the U.S. every year because he loves the East coast. Personally, I thought he did a great job and really was pretty spot on as far as American short ribs goes.

I decided to go listen to another demonstration and moseyed over to the Epicurious tent. Paul West, who has his own show River Cottage Australia on The Lifestyle Channel, was giving a demonstration. I really didn’t care for him too much.

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It was lunch time so I wondered over to the MasterChef food truck where they had crispy lamb tacos. While I was standing in line, this guy stood in front of me and started talking to the crowd. I had no idea who he was and thought it was slightly rude of him to do that. He then started taking pictures with people and signing books. Turns out, it was Gary Mehigan who’s a judge on MasterChef Australia. Needless to say, I was a creeper and took this photo of him.


I headed down to the River Quay area and watched Dan Cossart, chef at Popolo Kitchen and Bar, make ricotta gnocchi. I really enjoyed watching him. Poh Ling Yeow was emceeing and was quite lovely. She was runner-up on the first series of MasterChef Australia in 2009. There was also a wine expert on stage with them, but I wasn’t too fond of him.

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Back to Smokehouse Beef I went to watch Damon Amos’s take on Texas brisket. I wasn’t impressed with him at all. He’s the head chef at Public likes to cook his brisket in a water bath. No one in Texas, or involved with American barbecue, would ever do that!

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I walked around a little more and found this grilled halloumi stand. Halloumi is a type of cheese and unlike Americans, where we’d fry it, they grilled it. It was delish! I also wondered to this nice fresh raspberry and cream stand. They were yummy!


I caught the tail end of Annabel Langbein’s demonstration before I called it a day. Annabel has her own show The Free Range Cook: Simple Pleasures on LifeStyle FOOD. I enjoyed her a lot.

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Sunday rolled around and day two of Regional Flavours commenced. I went and got a scone with jam and cream and then headed over to watch Adam Liaw demonstrate Adventurous Asian Dinner Party food. Adam was the winner of MasterChef Australia’s second series.


Afterward, I met up with Victoria and Nadine. We ventured down to the River Quay area and found these yummy drinks! I can’t remember what they’re called, but it’s got liquor, prosecco, and soda water.


We wondered around for a bit and Nadine had to scoot off with her friends so Victoria and I decided to go check out The Hunting Club and catch up with Sheree and Corrie. I decided I’d try the cider flight which included pear, apple and hot apple cider, but they were all out of pear so I substituted a pale ale for the pear. They were very good! I also got an order of these prawns on a stick!


While there, we saw Alice Zaslavsky who was on MasterChef Australia so I decided to be a creeper yet again and snap a picture.

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Needless to say, I had a wonderful weekend surrounded by food, famous Australian chefs and some lovely ladies I’ve been able to work with while here in Australia!

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About Chelsey Ahrens

I currently work for the Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service in the Animal Science Department. I'm the Specialty Livestock/Youth Education Specialist. I have a Ph.D. in agricultural communications from Texas Tech, a master's in agricultural leadership from the University of Georgia, and a bachelor's in animals science from the University of Arkansas. I love all things agriculture, particularly livestock. I also like to bake, cook, can, sew, and play with my dog child, Shooter.

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