27 April, 2023

Banquet showcases finest produce

Foodies from around south-east Queensland enjoyed a rich and diverse array of produce at the inaugural Somerset Flavours Banquet, held at the Esk Civic Centre on the night of April 22.

Plating up third course - David Pugh, Javier Codina, Jason Peppler and Josh Scheppis. Photo courtesy of L.M. Broderick Photography.
Plating up third course - David Pugh, Javier Codina, Jason Peppler and Josh Scheppis. Photo courtesy of L.M. Broderick Photography.

About $6,000 was raised, with a percentage going to local food-related charities such as schools breakfast clubs to help young people in the area have a nourishing start to their day.

The feast featured about 160 people savouring five courses prepared by chefs on the Brisbane dining scene, while there was also a range of wine and beer.

David Pugh from the Brisbane Convention Centre prepared a type of salad for the first course called ‘Red Claw’, before Jason Peppler of Brisbane Valley Farm Direct prepared the second, third and fifth courses.

The second course featured grilled quail, and the next one featured Moroccan spiced lamb pastilla, before Mr Peppler’s final offering featured a chocolate brownie and cumquat parfait.

Javier Codina of Moda Tapas Brasa Bar prepared the fourth course, which featured beef short ribs.

As the event was also about showcasing local producers, those from the Somerset region included Brisbane Valley Quail, Brisbane Valley Meats, Kilcoy Global Foods, Jackwitz Farms, Riverside Farming, Cumquats Australia, and Witz’s Honey.

Event organiser Duncan Brown of Brisbane Valley Farm Direct said the region was one of the most prolific protein production areas in the nation.

“Look beyond the rolling spear grass hills, dotted with ironbarks and old splityard cattle yards and you have a region steeped in history, a history of producing some of the best, cleanest and most ethical food in the world,” he said.

In addition to the dining experience, attendees gained a rare and intimate glimpse into the lives of the producers who have toiled through drought, flood and pandemics.

“The past 10 years have dished up unprecedented challenges to food producers in the Somerset region,” Mr Brown said.

“We’ve been through the worst drought in memory, experienced devastating fires, crippling floods and a one-in-100-year pandemic.

“Yet, these producers have stood tall and kept adapting and delivering, often at significant personal cost.

“This evening is a celebration not only of their produce but their resilience.”

Another feature of the evening was Jack Fogg from Shepherdson and Boyd doing the major auction for a six-person cooking class and three-course meal with Mr Peppler.

A lot of local produce was auctioned off, and the funds raised also included donations from Brisbane Valley Protein.


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