Local Bundaberg Chilli Prawns

When the river meets the paddock, you end up with a subtle flavour sensation of that sweet salty seafood flavour that a prawn can seduce us all with and then throw in some heat & punch from a locally grown Bundaberg Chilli and it’s what i call a Simple, yet seductive dish.

I¬†typically prepare these tasty morsels as a canap√© for our private catering events and I’ve been told by numerous clients who have suggested they don’t eat prawns- “they were amazing!!”

For me though, the two key elements to this dish are seasonality and local and whalla- thats it!!

Where to Find your Seafood?

In the Bundaberg region alone there are 3 great seafood facilities:

Grunske’s Seafood, Ocean Pacific Seafood & Red Shed Seafood

For me, each of them have their own signature seafoods, though collectively they are nothing short of spectacular for us as consumers.

You see, you dont need to price shop them- its already well priced at each of them, the freshness is paramount and the friendly staff at the three of them makes the shopping experience for local Bundaberg Seafood a breeze.

So when you’re thinking of an easy bbq snack, then grab:

1kg of local Bundaberg prawns, 2 Aust Chilli Red Cayenne chillies, 2 Aust Chilli Green Cayenne chillies, 4 Gin Gin garlic cloves, some Claxton’s olive oil & salt & pepper.

Picking Bundaberg Strawberries

Dion picking Strawberries in Bundaberg
Dion picking Strawberries in Bundaberg

Whilst Strawberries have been grown in the Bundaberg Region for over 10years, it’s still exciting to head out to a local farm and pick your own punnet, like i did at SSS Strawberries.

There is an amazing sense of picking your own, while looking under the leaves, playing in the red dirt and ofcourse, enjoying the satisfaction of tasting some amazing fruit as you go.

Strawberries are indeed a gourmet seasonal treat that should be enjoyed whilst they are here and then the idea of locally made Jam or bulk buying some seconds strawberries and freezing them down for Strawberry breakfast smoothies should kick in as a second & third favourite- Yummo!!

Strawberries can be utilised in a number of creative culinary ways, and yet at home, the kids seem to enjoy them the most- straight from the punnet.

How about hosting a chocolate Fondue Strawberry party? Strawberry Daquiries, Strawberry & Banana Breakfast Smoothie or the absolute favourite of a baked Strawberry Cheesecake.

SSS Strawberries are on the corner of Rosedale Rd & the Bundaberg Gin Gin Highway heading North.

Lets have a Bundy Christmas

For the first time, our home has made its very own Gingerbread Christmas House as part of our festive season. The kids were delighted to see the end result and i must add, this is certainly not something we typically get into (as you can see by our very creative design).

We found this semi-prefab kit at a local store and were delighted to discover that it actually came from Maryborough, a not too distant region and included literally everything- the ginger bread, the frosting, the deco’s and all the way down to the Aussie surfboard leaning up against the beach shack. All so very Aussie!!

We hope your Christmas is a merry one and a time full of culinary discoveries & treasures!!

Hong Kong Food Fiesta

Wowsers. If you’ve never been to Hong Kong before or Asia in general, then you will find it hard to believe how stong the passion is for food within this Culture.

It was amazing to see the variety of food on offer at the Hong Kong Food Fiesta and even more exciting to be able to showcase some of the Bundaberg Regions premier processed food products.

The cooking demonstration showcased Farm Fresh Fine Foods range of Charworks Vegetables & their new Macadamia Pesto along with Macadamias Australia Macadamia Chips & Macadamia Oil on the newly developed Hong Kong Hydroponic Salad greens.

What a an absolute blast to provide so many samples of this very tasty and quick to make “Bundaberg Salad”.

Hong Kong Culinary Judge

It is with great pleasure that i share this journey with you all as this recent experience as a culinary judge was one that reminded me of my apprenticeship days.

As a student we were often subjected to judging panels as a way of improving & honing our skills, though the intimidation was never easy for those involved.

This judging panel however was less formal in nature, though there was still a 1st, 2nd & 3rd place outcome for the 8 groups involved.

Wishing all of these groups the best of luck in their food journeys, wherever that may take you.

Moooovvvvveeeee Over- Here comes Baffle Dairy!!

It’s easy to think about quality Milk products when you live in Australia and you have access to a cross selection of flavours, grades, brands & sizes.

Well, when i recently attended a number of supermarkets in Hong Kong, i was surprised to only see 1 Australian Milk company displaying their wares.

In the Bundaberg Region, we have one of Australia’s best possible milk brands on our very door step- Baffle Dairy and how brilliant would it be to be able to say “That comes from my home town!!”.

Bundaberg Brewed Drinks were sitting on the shelves in the soft drink aisle, so im looking forward to one day walking into an international grocery store and seeing Baffle Dairy with pride of place amongst the dairy section. Keep up the good work Baffle Dairy!!

Are Hydroponics the way of the future?

Could you see yourself being sustainable and growing your own vegetables?

With so many consumers concerned about the chemical use on our fruit & vegetables these days, let me ask you- Are you growing your own?

While the picture included here is of a commercial test program being trialled overseas, i can see that smaller scales of these hydropnic systems will indeed become trendy quicker then we believe.

As the grower of your own produce, you can not only control the growing process, but you can control seasonality of your produce, the types of goods you consume and to some degree- the speed of eating these tasty treats.

Thinking about food is more than just about your next meal. Think Innovation!!

Bundaberg- Australia’s Food Bowl

Having recently discovered that Hong Kong imports approx 98% of its total food consumption, it made me think about how fortunate we are in Australia and having a seemingly abundant flow of fresh produce.

What many consumers in Australia dont realise is just how much produce comes from the Bundaberg Region and in what quantities.

Goods like Sweet Potatoes, Tomatoes, Capsicums, Macadamias, Snow Peas, Chillies, Herbs etc.

The Bundaberg Region has always been known for its fertile soils, temperate weather and good water security and we can now be proud to be known as growing over 50 different commodities throughout any given year.

This is an exciting opportunity for not only consumers, but for the innovation of a food processing plant to be set up in the region.

What?? Thats right. Why is it that with so much food grown in the region, that we havent considered setting up a processing plant for all of the second grade produce, the “ugly” produce and all of the stock that typically wont be accepted by the mainstream markets.

As consumers, lets demand Australian Processed foods as we are happy with our fresh, yet we dont think twice about eating imported tinned fruits.

My challenge to you is to read the back of all of the labels in your pantry and work out exactly how much imported food you could be switching out with Australian processed goods.