2013 Toast Urunga
2013 Toast Urunga

2013 Toast Urunga

Each year on Father’s Day the sleepy seaside town of Urunga comes alive for the annual food, wine and music festival which is “Toast Urunga.” Located on the grassy banks of the Kalang & Bellinger river, this picturesque setting plays host to more than 8000 visitors ready to bask in the Spring sunshine and enjoy all the festival has to offer.

I was instantly impressed with the variety of food stands participating in the event. Some of my favourite Coffs coast restaurants were represented, but there was also a range of food venues from Newcastle through to Byron Bay offering the crowds new and exciting choices.

Paella Casa Catering

Paella Casa Catering

A giant Paella was quick to capture my attention! The delicious aroma of smokey chorizo lured me into the Paella Casa food stand. This Spanish catering company from Swansea was offering a Chorizo & Chicken Paella w saffron, garlic and paprika served with a wedge of lemon. I couldn’t go past without sampling a bowl!

Today's Paella from Casa Paella

Today’s Paella from Casa Paella

We were off to a flying start, the combination was amazing. The smokey chorizo had a mildly spicy flavour, which had infused deliciously in the rich seasoned tomato rice. The addition of large chunks of moist chicken made it a hit with the whole family. It was Paella on a grand and tasty scale, the perfect first food choice of the day.

Chicken & Chorizo Paella Dish

Chicken & Chorizo Paella Dish

We hadn’t taken more than five steps before we were presented with another tempting food option. Anchors Wharf Restaurant is one of our local venues, as I looked at the scrumptious sounding dishes on offer at their food stand I realised this is one local restaurant which I have some how neglected to review. The grilled stuffed king prawn wrapped in prosciutto and filled with feta and pesto sounded so tasty. Then there was also a crispy skin pork belly with caramelised apple, too many options!

Chinese Duck Pancake Anchors Wharf Restaurant

Chinese Duck Pancake Anchors Wharf Restaurant

I eventually settled on the Chinese five spice duck pancake with orange ginger and soy. The crepe was perfectly light and thin and filled with the lovely succulent gamey duck flavour with a sweet caramelised sauce and Asian vegetables.

Seega African Food

Seega African Food

African food always grabs my attention. Zulu’s in Coffs Harbour has the most stand out African curries so I was interested to sample another style of African dish from a different venue Seega Ethio African.

African Curry "Kay Wot"

African Curry “Kay Wot”

The ladies serving looked stunning in their outfits and there was quite a line up for the dishes. Hubby and I eventually settled on the “Kay Wot” a beef curry which could be served with rice or “Injera.” The curry was rich and meaty with only a mild hint of spice. On the counter was a range of spicy condiments which could be added to the dish to taste, but since we were sharing with the children we only tried a little, they were fiery and flavoursome! Injera is an African flat bread, unlike other flat breads it has a spongey texture a little like a flat crumpet. The curry was served ladled on the bread and it soaked up all the delicious juices.

Bellingen Brewing Company

Bellingen Brewing Company

It is thirsty work lying in the sun and eating, so Mr GG decided to try an ale from one of the boutique breweries. The Bellingen Brewing company were offering three choices to festival goers but hubby decided on the “Harvest Ale”, a golden ale, floral and light, perfect for washing down the “Kay Wot” on a warm day.

Bago Vineyard Range

Bago Vineyard Range

Picnics for me need bubbles!

I couldn’t go past Bago wines without trying their Sparkling white wine. This local vineyard produces a sparkling wine from a mix of pinot noir and chardonnay grape and it was the perfect choice for relaxing on the grass, enjoying the music and watching the water.

Toast Urunga Food Festival

Toast Urunga Food Festival

I really enjoy listening to live music. There were three bands playing while we were grazing on all the lovely food. Clock and Dice, a jazz and blues band. Josh Needs a country music singer, and the ever popular “Bondi Cigars.”

There were so many more food stands to try and my tummy space was diminishing quickly!

Zulus @ The Zebra

Zulus @ The Zebra

Zulus were plating up delicious soft taco’s filled with melt in your mouth African curry, the aroma was amazing! …but I had eyes for dessert only. One of my favourite food choices of the day was the Zulu’s “Chocolate Chili Fudge Brownie!”, I want to write the name in capitals!! It was SO GOOD!

Zulus Soft Taco

Zulus Soft Taco

Imagine a slab of the most chocolatey, gooey goodness, filled with crunchy nuts, and a warming chili flavour coming through the sweet rich dessert. Then add a lush sticky caramel topping and you have dessert heaven.

Chilli Chocolate Fudge Brownie

Chilli Chocolate Fudge Brownie

We had officially moved on to afternoon tea and the children were ready to choose their own sweet treat. With so much on offer it was a tough choice. The pretty pink “Sweet Bellingen” stand with the giant lolly bags looked like the obvious choice but little

Sweet Bellingen

Sweet Bellingen

Anais noticed a gorgeous cupcake stand with the most beautiful display of cakes.

Cupcake Banner

Cupcake Banner

The cupcakes were so gorgeous I wondered if we should really eat them or just admire their beauty.

Cute Cupcakes

Cute Cupcakes

The children had no such reservations. Anais chose the peppermint cupcake…

Peppermint Cupcake

Peppermint Cupcake

and Locky settled on the honeycomb cupcake. There was very little time for gazing at the sugary treat before they were, but a sweet memory.

Honeycomb Cupcake

Honeycomb Cupcake

….and this cute little teddy bear cake topper caught everyones attention.

Teddy Cupcake Topper

Teddy Cupcake Topper

There were so many more food stands but as much as I was tempted I simply couldn’t manage another bite. It was time to choose a wine from the Margaret River and do nothing more than doze on the grass to the sounds of the music, while the children played on the jumping castle.

Watershed Wines

Watershed Wines

It was absolute bliss lying in the sun.

Jumping Castle @ Toast Urunga

Jumping Castle @ Toast Urunga

Just as I was ready to drift off to sleep Mr GG reminded me that I wanted to see the cooking demonstration from Flooded Gums Restaurant. Flooded Gums is located at Bonville International Gold Course and is one of our popular hatted restaurants. The chefs were demonstrating some delicious seafood dishes.

Seafood Salad Demo from Flooded Gums Restaurant

Seafood Salad Demo – Flooded Gums Restaurant

I watched as the chefs explained the intricacies of filleting a large snapper, but it was the seared scallop dish which won my heart. There is nothing as sweet and as delicate!

Seared Scallops -Flooded Gums Restaurant

Seared Scallops – Flooded Gums Restaurant

Congratulations to the team at Flooded Gums Restaurant! Once again the restaurant has been “hatted” by the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide Awards!

As we left “Toast Urunga” my overwhelming feeling was of pride in our local and regional food and wine. It’s such an impressive event which showcases the best of what’s on offer, and in such a gorgeous natural backdrop. I will be looking forward to the next Toast event.

 

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Comments

  1. Wow, that’s some paella! Sounds like a fun day – thanks for taking us along, at least virtually!

  2. gosh so much good food, the brownies definitely caught my eyes!

  3. WOW! What a fantastic and delicious event. 🙂 That giant Paella is truly jaw-dropping. 🙂

  4. Your kids were very patient in waiting for you to take photos of those stunning cupcakes. Everything looks divine 🙂

  5. Anais and Locky have good taste! I trust they get it from their mum =)

    Your (and 8000 other people’s) Father’s Day celebration seems to have been a potpourri of every kind of food and music. Paella, Chinese crepes, seared scallops – what fabulous way to enjoy!

  6. Wow. That chocolate chilli brownie DESERVES to be in capitals!

  7. What great day out indeed, and what an amazing variety of food available! I haven’t had much African food, but it sounds wonderful, and that paella is incredible!

  8. I love that paella pan but I’d have to import family to help me eat. 🙂

    What a lovely food oriented day. I love food festivals.

  9. What a fun culinary tour. I would like to try one of everything. However that is the biggest pan of paella I have ever seen.

  10. Such a delicious event my friend, I wish I could have gone 😀
    Those cupcakes were so eye catching!

    Cheers
    CCU

  11. Dear Julie,

    I love the green and vibrant red of that giant paella. This sounds like a really fun event to explore the local food and wine culture. The African curry and that icy cold beer looks like a perfect pairing too!

  12. Did you save me a piece of the chili choc brownie by any chance? Your photographs are marvellous – what a terrific day for it too. Am drooling with envy.

  13. wow all those desserts look so pretty! too pretty to eat actually..

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