Taste Port Douglas returns to the tropics this August

Taste Port Douglas returns to the tropics this August
Edited by Travel Weekly

    Australia’s top chefs and hospitality talent are heading to Far North Queensland for the eighth edition of Taste Port Douglas, from 8-11 August.

    This year is set to be its biggest and best festival yet, as for the first time ever, its highly anticipated dining experiences will span across both its home port of Port Douglas and the FNQ capital, Cairns.

    After weathering Tropical Cyclone Jasper, Taste Port Douglas’ co-founders, Reina and Spencer Patrick, are excited to bring the area back to life, welcoming their all-star line-up of the nation’s top culinary talent, as well as local and far-flung visitors from across the country. ​

    “This year’s Taste Port Douglas will be a culinary celebration like no other, with a spectacular lineup of events and masterclasses hosted by some of the best talent in the country,” Spencer Patrick said.

    “Following the cyclone in December it’s been a tricky start to the year for the local community and businesses, and we’re now excited to see the festival bring FNQ back to life, welcoming both interstate and international guests to feast with us once again,

    “We hosted more than 10,000 visitors at Taste Port Douglas last year, many of whom travelled from overseas to feast with us, and this year we anticipate an even bigger crowd with bringing our capital city into the action.”

    This year’s itinerary features old friends of the festival and new faces alike, masterclasses and tropical parties. Local hotspots will also welcome a series of chef-led events, including the sell-out long sea-side luncheons, A Night of Fire at Flames of the Forest, as well as new and exciting event additions catering to all ages.

    “It’s such a privilege to see the success of Taste Port Douglas grow year on year, with the support of our visitors who travel from far and wide to join us in the festivities, as well as our outstanding line-up of chefs and hospitality talent,” Reina Patrick said.

    “The festival is cementing the region’s reputation as Australia’s favourite tropical culinary destination and we cannot wait to welcome faces, both fresh and familiar, to celebrate and feast with us once again.

    “This year we’re seeing even more involvement from the region, from The Wildlife Habitat’s ‘Breakfast with the Birds’ family passes, to the Jerry Mai X Paper Crane collaboration in Cairns City, and it’s so exciting to see the Taste Port Douglas family expand each and every August.”

    Max and Laura Sharrad plus Massimo Mele head the La Dolce Vita Long Lunch.

    There are 25 events taking place over the four-day weekend including:

    Thursday, 8 August ​

    The official festival launch party: Kicking off the festival under the stars, guests can expect exceptional views and infectious beats with all the festival VIPs. Enjoy flowing food and drinks to celebrate the start of the region’s gourmet weekend, with Port Douglas’ iconic Four Mile Beach at one side, and the blue lagoons of the festival’s principal hotel partner, the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, at the other.

    Friday, 9 August

    Masterclass Series: Join Brisbane chef, Ben Williamson of AnyDay Hospitality, who will talking patrons through the success of open-fire restaurant, Agnes, recipient of Gourmet Traveller’s 2023 ‘Restaurant of the Year’ award.

    The Lexus Long Lunch: – MC Alastair McLeod is back to host the festival’s signature long lunch, presenting al fresco dining at its finest, against the backdrop of Dixons Inlet. This year, the brigade of guest chefs will see Telina Menzies, Louis Tickeram, Adam D’Sylva and Julian Hills, serving up a three-course feast accompanied by drinks from Jansz Tasmania Premium Cuvee and artisan South Australian wine Chaffey Bros. Wine Co.

    Saturday, 10 August

    La Dolce Vita: An Italian Long Lunch. Transporting diners to Italy’s infamous coastline will be leading chefs Massimo Mele, Laura and Max Sharrad and Bente Grysbaek, as they cook-up a taste of ‘la dolce vita’ in collaboration with the local favourite, La Cucina e Bar. The feast will start with a live cheese-making demonstration by Vannella Cheese, before Italian-Australian chef and restaurateur, Massimo Mele shares stories about the rich history of Italian-Australian cuisine.

    A Night of Fire at Flames of the Forest: Nick Holloway of Palm Cove’s Nu Nu restaurant will light up the night with renowned chefs Ben Williamson, Aaron Ward, Julian Hills and Louis Tickeram. Set deep in the heart of the world’s oldest rainforest, guests will enjoy a fire-licked feast like no other.

    Sunday, 11 August

    Festival Village at Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort: Guests will enjoy a day of live cooking demonstrations and masterclasses for all ages, pop-up food and drink stalls from the participating chefs, local distillers and brewers, live music, roving performers and more.

    Festival Sunset: Taste Port Douglas Closing Party: Guests can expect delicious bites and tropical tipples as they dance until the small hours and celebrate the success of this year’s festival, soundtracked to live musical performances and DJs.

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