From the moment you arrive in Cairns and step out of the plane, there’s an essence of magic in the air. The warm air instantly relaxes you, the rainforest clad mountains are a welcoming sight, relaxation is instant and anticipation grows … Welcome to the tropics.
Your journey in the tropics starts now with your own personal driver whisking you away, north of Cairns to the tropical wonderland that is Port Douglas. Well known for the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree Rainforest and amazingly long white beach – but it’s the food you’re hear for. The journey you’re embarking on is one from the paddock to the plate, enriching your palate and memory of freshly grown produce, seeing it grow, learning how to grows from stem to fruit, the history of farming in the area, to follow it’s journey into the award winning restaurants throughout Port Douglas and Daintree. The best part now, will be seeing nationally recognized celebrity chefs transform this produce into dishes with their flair.
Port Douglas in Tropical North Queensland sits right in the middle of one of Australia’s richest and most diverse “food bowls”. To the west there’s the Atherton Tablelands – a magical wonderland complete with produce ranging from specially crafted cheeses, tropical fruit wines, coffee and tea, mango plantations, bush spices and herbs, fresh water yabbies, beef, dairy farms, macadamia nuts and even a distillery.
As you come down from the Tablelands you’ll find Julatten, a little cooler climate but still moist, perfect for growing herbs & lettuces for the restaurants and farmers markets. Look for Piggies herbs on the menus.
To the north of Port Douglas you’ll find sugar cane in abundance, more coffee and tea plantations, tropical fruit ice cream, a barramundi farm, a chocolate farm and exotic tropical fruit plantations complete with fruit names such as Black Sapoate, Soursop, Jackfruit and Dragonfruit … the list is endless.
Then there’s the food bowl to the East – the Coral Sea is brimming with divine seafood such as tiger prawns, squid, Coral Trout, painted crayfish and Red Emperor.
Right here in the centre of town you can find large mud crabs, filled to the brim with delicious and juicy meat. You can even choose your own at The Inlet Seafood Restaurant!
One of the greatest pleasures of dining in the tropics is knowing that the food you eat has all been sourced locally – and even better you can experience the food trail yourself, seeing first hand how the produce is grown or made, and then how it transforms into dishes on these award winning restaurant menus. As you wander Macrossan Street in Port Douglas scanning the menus, you’ll notice terms like “Daintree Estate Chocolate Souffle”, “Mungalli Creek Yoghurt”, “Tableland Red Claw”, “Piggies Herbs” and “Mareeba Mangos”. It’s not hard to see the pride of the chefs in their opportunity to create dishes from local produce.
It’s August and all this produce is plentiful, the trawlers are delighting visitors and locals with an abundance of prawns; dragon fruit can be sampled in desserts and cocktails all through the region; sugar cane juice can be enjoyed while strolling the Sunday Markets and Daintree Estate Chocolate is everywhere. The sun shines, the land is green and the Coral Sea is a glistening blue, reflecting the sky. It’s the perfect time to visit and to sample the very best produce of the region, carefully crafted into special menus by our visiting celebrity chefs at the Taste Port Douglas.
So you’ve been to the farms, experienced the tours and seen the where the foods are produced and grown – now the three day extravaganza begins. From August 21 – 23rd Taste Port Douglas is a gourmet whirlwind of celebrity dinners at Port Douglas and Palm Cove restaurants, master classes, food trails and the two day Taste Port Douglas celebration of all things food including local restaurant food stalls, produce stalls and demonstrations, tastings and talks, live music and celebrity cooking demonstrations.
You’re here now, on the foreshore of the Dickson Inlet in Port Douglas, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Colin Fassnidge of the Four in Hand and 4Fourteen in Sydney, Philip Johnson of e’cco in Brisbane, Massimo Mele, Adrian Richardson of Good Chef Bad Chef and Ben O’Donoghue to name but a few – plus locals Nick Holloway of Nu Nu’s in Palm Cove as well as Spencer Patrick of Harrisons Port Douglas are flying the flag for the region.
There are more celebrity chefs in one location than you could ever imagine showcasing the most sensational local produce in the country. The hardest part of this food journey is wondering which dinner to attend and at who’s master class to join. You get to sample coffee, tea, vanilla, cocoa, tropical fruits, macadamias, cheese, yoghurts as well as some of the best beef and seafood in the country. Package it up, take it back to your Ultra Port Douglas and continue the festival and it’s flavours for days after it ends.
Now that is a foodie-lovers holiday in paradise.
Dates of the event are August 21st – 23rd and a wonderful 5 – 7 day experience in Port Douglas can be tailored just for you. If you’re interested in an Ultra Escape to participate in this Food Lover’s Paradise following the Paddock to the Plate simply contact our friendly Ultra Reservations.