Eat, drink and explore this Father’s Day! Bask in the beauty of Urunga, where the beautiful Bellinger and Kalang rivers meet the sea.
There will be over 70 stalls at this year’s Toast Urunga festival, featuring fresh food delicacies from around the globe. Tantalise your taste buds with food from Australia to Japan, Vietnam, Spain and Africa in one day! What more could you want? FOCUS sits down with celebrity chef Terase Davidson, who will be demonstrating her cooking skills at TOAST Urunga 2015.
Terase is the founder of Taste Byron Bay and is a food industry professional – a qualified seasoned chef and experienced events planner with a big love for Byron. Terase believes in fostering a deeper connection with the food we eat by getting to know the amazing people behind the labels and experiencing firsthand how the food is grown, farmed and produced. You will hear her talk about “flavour starting in the paddock with the farmer” and “getting back to basics”. Come and meet Terase at Toast Urunga Morgo St Reserve on Sunday 6th September – cooking demonstrations are at 11:30am, 12:30pm and 1:30pm. The festival runs between 10am and 4pm. Free parking is available at the Urunga Recreation Grounds and a free shuttle bus operates to the event site.
Terase – what exactly is Taste Byron Bay?
Taste Byron Bay is all about showcasing local seasonal produce. We offer food tours of Byron and the Hinterland in our super cute combi plus cooking classes at the iconic Fig Tree Restaurant, with guests harvesting fresh produce from our garden before each cooking class. I love introducing our guests to exceptional local produce available, that is enjoyed around a big table with great wine, local beer and lots of laughter.
We can’t wait for TOAST Urunga. What do you love most about the Food, Wine and Music Festival?
I love the way Toast Urunga has brought together all the good things in life – amazing food, delectable wine, great music and a love of family and friends – all to be celebrated on Father’s Day. The festival is quite an accomplishment for the 100 plus volunteers who have been running the event for nine years now, relying solely on local business support to make it happen.
There will be over 70 stalls at TOAST Urunga 2015, from Australian to Spanish, Vietnam, Japanese and African cuisine. Do you have a favourite dish?
Tough question! Will have to take a few minutes to think about this! Probably Huevos Rancheros. For those who haven’t heard of this dish, it’s an easy to make Mexican dish served for breakfast, lunch or dinner, which will definitely satisfy any hunger pangs you may have! I like putting my own twist on this dish though, by adding fried chorizo, toasted almonds, coriander and mint finished with a big dollop of goats cheese!
What is your connection with Urunga and the Coffs Coast?
I’ve always loved popping into the Coffs Coast on my journeys between Sydney and Byron Bay – I’m hoping the connection will grow even stronger after meeting all the wonderful people visiting the Toast Urunga event.
What makes your cooking stand out?
I use fresh seasonal local produce and then build on the flavours. I am a big supporter of sustainable farming and love the old school practices of delivering big bold flavours in the kitchen.
If there was one ingredient that you could not live without, what would it be?
Goats cheese! I just love it. If more people ate goats cheese, we’d have world peace I am sure. I use any excuse to use goats cheese!
We hear that the Taste Byron Bay cooking classes are the perfect way to brush up on your cooking skills. Where did you learn to cook?
I grew up in a family of chefs, and my mum is a brilliant cook. I’ve always been fascinated by food and how it is a perfect way to bring people together. Eating a meal together is a great equaliser, regardless of cultures, religion or background. I’m often invited into family homes for dinner when travelling overseas. Sharing plates of food together with new and old friends is the perfect way to strengthen friendships and learn a lot more about others (and yourself!) Interestingly, it wasn’t until I was thirty-two that I finally answered my professional calling and retrained as a chef. My new career began at the fine dining restaurant, Aqua Dining, which at the time was a prestigious one-hat restaurant.
Who has been your biggest inspiration in the kitchen?
Oh, that’s easy! My Uncle Charly! I spent many family holidays as a child peeling garlic in my aunty and uncle’s restaurant, the iconic Fig Tree Restaurant overlooking Byron Bay.
If you could cook for anyone, who would it be?
Family and friends – I don’t have any desire to cook for anyone famous. My favourite meals are those shared with family and friends – everyone sitting down together to laugh, to tell stories and to celebrate great food.
What’s the best piece of advice you have received?
Don’t be afraid to follow your dreams.