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Byron Shire
July 7, 2022

Great foodie weekend end of July

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Eddie Brook from Brookie’s is a hands-on local maker of Brookie’s Gin and other spirits. Here he is pouring a sample of their still-not-yet-released Cape Byron Single Malt whisky at Cape Byron Distillery in 2021. Their ‘Meet the Maker’ tour includes exclusive tastes of their new whisky before it launches and is hosted by Eddie and Martin Brook. Photo Simon Haslam.

The annual Harvest Food Trail on the weekend of 30–31 July allows locals and visitors the much needed opportunity to celebrate the distinctive provenance of our amazing food and beverage offerings in the Northern Rivers region.

‘Part of enjoying the food is knowing the story, understanding where your food was grown, the regenerative methods the farmer used to produce your food, the families behind the brands – and their unique stories. You can enjoy unique farm tours, ‘behind the scenes’ insights, tastings, chef workshops, lunches and so much more,’ says Anne Briggs from Northern Rivers Food.

So what is on offer over the weekend of 30–31 July?

Celebrated chef, nutritionist and author, Sam Gowing, will be running a full-day class at her new Tweed Cooking School. Tweed Escapes and Blue Ginger Picnics have a top deck cruise on the magnetic Tweed waterways, all the while enjoying a platter of 100 per cent local produce.

Norco and Cheeses Loves You have joined forces, opening Allard’s Dairy in Burringbar to demonstrate how a dairy farm operates, with cheese making and tastings. Table Under a Tree in Rosebank will showcase their ethical Boer goat farming operations and will present talks on the incredible flavour and health properties of goat meat, and have product for sale.

Zentveld’s Coffee Farm & Roastery in Newrybar will open the farm gate doors and offer regular farm and roastery tours. Enjoy superb views from the verandah overlooking the farm while you taste coffee grown organically and learn how they care for their soils, bees and wildlife. Brookfarm are providing a special morning tea and regenerative farming tours on their macadamia farm at McLeods Shoot, all with wonderful Hinterland views. Australia’s Manuka in Tyagarah will open their apiary where they produce the worlds’ most potent and pure bioactive Jellybush honey.

At The Farm in Byron Bay there will be a behind-the-scenes tour to learn about their paddock-to-plate journey, with drinks and a tasting plate from Three Blue Ducks afterward. Duck Creek Macadamias in Brooklet will also be opening their farm gate and offering free tastings of their top quality chocolate and macadamia products.

Explore Byron Bay and Playing with Fire Native Foods will provide walking tours to discover our local edible bush tucker plants in both Bangalow and Mullumbimby, sharing insights of our Indigenous history and traditional stories. Afterwards you can taste some of their amazing Australian native foods and purchase plants to grow at home. Karkalla Byron Bay has a local lunch special on Saturday featuring local native ingredients.

The Oyster Shed on Birds Bay is participating, with waterfront dining overlooking their oyster farm, where you can feast on oysters with local finger limes and a paired gin cocktail. Bellingdale Farm in Nunderi have prepared a special long lunch, with a shared feasting menu overlooking Mount Warning. At Pipit Restaurant in Pottsville there is a special six course seasonal menu on offer, where guests can glimpse the cooking process in their open-plan kitchen. In Burringbar, local favourites Mercado Juarez offer a three course lunch celebrating authentic Mexican food.

Further south, Barrio at Habitat in Byron are putting on a special barbeque with an emphasis on sustainable regenerative practices and Crystalbrook Byron has a ‘meet the maker’ Pork and Pinot Long Lunch featuring Bangalow Sweet Pork. Harvest Newrybar are offering a special long lunch in their bakery, using their wood-fired oven, bringing together produce that is native to the region. Ballina RSL will also have a Boardwalk Lunch with a Bangalow Sweet Pork roast – where you can enjoy local produce at its finest overlooking the beautiful Richmond River.

On the distillery and brewing side of things, Two Mates Brewing’s Taphouse will be open for celebrations in Lismore, with food trucks and a paired drink special. Lord Byron Brewery have a new tiki bar with tours, tasting paddles and cocktail specials. Cape Byron Distillery are delivering a Botanicals Class as well as a Meet the Maker tour while Common People Brewing in Bangalow have a Harvest Food Trail special local menu with paired beers. Husk Distillers at Tumbulgum have a morning tea event with homegrown produce and their delicious cocktails enjoyed on their grounds. For those driving, drop into Wild Yeast Brewing in Lennox Head, where you can meet the maker and sample their organically grown non-alcoholic ginger beer.

Visit the NRF Harvest Food Trail website at northernriversfood.org for more detailed information and to download the brochure.

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