The Real Food Festival 2012, Maleny

“The Real Food Festival is about authenticity and enjoying nourishing and delicious food that has been grown and prepared right here in our beautiful Sunshine Coast backyard.” Julie Shelton

The real food festival is the creation of Julie Shelton the former advocate for the Slow Food Movement in the hinterland. The festival is about displaying the local producers and for you to meet the faces behind the products. Julie Shelton thinks that Maleny sits in the heart of the Sunshine Coast food production which makes a great meeting place, an added bonus is that the region is a beautiful part of the world.

Julie explains that the  philosophy of the festival is taste, learn and laugh. Allowing visitors to try new tastes, cooking tips, food and garden education and a new way to look at how we consume food and who from. Julie said ” the paddock to plate principle is about following the food chain journey; from food source to producer to consumer.  It brings notoriety to food produces and small enterprises often lost amongst mass consumption and forgotten on supermarket shelves.   It is one of the top food trends in America and Australia and is quickly and quietly opening the eyes and minds of consumers”.

Our first stop was breakfast at the Real Food Festival. Stopping at Barry Family Butchers for a roast beef roll with gravy. Robert and Narelle Barry run the operation from Beerwah. I have permission to quote Roy “this is the best beef roll and gravy I have had in a long time”. I need to stress that the long time was a really long time ago. We left the festival with this being the favourite thing of the day.

One of my new crazes at the moment is fermenting. Getting good bacteria and drinking or eating it. Buchi Kombucha is a range of drinks with flavours like ginger & turmeric, hibiscus pine-lime, strawberry and deep green(which has spirulina and wheat grass in it). Sunday the Fabulous Food Ferments ladies are doing a talk not to be missed about the benefits of fermenting.

ABOVE: Suzie and a cute cow (the one in the middle) from Maleny Dairies and me.

We were recommended to try the hazelnut crusted prawns from Misty’s @ Wild Rocket tent. They also had traditional pasties that had a strong resemblance to the real deal from England.

I bought a few bits and pieces from the festival, one was honey. The bee man is from Pomona he has creamed honey which is great for baking and a spill proof squeezey bottle of honey. We bought the squeezey bottle, I like anything that will help us not be so messy.

ABOVE: Tania Hubbard doing a talk about gluten free and grain free. She also has a cute little cafe in Nambour.

Jeffers Market is a family run business with a shop at Yandina and Maroochydore. Growing or sourcing all produce from the sunshine coast. I bought some tomato seedlings to add to our garden. Ours were not looking so great. They were also selling these delicious fruit salads.

Ok, so I opted for a gelato from Colin James. After walking past the shop a million times and only ever making it in to the fromagerie in the store. I thought it was time I tried this award winning gelato. I got the Macadamia and ginger, it was really good perfect for a warm day.

Roy and I attended the ‘tips for growing the best food’ by Linda Brennan. Who’s website I recently discovered, she is based on the north side of Brisbane and comes to the Sunshine Coast fortnightly to look at gardens and do workshops. Check out her site ecobotanica.

ABOVE: Pork roll with pineapple sauce – it was really zingy from the pineapple

BELOW: Spring roll and fish cake from the Burmese Stall. Another tasty snack.

What was your favourite stall or snack that you enjoyed?


 Every September
visit the website for more information



  1. I am curious about the fermenting. Were they only talking about fermenting for beverages?

  2. That festival looks so good. Wish I’d known about it! I love market food. You can try so many things and they’re often better/fresher/tastier than ‘fancy’ restaurant stuff.

  3. Pingback: The Real Food Festival 2013, Maleny - Strayed from the Table