Culinary Connections at The Curated Plate

Image source: Contributed

Local foodies are busy cooking up menus, venues and experiences for The Curated Plate 2023! Georgia Beard offers a taste of the major events and activities as part of the official program release. 

Last year, locals and visitors alike ventured beyond the dining tables to unearth stories of passionate food production on the Sunshine Coast to herald the return of the region’s premier celebration of food. 

Farmers opened the gates to their orchards and crop rows, inviting us to harvest produce and learn about farming practices. This homegrown journey culminated when we feasted on local and seasonal produce curated by creative chefs at sublime picnics, long lunches and soirées. 

When breweries and distilleries opened their doors, we discovered the art of craft liquor and tried our hand concocting cocktails. Other hands-on cooking classes and workshops revealed the intricacies of food preparation. 

But these experiences only offered a taster of the region’s diverse gourmet landscape. 

In 2023, The Curated Plate has outgrown last year’s “side plate” to serve up a main course of regional flavours, culinary expertise and immersive experiences from 28 July to 6 August.

Since applications closed in February, the foodie festival has gathered an array of industry partners from farmers and producers to restaurateurs and chefs to distillers, brewers and bartenders.  

In commercial kitchens, on distillery floors and between towers of craft beer vats, collaboration is growing. From all corners of the industry, businesses are bringing together sensational local products in ways we’ve never tasted before.

The Curated Plate 2023 has just launched and has announced three signature events to transform and define the festival experience. 

Presented by Mooloolaba Initiatives and Activations, MooloolaBARS will deliver a one-day beer and beverage tasting trail across ten Mooloolaba venues and bars. 

“For those of us lucky enough to make beer, gin or rum here, I think we all try and put a little of that magic into each glass,” said Event Director Craig Williams.

“The MooloolaBARS festival will be one epic celebration of Sunshine Coast craft beer, gin, food and music, moving from one bar to the next along the stunning Mooloolaba waterfront.”

Spicers Tamarind Retreat will host the Sunshine Coast Asian Food Festival bringing together three iconic Asian restaurants on the Sunshine Coast – Sum Yung Guys, Spirit House and Rice Boi – to share Asian street food, local brews and cooking demonstrations.

“We’re excited to be showcasing the amazing produce that is on offer here on the Sunshine Coast and show why Asian food works so well with our sub-tropical climate,” said Spicers General Manager Ryan Dillon. 

Paddock to Curated Plate presented by 91.1 Hot FM will be a free family-friendly event giving foodies of all ages the opportunity to touch, taste and experience the best of our own backyard. 

Hosted at Cotton Tree, food tastings, interactive workshops and demonstrations from local producers will showcase the complete palate of the Sunshine Coast food scene. 

Expanding on the success of Hello Sunshine Magazine’s sell-out culinary experiences at The Curated (side) Plate 2022, we’re cooking up something inspirational for this year’s festival. 

Last year, our Hello Sunshine Sunday Soirée offered guests a sprawling banquet prepared by local bartenders, bakers and celebrity chefs in Palm Creek Estate’s natural paradise; and local legends from our podcast, Everyone Has a Story: Conversations from the Sunshine Coast and Noosa, sparked fascinating conversations over Market Bistro’s divine menu at the sell-out Podcast, Pinot & Duck.

This year, we’ve invited more local change-makers and local legends to deliver a thought-provoking and sense-stirring experience in The Doonan’s sprawling gardens and dining spaces for another Podcast & Pinot.

As we celebrate homegrown food and heartfelt hospitality in the newly opened multi-purpose venue, MC and podcaster John Caruso will head a panel of fascinating guest speakers including:

  • International DJ Superstar and creator of ARIA Chart topper Good Girl Gone, DÉ SAINT
  • Actor and radio star Sam Coward
  • OzHarvest Sunshine Coast founder and coordinator, co-author and creator of SunnyCoast Eats and Sunshine Coast’s Citizen of the Year Michele Lipner
  • Rob Comiskey, Director of Comiskey Group, the family-owned development company behind The Doonan as well as multi-award-winning venues including Eatons Hill Hotel and Sandstone Point Hotel.

Indulge in a specially-designed menu by Head Chef Wayd Bailey featuring local produce and matched with the finest drops of Pinot, from sparkling wines to pinot gris and our favourite, pinot noir. 

The event will raise much-needed funds to support OzHarvest’s vital work in rescuing food waste to help feed our community in need.

Last year’s event was a sell-out success and this year’s promises to be even more special with a few surprises in store!

As we embark on this sensory adventure during the winter months, we’ll find connection at the root of every experience – to the food we put in our bodies, the environments where it flourishes and the communities who produce and prepare it. 

Visit for program announcements and ticketing. 


The Curated Plate 2023 offers a smorgasbord of flavours, experiences and hands-on fun. Here are some highlights:


Friday 28 July, 3pm – 7.30pm

A progressive dining experience from entrée at Market Bistro to mains at Bottarga Restaurant; and drinks and dessert at The MET with insights from local chefs and producers. Presented by the Food and Agribusiness Network. 


Saturday 29 July, 10am – 8pm

One day. Many bars. Memorable experiences. Rove from bar to bar along the stunning Mooloolaba waterfront to celebrate local beer, gin, food and music. 


Saturday 29 July, 11.45am – 3pm 

Chris Sell & Kate Villegas present a divine five-course long lunch featuring local produce, local craft beers and hand crafted cocktails using local distilleries. 


Sunday 30 July, 10am – 2pm 

91.1 Hot FM presents a free family-friendly showcase of local products and producers as foodies of all ages take an immersive journey with interactive workshops and demos.


Daily from Sunday 30 July to Sunday 6 August, 10am – 5pm 

Visit Sunshine & Sons Distillery for gin and tonics paired with limited-edition, gin-infused cheese, crackers and marmalade made by Woombye Cheese Co and Silver Tongue Foods.


Monday 31 July, 10.30am – 5.30pm 

A half-day conference at the Mantra Mooloolaba with a morning showcase of local food industry and tourism experiences, focusing on one of the Food and Agribusiness Network’s primary producers, and a special evening dinner.


Friday 4 August, 11.30am – 2.30pm

Presented by Hello Sunshine Magazine, be engaged, entertained and delighted with Savvy! Surprising! Spirited! conversation and a specially-curated celebration of local people, flavours and experiences.


Saturday 5 August, 1pm – 6pm

The Tamarind joins Spirit House, Sum Yung Guys and Rice Boi for a feast of five mouth-watering Asian dishes and two matching beverages, cooking demonstrations, masterclasses and live entertainment.

Please note: events are subject to change. Refer to the official program for confirmation and ticketing.

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