ben-closeCelebrity chef Ben O’Donoghue & Marion Grasby headlines festival featuring 10 days of culinary celebration from this Thursday.

Far North foodies have cause to rejoice, with this week’s launch of Taste Paradise Food & Wine Festival.

Part of Cairns Festival 2010, Taste Paradise boasts a exciting ten-day program of culinary events, with the gourmet action getting underway this  Thursday, August 19.

Taste Paradise welcomes celebrity chef Ben O’Donoghue, of Surfing the Menu, who will incorporate local tropical produce into his own recipes as he presents Tropical Twist, a special cooking demonstration at The Pier Farmgate Market (21 August).

The culinary adventures then head north to Palm Cove, with O’Donoghue’s Seaside Luncheon (21 August), when the guest chef cooks up a lavish four-course luncheon on the beautiful Terrace at Sea Temple, Palm Cove. O’Donoghue is set to create another extraordinary meal for the Celebrity Dinner at Sebel Reef House (22 August), with lucky gourmet lovers to dine on fare to remember as the sun goes down.

Other Palm Cove Festival highlights include the very popular Long Lazy Lunch, relocating this year to the stunning sands of Angsana Resort (20 August) and Taste of Palm Cove (22 August,2010) offering grazing sensations to tantalise the taste buds with “tasting plates” from $10 each from the bevy of beautiful restaurants along the beach.

marion-grasby-lo-resThe Taste Paradise Pier Foodies Extravaganza at The Pier/Shangri-La Hotel (28 August) will feature Marion Grasby former contestant of MasterChef series 2. The all-day Extravaganza features cooking demonstrations by Marion and our local hero chefs, tastings of fresh local produce and gourmet food, while budding cooks learn culinary skills at the Kids in the Kitchen at Cho Gao at The Pier. Word of Mouth will bring a series of foodies chat sessions where tropical culinary discussions with celebrity and local chefs and identities, provoke thought and humour in a fun fill gatherings including a debate with high school students from Gordonvale High & Trinity Anglican School.  There is even a food art exhibition with ‘Menus’ by Julie Poulsen and Palate to Palette; an eclectic display of art on a food theme.

Taste Paradise will also hosting a Signature Dish Competition, with participating restaurants serving up meals sure to set tastebuds alight in their bid to win diners over with an on-line vote at www.tasteparadise.com.au  

Taste Paradise event organiser, Nola Craig, says the Festival’s multi-dimensional program showcases the best of tropical north Queensland’s burgeoning food and wine scene.

“We are thrilled to have secured a celebrity chef who will draw attention to our regional food and its importance to our region as both a visitor destination and a wonderful place to live. From the sea to the Tablelands and in between, we are blessed with a great and growing diversity of food and wine growers,” Ms Craig says.


Cairns Festival is supported and presented by Cairns Regional Council. Now the region’s largest annual cultural celebration, this year’s festival season will run from August 20 to September 5 at venues all over Cairns. The full program, and information about events and activities, is now available from Festival HQ, key venues, cafes and restaurants throughout the city. For more information visit  www.cairnsfest.com.au

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