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Feast of the Senses

Feast of the Senses Gala Dinner Menu

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 Castaways Resort & Spa’s Feast of the senses 2014 Gala Dinner Menu

Canapes on arrival

Mini lamb burger slider topped with a smoked chipotle bbq sauce.

Banana & cream cheese n chive aranchini

Entrée tasting platter

Green & black peppercorn studded kangaroo terrine with habanera spiced bush tomato chutney & dragon fruit jelly

Smoked Crocodile and plantain roulade topped with a pickled sour sop relish

Trio of chilled soups: vine ripened tomato & chili, roast pumpkin & coconut, spinach & green bean

Main Course

Macadamia crusted quince stuffed pork fillet on a baked cinnamon spiced breadfruit & julienne jackfruit

Seared duck breast served (m/r) on char grilled pineapple topped with Davidson’s plum chutney

Banana leaf wrapped lime & chili Barramundi on butter baked okra with sticky rhubarb & orange essence

Dessert tasting platter

Vanilla Guanabana panacotta with fresh rambutan

Cherimoya cheesecake with honey & lemon coulis & almond brittle

Cavendish banana & toffee and dark chocolate tart

Book tickets here http://www.feastofthesenses.com.au/content/events/the-innisfail-chamber-of-commerce-feast-of-the-senses-gala-dinner-friday-4-april-2014/

Innisfail Chamber of Commerce Gala Dinner

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Gala Dinner

The Innisfail Chamber of Commerce Feast of the Senses Gala Dinner – Friday 4 April 2014

7pm Innisfail Shire Hall

An evening of amazing gourmet meals created from our local tropical meats, seafoods and fruits. Held in the magnificent Innisfail Shire Hall and with catering by Castaways Resort and Spa, this will be a magical night not to be missed!

One of the festival’s signature events, this year’s theme is Great Gatsby so get dressed up for a fun night of dinner and dancing!

Online Ticketing for Innisfail Chamber of Commerce Feast of the Senses Gala Dinner powered by Eventbrite

Photography Competition

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Photography Competition

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The terms and conditions of the competition must be strictly adhered to. Incomplete entries may result in disqualification.

  • The theme of the photo competition is “Celebrating Life in the Tropics”.
  • Subject matter is open to the interpretation and imagination of the photographer within the subject theme.
  • Photos must be 8” x 12”, may be full colour or black and white, landscape or portrait. Commercially printed photos are acceptable.
  • Presentation must include mat, but not a frame.
  • Photos to be clearly labelled on the back with title of the photo and the entrant’s name, address and phone number.
  • No labelling or marking to be on the front of the photo.
  • Copyright remains with the author of the photograph.
  • Winning photos may be used for promotional purposes for the Feast of the Senses and will be displayed for several weeks in the lead up to the Australian Bananas Market Day Extravaganza on Sunday 6 April.
  • Full credit will be given to the photographer at all times.

Prizes :
o 1st prize : $200.00
o 2nd prize : $100.00
o 3rd prize : $ 50.00

Judges decision will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Entry forms are available by emailing festivalmanager@feastofthesenses.com.au or from the Innisfail Visitor Information Centre

Entries to be submitted to Innisfail Visitor Information Centre, Bruce Hwy or mailed to PO Box 1678, Innisfail, 4860 by Monday 17 March 2014.

Total entry fee of $10.00 which may include a maximum of four photos.

Should you have any queries, please contact Festival Manager Katy Garner by email to festivalmanager@feastofthesenses.com.au


Come Feast at our Table

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Come Feast at our Table

 I arrived at the Lookout on top of the Cardwell Range in far north Queensland to see way out over Hinchinbrook and go “Wow”. On a clear day I’d say breathtaking and on a cloudy day, awesome. The poet Gerard Manley Hopkins poems’ tributes to great green country: “O let them be left, wilderness and wet: long live the weeds and the wilderness yet”.  This is Cassowary country, home to our flightless bird with its possible extinction, yet ever hopeful resilience.

I live in the “Feast of the Senses“ country, near the edges of the rainforest growing down to the sea and the creeks’ remnant rainforest corridors, running off the hills of the Great Divide. I glimpse cassowaries most days. I have been thrilled beyond my wildest dreams to have them pass through our place to stay awhile and wash themselves in our local creek. I drive slowly through our patch of world heritage country, because it simply jumps out at you. Whether its wallabies jumping out of the sugar cane or cassowaries sauntering along a grassy road verge; here in the north, I can walk the wet wilderness, live amidst and see paradise before my very eyes.

It’s a land that begs me to garden.

This land of the Australian Queensland tropics smells damp and dusty, looks dark and impenetrable, is full of sounds that herald unique habitats, owns plants that touch you and make you scream and has tastes that can kill you. Beware! It pays to talk to the locals and learn the folklore.

Here we stand at the entrance to one of Australia’s huge tropical food bowls. Food that needs rain and more rain to produce its fruits of the forest: sugar, coconuts, cacao and bananas of the lowland coastal plains and milk, corn, potatoes, avocado’s and stone fruits in the rich volcanic highland soils of the Tablelands.

God’s own country the locals call this!

The tropical journey I choose has become my way of life, as I feast in this Garden of Eden. In and outside our smallish towns my family’s homemade ‘Eye-Spy’ Game begins, as we look for local food stalls on the side of the road. We too have the right to grow extra produce in our garden and so put up a stall outside our front gate and sell to passing trade. Whether a visitor or a local, this is the ‘Way to Go’ as you travel around our exotic north Queensland.  It’s the groundsheet to our tropical life; farm fresh, low mileage, no spray; local fruits and veggies. We define our trips around these stalls and keep our budget to a minimum.

We get to taste, see and smell the difference!

Our local history show and tells us that in the last 40 years, local far north Queensland fruit lovers extraordinaire, have taken themselves to remote Borneo, Indonesia and Malaysia, to South America, New Guinea and India.  With permission and the assistance of Quarantine Australia, the intrepid travellers have posted back seeds to North Queensland’s Rare Fruits Council.

Trees from distant lands bring their difficult family names and easy nicknames with them. Names you have to learn and re-learn to recognise! These migrant fruits come to us in the strangest of unusual shapes and sizes. Many are attractive and ready to entice us with their exotic look and promise of surprise. Some fruits are completely uninviting and cover themselves in extremely sharp points, soft bumps or hairy textures. But please, don’t be deceived by their looks!

I have fallen in love with the Jakfruit.


This is the fruit of giants and a whole family can tuck in and achieve demolition in one full sweep. You can save the seeds and roast or boil them. Kitchen imaginations just stretch themselves! Choose an orange or yellow chewy crunchy Jak or a soft yellow sherbet chewing gum type of fruit. Picked green she can be stored well, cooked in curries and stews and when ripe made into wine.

My chosen seeds came from a far north Queensland Kuranda Jakfruit tree and could have arrived with Indonesians’ or Malayas’ who were pearlers up in the Torres Strait. Known as the poor man’s fruit, this tree originates in Karola, India and is the national fruit of Bangladesh. Jakfruits’ would have journeyed as valuable food on the spice trader’s boats going through Asia. Cultivated for 6 000 years, it boasts being one of the largest fruits in the world and can weigh up to a 100 pounds!

My Jakfruits are soft sweet yellow sherbets the size of two footballs. They hold workable timber trunks that only take three years to fruit! To prepare this beast, I have to heat a knife up over the gas stove until its hot and then cut through the flesh of the fruit that has a surrounding gum so sticky that it will shut you up. I then wash my oh-so-sticky hands in olive oil because soap and water won’t work to remove the tacky elastic stretching gum. But they taste yummmmmmmmmy! I have a love affair with my Jakfruit trees.

Are you ready to eat strange foods?

How adventurous are you?  With your senses fine-tuned to discovery you are well on the way to a most delicious journey. Be game! “Have a go ya mug”. Go on, dare to taste it – it won’t bite you! Sometimes the ugly fruits taste just so yummy and the pretty ones make you squirm and run your tongue across the roof of your mouth going “Eeew, what was that?” It’s a good idea to encourage yourself to keep coming back for another taste try, yet its guaranteed that by the time you leave our fabulous countryside you will be an ‘extreme’ food taster!

Here in our northern tropics is one of the most unique collections of fruits in the world.

We invite you to make the most of your travels: stop at the information centres’ and fuel shop stalls in Innisfail, Tully, Silkwood, Kurramine and Wangan. Find out where and when the local markets are on. Visit the night markets at Kurramine and Mission Beach and while in Mission Beach look for the organic bananas on the corner as you drive in. Take the Old Cairns Road on the Cane Cutter Way and look for your local fresh food hotels and cafes, eat fresh chocolate, use chutneys, papaws and bananas. In between your passionate site seeing adventures drink real, locally grown coffee with Mungalli Creek milk and sip wine into the night. Buy avocados and local limes for your Wangan bread rolls. Use pepper at your picnic. Take home vanilla essence for your kitchen and yes; start playing the ‘Eye-Spy’ game of the north.

Remember; Mena Creek’s iconic José Paronella invites dreamers to dream our world anew, so the dream can continue now with you. Welcome Queenslander’s and international global visitors: “COME EAT AT OUR TABLE AND FEAST”!


Classic Banana Smoothie

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A classic nutritious smoothie with all the nutritional benefits of milk and bananas – protein, calcium, potassium, vitamin C and B vitamins.

Serves: 1

Preparation time: 5 minutes

1 banana
100 mL skim milk
100g low-fat vanilla ice cream
1/2 teaspoon honey
Pinch of cinnamon

Add all ingredients to a blender and mix well.
Add ice for a chilled smoothie.

Recipe Classic Banana Smoothie
Servings 1
per serve
Energy 1070kJ
Protein 10g
Fat – Total 3g
– Saturated Fat 2g
Carbohydrate 47g
Sodium 116mg
Fibre 2g
Calcium 280mg
Potassium 715mg

Thanks to Australian Bananas for this delicious recipe!

Save the Date

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Save the Date

There is only 10 weeks to go until the 2014 Feast of the Senses and planning is well underway for this year’s festivities. The 2014 Festival will be held from the 28 March to the 6 April with events featuring fun, food and entertainment to be held throughout the Cassowary Coast during the 10 day program.

The festivals signature events are back again including the Innisfail Chamber of Commerce Gala Dinner on Friday 4 April at the Innisfail Shire Hall, this year with catering by head chef Karl Spinks and the team from Castaways Resort and Spa and the highlight of the festival the Australian Bananas Market Day extravaganza will be held again in the Innisfail CBD on Sunday April 6 2014.

Other events include in the festival are The Paronella Park Tropical Farm Trails. The Trails will head south to Mission Beach and Feluga on Saturday 29 March and throughout the Cane Cutter Way on Sunday 30th March taking tours of tropical fruit farms that would not otherwise be accessible to the public. The tours are a fantastic opportunity to speak with local farmers and experience fruits you may not have seen or tasted before.

The Bendigo Bank Bush Poetry Competition and Breakfast, again be held at Spurwood Springs in Mena Creek on Sunday 23 March and The Feast of the Senses Art Exhibition held at the Mourilyan Sugar Museum through March.

2014 will also see the introduction of a new event to be held on the gorgeous beachfront at Mission Beach on Saturday 29 March -The Mission Beach Tropical Food Festival. This delicious event will feature food stalls from Mission Beach’s top restaurants with dishes from $5 and $10.

More information and tickets will be available soon at the website feastofthesenses.com.au or email Festival manager Katy Garner at festivalmanager@feastofthesenses.com.au

Make sure you add these exciting events to your calendar for the Feast of the Senses Celebrations!


Bendigo Bank Bush Poetry Competition and Breakfast – Sunday 23 March 2014                     A celebration of local Bush Poetry at the Bush Poetry Breakfast and Competition at Spurwood Springs Mena Creek

mission beach


Mission Beach Tropical Food Fair – Saturday 29 March 2014                                                     On the beach front at beautiful Mission Beach, this delicious event will feature food stalls from Mission Beaches top restaurants!



Farm TrailTropical Farm Trails – Saturday 29 & Sunday 30 March  

Held at tropical farms that would not otherwise be accessible to the public, This is a fantastic opportunity to speak with local farmers and experience fruits you may not have seen or tasted before!


Gala Dinner

The Innisfail Chamber of Commerce Feast of the Senses Gala Dinner – Friday 4 April 2014

An evening of amazing gourmet meals created from our local tropical meats, seafood’s and fruits. Held in the magnificent Innisfail Shire Hall and with Catering by Castaways Resort and Spa, this will be a magical night not to be missed!

Market Day

Australian Bananas Market Day Extravaganza – Sunday 6 April

The Highlight of the Festival featuring over 100 tropical food and produce stalls, as well as plenty of entertainment, displays and workshops. The Food Court is the highlight of the day showcasing the amazing tropical and exotic fruits that are grown in this region. Fun for the whole family.

Art Exhibition: 

Each year the Innisfail Art Society holds an exhibition during the month of the Festival.  There is a People’s Choice award which is always very popular with Festival goers.

Vital Photography Photography Competition:

The Cassowary Coast has some exceptional photographers and the results of our photo competition are watched with interest.  Entries opening early Feb 2014

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