Our Stories

Go behind the magic of Winterfeast to meet the people who are making it happen.  Our passionate chefs, brewers, distillers, tour guides, farmer and all-round foodies are plating up the 10-day food festival.

Find out what gets them up each morning and keeps driving them to make Bundaberg North Burnett the place that we call home.

2018 Winterfeast Stories

A Collaboration of FlavoursA Collaboration of Flavours

Winterfeast 2017 saw the first ever Chilli & Lime Fiesta @ Riverfeast, a celebration of the subtropical flavours of chilli & lime grown in the region. This year things are heating up again with the spicy event back for another year of hard-hitting heat and bursts of zesty flavour. The fiesta sees three local business come together in collaboration to showcase the intense flavours the region has to offer.

Riverfeast partners with Austchilli and Bundy Limes to pull off this mouth-numbing event. Austchilli is a family run business producing in the Bundaberg region for over 20 years. Founded in 1995, Austchilli is now the largest chilli company in Australia employing over 130 local staff. This fast moving, innovative and exciting company is always looking to create the next food and beverage trend, just check out their upcoming Usain’s Insane Hot Sauce and recently launched Muchaz Gazpacho drink!


All Hands On Deck At Bundaberg Rum

It’s all hands on deck at Bundaberg Rum with every premium and award-winning liquid quality controlled by 34 passionate team members before reaching your lips. From Master Blenders, who are experts in developing complex flavour profiles, through to the skilled Bundaberg Rum Bar staff pouring you a drink at the end of your Bundaberg Rum Distillery Tour, crafting an award-winning rum and experience takes a healthy shot of teamwork and mateship.

 


Talkin’ ‘Bout the Next GenerationTalkin’ ‘Bout the Next Generation

From grandfather to father to son, farms have been passed through red-stained hands from generation to generation across the Bundaberg Region and Windhum Farms is no exception. As 4th generational Farmers, Linda and Darren Zunker, are happy their boys are more than eager to make it the 5th generation on the land.

 


The Buzz About Bees

Clint Luke is a local builder and a family man with an unusual hobby – beekeeping. What started out as a way to keep up with the family demand for honey has now evolved into a small, successful family business known as Bundy Honey. Swept up in the swarm Clint went from one backyard hive to multiple hives at multiple sites in a few short years with more expansions on the way. With his passion to keep growing and learning about bees, the hive numbers grew continually, and the family could not consume the amount of honey being produced so when the opportunity arose to service a retired beekeeper’s customers Clint jumped on it.

 


The Little Brewery That CouldThe Little Brewery That Could

The Bargara Brewing Company is the passion project of Jack and Jacinta Millbank, and their innovation, passion and hard work are paying dividends. An hour spent with Jack, an unassuming Zimbabwean-born agronomist and BBC CEO, leaves you in no doubt as to why the microbrewery is gaining traction with such speed.

 


A Nourished Life

Why would an agricultural scientist and cane farmer’s wife make a dramatic career shift to open a wholefood café that eschews all processed sugar*?

Nourish Café fronts the busy Earls Court Arcade, an art décor delight on Bundaberg’s main street, which hums with Bundaberg’s signature café scene every day of the week. The café is never quiet, with its prime sunny location in the CBD and healthy wholefoods on offer.

 


On Flight to Reef ConservationOn Flight to Reef Conservation

Lady Elliot Island is like no place on earth, it’s unique proximity to the continental shelf and the Eastern Australian Current make it a beacon for large mega fauna such as Manta Rays with a known population of over a thousand.

 


Growing Eleven AcresGrowing Eleven Acres

Unlike any venue you’ll find in the cities, Eleven Acres is known for its peaceful gardens, quiet ambience and expansive spaces servicing dream weddings and intimate functions. The inspiring surrounds and ambience that Eleven Acres offers can be attributed to their dedicated and passionate landscaper, Bruce, and their creative food the works of experienced head chef, Ben.

 


Under the Kalki MoonUnder the Kalki Moon

If you haven’t heard of the Kalki Moon Distilling & Brewing Company than it’s time for you to pour yourself a gin and tonic and get educated. Taking the Australian gin game to the next level this Bundaberg-based, family-owned business has only just celebrated its first birthday and already is dominating spirit competitions around the nation.

 


Talkin’ ‘Bout the Next GenerationTalkin’ ‘Bout the Next Generation

From grandfather to father to son, farms have been passed through red-stained hands from generation to generation across the Bundaberg Region and Windhum Farms is no exception. As 4th generational Farmers, Linda and Darren Zunker, are happy their boys are more than eager to make it the 5th generation on the land.

 


Quarter-Life Crisis Turned Lifetime BusinessQuarter-Life Crisis Turned Lifetime Business

Zoe and Josh of Ohana Winery and Exotic Fruit Farm are the poster children for how a quarter-life crisis can be the greatest thing to happen to you!

Dedicated office professionals in their 20s, the Perth couple had plenty of experience in wine drinking but no background in agriculture or winemaking. After a month-long holiday to Hawaii, they decided to pursue a life away from a desk and put the plans in motion to move to sunny Queensland and start their own business.

 


A Sensory MasterpieceA Sensory Masterpiece

After a sell-out success in 2017 for their ‘Women In Voice’ performance Bundaberg’s finest vocal talent, Jess Modolo, Natalie Sweetapple and Suellen Cusack-Greensill, return to the stage for ‘She’s the Voice – A Salute to Australian Music’ with the fabulous addition of Mel Lathouras. Together these talented ladies bring their wealth of experience on stage and musical accolades to serve up a musical masterpiece guaranteed to receive raving reviews.

 


Maria the little Cellar RatMaria the little Cellar Rat

Childers is a multicultural town, just ask city-born Mary Byrne who married into an Australian-Irish-Sicilian family with their roots firmly in the Childers community. With her own Irish and German background, Mary took her love for languages and teaching to the Isis District in 1973 being appointed as a German/English/French and Modern History teacher after completing a Bachelor of Arts and Diploma in Education at the University of Queensland the previous year. It was here she met and fell in love with Terry, a young local electrician with a strong Sicilian-Irish heritage who shared an interest in gardening, old Queenslanders and old furniture.

 


Taking a chance on chaiTaking a chance on chai

Picture a young aspiring journalist sipping chai outside a quirky café in a Melbourne laneway, dreaming of sunny skies and rain-free days. Image the moment her sun-soaked prayers were answered when a job opportunity in the sunny Bundaberg region became available. She was ready, ready to take a chance. Now, some 25 years later, the young journalist has transformed her career and life from damp days and story deadlines, to yoga classes and chai making in the warm Queensland sun.

 


Showcasing Local GrowersShowcasing Local Growers

Growing the best produce is what our local farmers are known for and showcasing this produce is what our restaurants do best. Kelly’s Beach Resort’s (KBR) Licensed Restaurant has been operating for over 15 years priding themselves in giving their guests a meal to remember and ensuring everyone feels welcome and comfortable. This Winterfeast the family run restaurant and bar releases it’s new ‘eat local’ menu showcasing an abundance of fresh, incredible produce, including Dave Galati’s beans, at an intimate three-course dinner.


A Family AffairA Family Affair

Building a legacy takes much more than just hard work and grit, it takes team, it takes a family. Today Macadamias Australia is a grower and worldwide exporter of macadamias, sourced from their expansive orchard comprising 2500 acres. In 1958 Ron and Marion Steinhardt saw an opportunity and purchased their first farm, an unworked piece of bushland. Early days saw the growing of a variety of crops from peanut and corn to tobacco and sugar cane, and later to tomatoes and zucchinis before eventually finding their footing in macadamias. Nowadays the farm sits under the watchful eye of their children, Janelle, Trevor, Kevin and their partners to carry on the legacy.

 


2017 Winterfeast Stories


supp-2-water-st-kitchen-reducedLove Brought Us Here

When love brought acclaimed Gold Coast chef Alex to sweetheart Jen’s home town of Bundaberg, it seemed only natural that they take their shared love for entertaining and combine it with the abundant regional produce on offer, creating a space, now endearingly known as ‘Water Street Kitchen’, to share and celebrate incredible food and wine.

Meet Alex and Jen, the chef and cafe owners behind Breakfast at the Table, Dinner at the Table and The Long Lunch at The Table.


supp1-bargara-brewing-reducedBig Beer and Big Picture

It’s all beer bellies and belly laughs for visitors at Bargara Brewing Co., but owners Jack and Jacinta Milbank have their sights set on a much bigger picture.

Meet Jack and Jacinta, the brains behind the boutique beer company taking over the world from its homebase in Bundaberg, and Winterfeast events Backstage Pass @ The Brewhouse and Brewfeast 2017.


hero-sarah-bdc-reducedThe Science Behind Australia’s Favourite Rum

Sarah Watson is the Heston Blumenthal of Bundaberg Rum. The brains behind the premier golden liquids taking the world by storm, from a Masters degree in science to crafting rums that have collected international accolades like the World Rum Awards Best Dark Rum 2017, World’s Best Gold Rum 2016 and San Francisco Spirit Competition Gold Medal 2017, she wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

Meet Sarah Watson, one of the team bringing you Cocktails at the Bundaberg Rum Distillery


hero-artisan-food-tourBundy Food Tours: From Flickering Flame to Burning Furnace

Flashback to 1992, a young woman explores the cobblestone streets of Paris, the smell of fresh croissants wafts through the air and café goers spill out onto the sidewalk happily watching the world go by, a flame of passion begins to flicker. Now, 25 years later, that small flickering flame has turned into a furnace as Suzie’s Bundy Food Tours have become one of the most popular new tours in the Bundaberg North Burnett.

Meet Suzie, the driving force behind the Artisan Food Tour by Bundy Food Tours


Riverfeast: The Future Of Alfresco Dining

Break down the walls, build a ladder, find a different path but don’t give up. These days starting a small business is wrapped with red tape making your dreams seem out of reach. Business owners jump through hoops as if they are auditioning for the circus and obstacles seem to be around every corner. Greg and Karen, owners and operators of Riverfeast Bundaberg, have faced all these obstacles, conquering them as if they were running the tough mudder course.

Meet Karen and Greg, who are bringing you the Chili and Lime Fiesta @ Riverfeast


434winterfeastGrapes From My Grandparents

“I made my first wine with my grandfather when I was 9 years old,” recalls Terry, or ‘Terranzo the Winemaker’, as he is more affectionately known. He crushed the grapes by hand, the purple-red juices on his hands, up his arms and onto his clothes, “it was pretty rough, but it was ours.”

Meet Terry and Mary Byrne, the winemakers behind Tastings on the Terrace.