RELISHING THE BEST: Delicious and hands-on masterclasses will be on offer at this year's Relish Food and Wine Festival, with gourmet cheeses, wines, craft beers and an array of food on offer in this year's program.
RELISHING THE BEST: Delicious and hands-on masterclasses will be on offer at this year's Relish Food and Wine Festival, with gourmet cheeses, wines, craft beers and an array of food on offer in this year's program. Contributed

How M'boro came to host one of Qld's best food festivals

WHAT started as a breakaway from the 2012 Portside Food and Wine Festival has become one of Queensland's best gourmet dining experiences.

And this year, the Heritage City is pulling out all the stops for the upcoming Relish Food and Wine Festival.

Fraser Coast Tourism and Events marketing and communications manager Bradley Nardi said the event started as a partnership with PubFest and was designed to "give people a reason to stay in the region for another day.”

"Consumer demand saw Relish quickly grow into a stand-alone draw-card event for the Fraser Coast,” Mr Nardi said.

"The festival has always been here to celebrate the produce, products, restaurants and innovators on the Fraser Coast food scene.”

A Gin Joint in the basement of the historic Bond Store, demonstrations by camp oven cooking guru Ranger Nick and master-classes on making dips using yoghurt will be part of the exciting program line-up for the 2018 festival.

The Amaroo will also host leisurely cruises along the Mary River between Hervey Bay and Maryborough. It will depart Hervey Bay Boat Club at 7am and arrive at the Mary River Marina after 10am and start its return journey from 3.15pm.

Cheers! Passengers aboard the Hervey Bay Boat Club's Amaroo enjoying a glass of sparkling wine during Bubbles on the Boat at the Relish Food and Wine Festival.
Cheers! Attendees have the option of travelling to the festival aboard the Hervey Bay Boat Club's Amaroo while enjoying a glass of sparkling wine. Contributed

But the show stopper this year will be the stellar long lunch in the middle of Maryborough's historic Wharf St precinct.

My Kitchen Rules 2013 champions Dan and Steph Mulheron will serve chicken liver mousse, CC's rosella jam, pickled onion, chicken chicharron and house-made totopas for canapes.

Vinyard chef Danyon Wellings is creating the entree of Hervey Bay scallop and prawn terrine with crostini while chef and owner of Maryborough's Ebb & Flow Restaurant Mike Cox has taken charge of the main meal, featuring pork belly with local sweet potato, Kumquat and ginger chutney with local greens.

The long lunch will be the show stopper for this year's festival, featuring wonderful dishes cooked by the region's best chefs.
The long lunch will be the show-stopper for this year's festival, featuring wonderful dishes cooked by the region's best chefs. Contributed

For dessert, Jason England, chef at Coast Restaurant & Bar in Torquay, will share his much-talked-about Childers pumpkin cheesecake with pecans and ginger.

The long lunch will be the show stopper for this year's festival, featuring wonderful dishes cooked by the region's best chefs.
A four-course meal will be prepared for the long-lunch. Contributed

Relish organiser Robyn Peach said all courses had been paired with south-east Queensland wines or a liqueur to complement the flavours of the dishes.

Ticket details are available from relishfrasercoast.com.au.