Rebecca Zentveld, (right) from Zentveld’s Coffee, with (from left) Rebekka Battista from Our House, and Ballina-on-Richmond Rotarians Wendy Marsh and Col Lee, promoting the gourmet tour which is part of this year’s Ballina Fine Wine and Food Festival.
Rebecca Zentveld, (right) from Zentveld’s Coffee, with (from left) Rebekka Battista from Our House, and Ballina-on-Richmond Rotarians Wendy Marsh and Col Lee, promoting the gourmet tour which is part of this year’s Ballina Fine Wine and Food Festival. Graham Broadhead

Take your tastebuds on a gourmet tour of Northern Rivers

THE Northern Rivers is lucky to have rich red soil, perfect for growing things that can end up on tables on a plate or in a cup.

And visitors will be able to see first-hand what goes into producing some of the produce of the North Coast in a Flavours of the Northern Rivers Gourmet Tour to be run as part of the Ballina Fine Wine and Food Festival in July.

The festival is run by the Rotary Club of Ballina-on-Richmond and will this year support the Our House charity, providing low-cost accommodation to families of those in the cancer and children’s ward at Lismore Base Hospital.

Rotarian Col Lee said this was the second year the gourmet tour had been held as part of the festival, and there would be two tours due to the success of the inaugural sell-out event.

The gourmet group will visit an avocado farm, coffee plantation, see how sourdough bread is made and finish at a local brewery.

Rebecca Zentveld, from Zentveld’s Coffee at Newrybar, said the region had “pristine agricultural land” and the tour allowed participants to reconnect with where food came from.

Also part of the festival, the Taste of Ballina Gala Dinner, featuring local produce, will be on July 1 at the Ballina RSL Club.

The club’s executive chef, Blake Seymour said one of the great pleasures of his job was being given the freedom to create a menu based around locally-sourced ingredients and products.

“It is even better when you are creating this menu for a group of people who appreciate fresh, local, good-quality food,” he said.

“I truly believe they (local farmers) grow and create some of the best quality ingredients and products in all of Australia. It is something for all of us to be proud of and use more of.”

The tours will depart the Tamar St bus interchange in Ballina at 9am on July 1 and 2, as well as pick-ups at the Westower Tavern and the Alstonville bus stop.

The main festival event will be at the Ballina Jockey Club on July 3.



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