On the second morning of my visit to the Gold Coast Hinterland I sat in the warm sun watching bright lorikeets squabble over bowls of cooked rice. Overhead a couple of cheeky kookaburras were perched on tree branches, sneakily swooping on unattended tables to nab a leftover sausage or scrap of bacon.
After having breakfast and checking out, it was time to make our way to a hands-on cooking class at Mount Tamborine, overlooking the glorious Scenic Rim.
At around forty minutes from the Gold Coast, Tamborine Cooking School is run by French-trained chef Terri Taylor and is located on a beautiful two acre property with a perfectly manicured garden and a large vegetable garden out back.
So participants can get personal attention, cooking groups are small and Terri makes sure everyone is given tasks to help create the meal – ours consisting of a lot of small dishes – that the group enjoys at the end of the class.
Terri’s choice of dishes, selected to show off the local produce of Mount Tamborine, were fresh and light and easy to recreate at home. Participants receive the recipes to take away and during the class gluten free / dairy free / vegetarian diets were all easily accommodated.
One of the first dishes prepared was mushroom and goats cheese ravioli and rather than cooking pasta from scratch which takes some time, the quick trick was to use a gow gee wrappers and a ravioli press. These delicious parcels were cooked and served with a spinach pesto.
Square puff pastry tarts held a mixture of grated beetroot and apple, simmered with spices and served with a goats cheese mousse, topped with a puffed pastry pillow that had been cut out of the middle.
The filo tartlets were one of my favourites – the artichokes were steamed whole with the skin on, then peeled and cooked with fennel, shallot and a dash of cream.
Other dishes included a millet, pumpkin and seed salad and barbecued haloumi and vegetable kebabs. For dessert we enjoyed ice cream and strawberries, I had juicy blood oranges while the others enjoyed crepes Suzette and a vanilla chia pudding.
Once all the cooking was done we sat together in the back room, chatting, drinking local wine while overlooking the Scenic Rim. It was a lovely way to end an interesting and informative class.
Have you ever been to the Gold Coast Hinterland? I would love to hear what you like about the area.