Our 6 Favourite Queensland Ingredients – And How We Use Them

Taste the best of the Sunshine State with our favourite Queensland ingredients and the dishes they star in at The Star Gold Coast and Treasury Brisbane.

Ah Queensland. There’s something special about the gourmet goodies that come out of our Sunshine State, a vast land warmed by an average 300 days of sunshine a year and nourished by replenishing rains. From our homes on the Gold Coast and Brisbane, our lucky chefs have access to some of the state’s best bounty. To help you enjoy it, we’ve rounded up our six favourite Queensland ingredients and how we use them.

1. Mooloolaba seafood

Even by Queensland’s standards, the Sunshine Coast has been #blessed by nature. The name Mooloolaba has become synonymous with world-class seafood, with the finest catches from this Sunshine Coast suburb popping up on a lot of plates at The Star. At Cucina Vivo in the Gold Coast, Mooloolaba prawns are flame grilled and served with a carrot puree and walnut butter. Mooloolaba king prawns and spanner crab also star in chef Chris McLeay’s Australian seafood experience at Garden Kitchen & Bar. High above the Gold Coast at Nineteen at The Star, you’ll discover Moreton Bay bug from Mooloolaba dressed with a simple but decadent garlic, butter crumb.

Mooloolaba spanner crab, image provided by Tourism and Events Queensland

2. Mangoes

Does anything scream summer more than a juicy, plump mango? This luscious warm-weather fruit and Queensland’s tropical climate are a match made in heaven. From the Kensington Pride and the Calypso (a Queensland invention thank you very much) to the Honey Gold and Nam Doc Mai – you name a mango variety; it grows somewhere in Queensland. US-born chef Uday Huja has embraced this Queensland icon on his menu at Nineteen at The Star in the delicious coconut and mango panna cotta, served alongside an ice cream made with fellow local morsel, the macadamia (more on that later).

Fresh mangoes sliced on a table

3. Darling Downs Beef

Queensland has some of the best cattle country in Australia, nowhere more so than on the plains of the Darling Downs. From the Gold Coast and Brisbane, our chefs make the most of their access to incredible paddock-to-plate beef and each has found their Queensland beef of choice. At Garden Kitchen & Bar on The Gold Coast, it’s a prime piece of Oakey Angus Reserve; Black Hide at Treasury Brisbane favours the Angus and wagyu of acclaimed Stanbroke beef. At Kiyomi and Nineteen at The Star on the Gold Coast, meanwhile, wagyu and Angus beef from family-run Stockyard features on the menu. No matter where you dine, you know you’re sinking your teeth into a premium Queensland steak.

Beef on the grill.
Stockyard beef on the grill at Kiyomi.

4. Macadamia

This native Australian nut is enjoyed around the world, but it all began in the rainforests around southern Queensland some 60 million years ago. Today macadamia fields can be found all the way from the Glass House Ranges to Bundaberg. It’s subtle yet rich, creamy taste makes the macadamia a favourite of chefs, as tasty in savoury as it is in sweet. At Garden Kitchen & Bar on the Gold Coast, you’ll find Tassie salmon cooked to tender perfection in a macadamia crust. On the sweeter side of things, Nineteen at The Star just over the way makes an indulgent smoked macadamia ice-cream in-house.

Macadamia crusted salmon at Garden Kitchen & Bar restaurant
Salmon with a macadamia crust at Garden Kitchen & Bar.

5. Hervey Bay Scallops

The name of Hervey Bay on the Fraser Coast is known by foodies all over Australia and the world thanks to one shellfish, the scallop. Plump and subtly sweet, Hervey Bay scallops are a genuine Australian treasure, prepared simply to let their natural flavours shine and served up in the half shell for extra presentation points. Just ask chef Tom Mumford of Black Hide by Gambaro at Treasury Brisbane, who has made Hervey Bay scallops a fixture on his menus – try them now grilled in the shell with a fennel butter.

6. Queensland coffee

Where does your morning brew come from? Ecuador, Java, Ethiopia, maybe? In fact, you needn’t look that far to source organic, single-estate beans. They grow right here in Queensland. The rich, volcanic soils of the Atherton Tablelands make it Queensland’s most productive coffee country, but the Granite Belt and Gold Coast Hinterland has also proven they can grow a mean bean. Try a cup of local coffee at Brisbane’s waterfront Will & Flow, where cups of Queensland single-origin coffee are poured from the early hours. More of a night owl than a morning lark? The espresso martini at Will & Flow also features a shot of local coffee – the perfect way to kick start your night.

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