Chef Alejandro Cancino prepares the meals for the Sunshine Coast 2014 Real Food Festival launch at Urbane Restaurant in Brisbane.
Chef Alejandro Cancino prepares the meals for the Sunshine Coast 2014 Real Food Festival launch at Urbane Restaurant in Brisbane. Rae Wilson

Sunshine Coast Real Food Festival promises real food

EGGS that taste like eggs and chickens that taste like chickens.

That's one of the guarantees at the Sunshine Coast Real Food Festival this September.

The festival - now in its fourth year - will have more cooking demonstrations, workshops, discussions and information at six dedicated venues.

Cook Cameron Matthews, from The Long Apron at Spicers Clovelly Estate at Montville, said he loved this festival because it was about the food and the people.

Speaking at a launch at Urbane restaurant in Brisbane on Wednesday, he said he felt chefs these days had disconnected with the food and producers they were using.

Mr Matthews said customers really noticed when he began using chicken and eggs from Kasey at Walker Farm Foods.

"I find it hard to describe Kasey's products when people ask what's so good about them … the eggs taste like eggs and the chickens taste like chickens," he said.

"This festival gives the smaller producers a platform to get out and about in front of everybody."

Mrs Walker said her family began producing chickens and eggs last year on their dairy farm at Cambroon near Conondale because they needed another income.

She said she feared people had lost sight of what true free range was and she wanted to grow a "high-welfare product" - known as nomadic chickens.

"I think it's so important that farmers connect back to people so they actually know where there food comes from and relate to that person," she said.

"The chickens are actually grown on grass.

"They're kept out in a field paddock in the middle of the cow paddock.

"We move them every day. We can follow our chickens behind our cows and use the same piece of land.

"We rejuvenate our pastures without chemicals and we produce delicious produce at the same time."

The Walkers also have about 1500 laying hens living in caravans in the middle of their cow paddock.

"We started with a purpose-built laying caravan which is basically a house for the chickens on wheels," she said.

"It's our rolls Royce - it has the bells and whistles. We have solar-powered nesting box gates which open at 4am and then shut at nighttime automatically. It collects its own rainwater.

"Our demand for our eggs was so strong that we needed to get another caravan.

"We converted a 1970 double axel Millard caravan - we ripped it all out and made it home from our chickens, that's our Datsun."

The Walkers have also converted a third caravan too.

Festival director Julie Shelton said the lunch was just a taste of what was coming at this year's Sunshine Coast Real Food Festival.

"We are so excited about this year's program - we are covering the food issues affecting everyone as well as offering some great inspiration for home cooks with all levels of ability," she said.

Festival organisers are expecting about 10,000 visitors at the Maleny Showgrounds on September 13 and 14

Sunshine Coast Real Food Festival

- Chefs Christine Manfield, Daniel Jarrett, Cameron Matthews, Kelly Lord and Robyn Cook

- Cook-off between Sunshine Coast mayor Mark Jamieson and Environment Minister Andrew Powell

- Hervey Bay My Kitchen Rules winners Dan and Steph sausage cook-off

- More than 100 exhibitors

- 10,000 visitors expected

- September 13 and 14, 9am-4pm

- Maleny Showgrounds

- $20 adults, children under 16 free