Food one of life's simple pleasures, or art to be admired

Gecko Valley co-owner Coleen McCray with some of the gourmet food served at her winery.
Gecko Valley co-owner Coleen McCray with some of the gourmet food served at her winery. Tom Huntley

A TASTY feed and a satisfied belly is one of life's simple pleasures.

Worldwide, food is a social ritual and a centrepoint of celebrations, but appreciating the amount we can easily access should not be undervalued.

World Food Programme states that there are 870 million undernourished people in the world today.

Food is a basic need but it is also a form of art, creating an abundance of tastes for the palate as well as being visually pleasing.

Coleen McCray, from Gecko Valley Winery, is known for her gourmet menu, with mouth-watering options such as a Tuscan foccacia or vineyard cheese platter, and she mulls over new and exciting concepts.

"I listen to what people say and I think of new ideas," she said.

"I look at different things that are coming into style. So you're constantly searching for and striving for better ideas."

The vineyard also has a variety of unique chocolates such as chocolate coated pretzels and coffee beans.

"My chocolatier is someone I've used for over 25 years," Mrs McCray said.

"It's been a long time. We've built up a relationship since 1983."

Having fresh product is something that's important to Mrs McCray.

"We make to order. We are not ready made," she said.

"So we make a dining experience to suit customers who can enjoy it with the scenery and the flora and fauna."

Events are cause for discussion over the canapes, which Mrs McCray enjoys mixing up what is served.

"It's in my head, just thoughts," she said.

"Also working with staff, asking their ideas. Basically past experience, what works for groups. And customer feedback."


Gladstone gets into the cafe culture

The Gladstone cafe scene is continuing to grow as the Gladstone population swells and more of the community embraces the joy of going out for food and drink.

The Hungry Cow Cafe, Outlook Cafe and BG's cafe are independent enterprises in the city that have opened in the past couple of years and boast loyal followings.

There is also a franchise presence in Gladstone, with Jamaica Blue and Coffee Club stores, plus a Zarraffa's Coffee recently receiving approval to add a store in area.

The store will be built adjacent to the Hanson Rd McDonald's, complete with a drive-through for coffee on the run.

Topics:  cafe eating out food gecko valley winery gladstone

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