Queen of Chocolate in Noosa for Food and Wine festival
IT'S BEEN a long time between visits for 'Australia's queen of chocolate', Kirsten Tibballs.
The Melbourne-based pastry chef and and chocolatier who is director of Savour Chocolate & Patisserie School said the last time she was in town was "before my son was born and he turns 12 tomorrow".
"It's such a beautiful area, I'm looking forward to getting back," she said via phone on Tuesday.
But before she arrives in Noosa in a few weeks, Kirsten's making a flying dash to the UK.
She's a busy woman. The author of two cookbooks is also a regular contributor to pastry publications, does regular cooking demonstrations and has featured on several television shows, including MasterChef Australia.
So what is her favourite dessert?
"It's hard to pick a favourite dessert because I think it depends on the season and I always try to look forward, instead of back but, having said that, I don't think you can go past a chocolate fondant... a liquid centre chocolate pudding with a really good ice cream," she said.
"Chocolate is definitely my favourite ingredient, you can't go past it."
But for comfort food, Kirsten said she goes back to her childhood memories and recipes.
"I like golden syrup dumplings which my mum used to make."
And she says, yes, it is OK to lick the bowl after you've finished baking.
Kirsten is promising to bring only new recipes to Noosa for the Food and Wine Festival.
"I always do new recipes and concept that I have never demonstrated before... and then I'll never use them again," she said.
"So the recipes I demonstrate in Noosa will be exclusive to Noosa.
"It's too easy to rely on that favourite brownie recipe, but as a professional I always like to look forward, not backwards."
Kirsten will be hosting two Chefs Skills Tables in The Courier Mail Producers Pavilion on Saturday, May 19 at 11.30am and Sunday, May 20 at 10.30am.
Purchase Festival Village tickets for $30 including a complimentary glass of Xanadu Margaret River wine on arrival at www.noosafoodandwine.com.au.