Jam lovers will have a new competition to showcase their sweet creations in with the inaugural Taste Bundaberg Festival Strawberry Jam Competition.
To be judged as part of the Taste Bundaberg Farmers Market, the competition aims to showcase the abundance of local strawberry farming within the region to residents and visitors.
Bundaberg Regional Council Arts, Culture and Events portfolio spokesperson Cr John Learmonth said the competition was perfect for jam connoisseurs or for those who just wanted to try something new.
“Whether you have been perfecting a family jam recipe for years and years or you simply want to try your hand at making something sweet to spread on your scones, this competition is for you!” he said.
“There are two categories in the competition which include Traditional Strawberry Jam or the Strawberry Jam with a Twist section with online registration now open.
“Winners will be announced at the Taste Bundaberg Farmers Market on Saturday 6 August in a segment on the cooking demonstration stage.
“As a special treat, the strawberry jam place getter will have their creation used by dessert queen Kirsten Tibballs in her cooking demonstration at the event.”
Known nationally as the queen of chocolate, Kirsten Tibballs is one of two celebrity chefs to be involved in the Taste Bundaberg Festival this year.
She said she was excited to experience everything the region had to offer.
“I love working with locally sourced ingredients, it gives a sense of belonging, and connects your food to stories of the people and businesses you are surrounded by,” she said.
“I am very excited be a part of the Taste Bundaberg Festival and utilise the winning strawberry jam in one of my creations!”
Bargara Berries' tips for Taste Festival strawberry jam
Bargara Berries owners Michael and Debbie Meiers know a thing or two about creating a delicious strawberry jam.
The couple said they were excited to see what festival-goers would be able to produce as part of the contest.
“The aroma of cooking brings people together and there is always a joy in the sweetness of the cooking of jam,” Debbie said.
“One tip we have for competitors is to use better quality strawberries!”
Michael and Debbie have operated Bargara Berries for more than eight years, taking over from original owners Lynne and Bob Hay.
It was then that Debbie said she was taught all she knows about making quality jam.
“Bargara Berries started with Bob and Lynn Hay in 1992 on the property on 100 Hughes Road, Bargara,” Debbie said.
“The jam was made to be used in the cafe at the time and is still being used in the cafe on the premises, Turtles Paradise.
“Michael and I took over this business in 2014, and under the careful eye of Bob he taught me about making jam.
“He said, ‘I have tasted your cooking, I know you can do this.’
“So I did and have continued to do so and Bob continues to be my source of information.”
Debbie said she was delighted with the news that this year’s Taste Bundaberg Festival would feature a strawberry jam competition.
“There is a romance with strawberries,” she said.
“We love the joy they bring to our customers when they buy our strawberries.”
How to register
The Strawberry Jam Competition is proudly sponsored by Sugarland Plaza.
Registration for the Taste Bundaberg Festival Strawberry Jam Competition is now open here.
Competitors are asked to create their jam entries using 75 per cent local ingredients.
Jars will be provided to all who register, available for collection mid-July.
Delivery of Taste Festival jam entries to be made to the Bundaberg Recreational Precinct on 3 and 4 August, with judging to occur Friday 5 August.
You can view the Taste Bundaberg Festival program here.