If you live in Queensland, and Brisbane specifically, you can smell spring arriving on the breeze. One day we’re all choking on the annual dusty-dry winds, the next you can smell flowering eucalypts, sun-warmed grass and salt off the river. The air is suddenly humid-sweet and it’s now that our region is offering up spectacular produce in what is arguably the best weather of the year.
For a Queensland chef right now, there’s almost too much choice. As soon as a seasonal dish has been developed and launched, something new is at its best and crying out for a place on the menu. There’s the thrilling, anxiety-inducing dilemma of how to fit every amazing ingredient and innovative idea onto the menu at once, while doing our local growers, catchers and makers their due justice.
Douglas Innes-Will, QAGOMA’s Executive Chef, believes this is a great problem to have, and he has the perfect solution.
Freshly launched this spring, Innes-Will has unveiled a reimagined menu style for the GOMA Restaurant, taking advantage of the frequent and abrupt changes in our region’s seasonal availability. In fact this is a central theme and Innes-Will stresses the menu will stay in a state of flux indefinitely, with dishes changing week to week. To complement this exciting and ever-changing offering, the wine list has undergone a revamp; including some new surprising and curious drops from around Australia, along with more highlights from Queensland estates.
When you open the menu on your next visit, you’ll be looking at a cross section of the region’s abundance at that moment in time; along with the culinary technique of the team and their passion for picking out the most interesting and overlooked ingredients – all with their own story, history and origin.
Innes-Will would love to see guests visit often to experience the seasonal changes reflected on his plates over time. He urges locals not to wait for a special occasion to visit what could be considered Queensland’s own dining room.
In his own words: What GOMA Restaurant has on offer is for everyone, just like the Gallery. I want guests to enhance their visit to the newest exhibition with a spontaneous exploration of our menu; locals to drop in on their lunch break to experience the newest dish, or friends and family to celebrate an occasion over a tasting menu full of surprises and plot twists. In essence – I want people, all people, to feel like the restaurant has something for them, like it belongs to them, because… it does.
It’s not just local seasonal ingredients remaining in focus: Innes-Will and his team are bringing more of QAGOMA’s sustainable food philosophy to the menu, and working directly with local, sustainable growers and makers to develop a menu derived from nature’s current offering.
Tasting the Tropical North: Dining + Film
QAGOMA operates its own restaurant and cafes, using local seasonal produce to create menus inspired by the art on display. Read more on our blog
Feature image: Hervey bay scallop, radish, grape, nashi