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Head North for Fine Dining and Music

Townsville will have more than warm weather to offer visitors this winter, with a star-studded line up of the country’s finest chefs and the Australian Festival of Chamber Music (AFCM).

Celebrated Australian culinary expert Maggie Beer will join ABC Classic FM presenter Damian Beaumont to host the Chefs in the North fine food and music event on 25 July. The event will launch the 23rd annual AFCM which this year features approximately 30 chamber musicians in more than 30 concerts in different musical styles in and around Townsville from 26 July to 3 August.

Returning as Executive Chef for the Chefs in the North event is David Pugh, Head Chef and owner of Restaurant Two in Brisbane. David will be joined by renowned chefs from across the country, including Huxtable Restaurant Head Chef and owner Daniel Wilson of Melbourne, XO Group Executive Chef Brendon Barker of Noosa, Coco Chu Executive Chef Adam Woodfield of Hamilton Island and Restaurant Two Pastry Chef Tom Newman.

To complement their interstate counterparts, a diverse selection of local Townsville chefs will feature on the night, including Jam Corner Sous-Chef Daniel Peters, A Touch of Salt Head Chef Matt Ostrenski and Rydges Townsville Executive Chef Kenneth Burton.

The AFCM is held over nine days and features approximately 30 chamber musicians appearing in more than 30 concerts across a variety of venues around Townsville. As part of the Festival’s commitment to regional Queenslanders, concerts and performances are also held in surrounding centres with past concerts taking place at Charters Towers, Mount Isa, Karumba, Magnetic Island and Orpheus Island.

For Maggie Beer, this is one of her favourite events on the foodie calendar.

“The dates go into my diary the moment they are announced, there is so much to look forward to, Maggie says.

“The Chefs in the North dinner is such a grand occasion and the camaraderie amongst the chefs makes me envious I’m not actually in the kitchen cooking.

“But it’s not just the food. I have the fun of sparring with my co-host, the velvet voiced Damien Beaumont, as I talk about the dinner and chat with the chefs, never quite knowing where the conversation will lead,” Maggie Beer adds.

“What I love most of all is escaping into the festival, which is all about the music and the artists. The memories I have of the last two seasons are absolutely unforgettable, they’ll stay with me for life.

The magnificent Chefs in the North dinner under the stars is an unforgettable sensory experience, not to be missed by lovers of food, wine and fine music. The natural beauty of Townsville and North Queensland’s ideal tropical weather in winter provides a magical backdrop for the Festival’s concerts.

Tickets for these events are available now at

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Alana Lowes

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