Food fit for a queen

Annabelle Sterns checks on the ducks that are raised free-range on her family’s farm at Kilkivan. Bendele ducks were chosen to be served to the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh at last week’s royal luncheon in Brisbane.
Annabelle Sterns checks on the ducks that are raised free-range on her family’s farm at Kilkivan. Bendele ducks were chosen to be served to the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh at last week’s royal luncheon in Brisbane. Contributed

HAND-PICKED beans from the Gympie region were served to the Queen when she dined in Brisbane last week.

The menu for the four-course royal luncheon showcased some of Queensland's finest food, including Gympie beans and Bendele duck from Kilkivan.

While the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh missed tasting the free range, hand processed duck rillettes in pastry with gherkins - served as starters - Sarah Sterns, from Bendele Farms, was rather chuffed to learn the organic poultry was included on the royal menu.

"It is an honour to know that our product is good enough to be served to the Queen," Ms Sterns said.

"We still hand process our ducks. That, together with them having a great stress free - free range life, results in a duck with exceptional taste.

"The great thing is that our ducks are available for everyone to enjoy."

From where they were sitting, guests observed the royal couple enjoying the main meal of premium eye fillet, served with a side of Gympie green bean bundles, Tablelands potato and Granite Belt carrots.

Dessert came in petits fours, which included macadamia shortbread, believed to have been produced by Gympie's Suncoast Gold.

Queensland Governor Penelope Wensley put together the four-course meal to provide a good cross-section of Queensland's best produce. The lavish luncheon was held in the River Room at Southbank on Monday, October 24.

It was Her Majesty's 16th visit to Australia and her first tour of Brisbane since 2002.

After landing at Brisbane Airport, the royal couple was taken to Bretts Wharf, where they boarded a boat for a trip along the Brisbane River.

The party arrived at South Bank, met with flood and cyclone victims and heroes, and ran late for lunch meeting the crowd of well-wishers which swelled to as many as 30-people deep in some sections.

More than 80 guests invited to dine with the Queen and Prince Philip, tucked into the hors d'oeuvres while waiting for the guests of honour to finish greeting the public.

The Queen and Duke had specifically asked to meet a cross-section of Queenslanders, particularly people from regional Queensland.



  • Gympie green bean bundles
  • Kilkivan Bendele duck rillettes in pastry
  • Moreton Bay bug cocktail in rice paper roll
  • Mooloolaba king prawns with spiced avocado
  • Stanthorpe pears and apples
  • Atherton blue cheese
  • Buderim honey and ginger
  • Bowen mango fruit tarts

Topics:  food organic poultry produce queen elizabeth ii

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