Over the three weeks audiences will experience the transformative power of live performance, learn and grow through immersive experiences and travel the length and breadth of Asia across the incredibly packed festival program that has something for everyone.
Mother’s Table returned for a final season in 2023 with a program that featured local Asian-Australian restaurant owners sharing conversations as they prepared a favourite dish. Food from Asian cultures has long been an important part of the Australian culinary landscape and this series not only shared the process of making a dish, but also used the act of preparing food as a catalyst for intergenerational storytelling and knowledge sharing.
Written and directed by Lark Lee and produced by Sounds Across Oceans for Brisbane City Council’s BrisAsia Festival 2023. In partnership with Tuk Tuk Restaurant and Bar, The Charcoal BBQ House, and Curry n’ Cask.
Tuk Tuk Restaurant and Bar
Mutita (Photong), owner and head chef of Tuk Tuk Restaurant and Bar in Brisbane’s inner West, is a diligent Thai woman who grew up cooking and working all the time to help her family.
Photong always dreamt of having her own business and looked up to her older sister, Yuey, who was at the time running Tuk Tuk Bar. After her sister returned to Thailand during Covid lockdowns, Photong purchased the restaurant from her, giving way to her decade long dream to own a restaurant. Her fiancé, Glenn, quit his job lecturing at a university to help Photong at the restaurant and work together.
To Photong, family is everything. She wants to help her parents live comfortably when she saves up enough money.
The Charcoal BBQ House
In an unforgiving world for Asian migrant cooks, two Korean chefs dream of changing the perception of cheap Korean food into a fine dining experience in Brisbane.
After working together for nine years with the renowned Rockpool Dining Group, Won-Cheong and Sang-duck opened The Charcoal BBQ house together on Brisbane’s southside. As the business grew and as new restaurant owners, Covid and subsequent floods had a significant impact on their dreams and vision.
With the money they put into the restaurant, the past years have been an unsettling time. They believe what gets them through the tough times is the great taste of their food and the love and support of their families. Their shared vision drives them to strive towards redefining the image of cheap Korean food and a dream to open a fine dining Korean restaurant on Eagle Street pier in Brisbane’s CBD.
Curry n’ Cask
A dedicated Indian husband, who has travelled all over India, dreams of making a romantic restaurant unlike any other Indian restaurant in Brisbane.
Gurinder met Neel at college and it was love at first sight. Moving around India for his work as an engineer, he tasted great food all over the country and developed a passion for sharing it with people.
After Neel and Gurinder moved to New Zealand and opened an Indian restaurant, sadly Neel was diagnosed with cancer. During this dark time, Neel’s parents and in-laws visited to look after her, but it was Jagandwi, their son, who helped Neel to get through it the most. He visited her at the hospital before he went to school. He told her she was beautiful and kissed her bald head every morning. After five years of battling cancer, they were depressed and needed a fresh start so they moved to Australia, the only country where her medical records could be transferred to, and they opened Curry n’ Cask in Corinda, Brisbane.
Sounds Across Oceans is a not-for-profit arts organisation dedicated to promoting community harmony and wellbeing through innovative cultural programming across styles, genres and artforms. Inspired both by ancient and contemporary values and perspectives, SAO works to generate creative platforms where people from all walks of life can reach their creative potential. Through workshops, residencies, concerts, education programs and discussion forums SAO builds bridges between cultures and communities, supports cultural knowledge sharing and uplifts and connects people of diverse cultural and creative backgrounds.
Since its inception in 2017 SAO has produced BrisAsia Festival, The Ground Beneath Us Festival, Creative Fusions, The Tree of Life: Seniors Music and Movement Program, JADE New World Collective.
In 2023, the SAO team worked with a collective of leading independent producers including Gemma Truong (Utopia Management), Minh Nguyen (Australian Creative Arts Production), Lani Gibbins, Loic Robillot, Shokk Events, Big Fork Theatre, Shoku and Team Bliss Esports to deliver BrisAsia Festival.
For more information about BrisAsia Festival, email Council's Creative Communities team.