Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington with some of the pesto which impressed the Ekka judges

August 8, 2018

If ABC political reporter Annabel Crabb ever wants to do a Queensland version of her popular “Kitchen Cabinet” TV show, she should look no further than the South Burnett’s very own Deb Frecklington.

The LNP Opposition Leader and Member for Nanango made headlines on Wednesday by taking out second place in “Class 124: Pesto – Basil Traditional” in the Culinary competition at the 2018 Brisbane Ekka.

The secret of her success?

“Good, fresh parmesan, garlic, pine nuts, lots of fresh home grown basil, good Australian olive oil and a touch of salt.”

Mrs Frecklington is now awaiting the judges’ reaction to her date loaf, also entered at the Ekka.

The results of her efforts in this competition should be known at the end of the week.

So how does she find time to practise her skills in the kitchen?

“I’m a home cook, I love having the family around and talking to them while I’m cooking,” she told the media.

This isn’t the first time Mrs Frecklington has had success at a rural show.

The former Wandoan Miss Showgirl and Miss South West Queensland is also a dab hand at chocolate cake.

She scored first prize and “champion” status in “Section 15: Chocolate Cakes” at the 2012 Kingaroy Show.

She revealed soon afterwards on Facebook that it wasn’t her first show win, either.

“That cake recipe won three years in a row at the Ardlethan Show … made by me,” she said.

Footnote: Murgon culinary champ Edna O’Neill has so far picked up two second places, in “Class 10: Carrot Bar Cake” and “Class 12: Chocolate Sandwich”, and a third in “Class 94: Date Pudding” at the 2018 Brisbane Ekka.

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Deb Frecklington’s Pesto


50g pine nuts
3 cloves garlic
1 bunch of fresh basil leaves
Pinch salt
3/4 cup fresh, grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup olive oil


Roast the pine nuts for a few minutes until golden brown.

Place garlic, basil and salt in a food processor until they are reduced to a green puree.

Add the parmesan cheese and pine nuts and process to combine with the other ingredients.

Slowly pour in the oil, a little at a time, until pesto is smooth and well-combined.

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