Fresh vegetables, creamy cheeses and flavourful wines were the order of the evening last night at the launch of the Scenic Rim Eat Local Week.
Local producers mixed with celebrity chefs and food authors at the event held at Portside on the Brisbane River.
Scenic Rim Eat Local Week plates up from June 24 to July 2, and features more than 90 individual activities, including farm tours, producer lunches, cooking classes and the signature event, the Winter Harvest Festival on July 1.
Mayor Greg Christensen officially launched Eat Local Week and unveiled the Scenic Rim Distilled Guide, produced by Master of Wine Peter Scudamore-Smith.
The guide for Thirsty Travellers profiles the Scenic Rim’s wines, liqueurs, craft beers and coffee in a user-friendly guide released to coincide with Eat Local Week 2017.
“Food has become more than a necessity in our society and the choices people make empowers local producers and grows our local economy,” Cr Christensen said.
“Our agricultural industry provides $400million to our local economy every year so not only does the food taste incredibly good, it’s vital for the continued financial success of the Scenic Rim.”
Cr Christensen said last year 30 000 people visited the region during Eat Local Week and this year’s event comes at a critical time for the industry in the wake of ex-Cyclone Debbie.
“It truly is a testament to the resilience of our farmers that after such an event they can be back on their feet and providing delicious food for an event like this,” he said.
“Visitors will be able to immerse themselves in our region and connect the circle between paddock and plate.”
Eat Local Week ambassador Javier Codina’s restaurant Moda is rated one of the best in Brisbane and he said the reputation of the Scenic Rim as the home of fine produce was growing rapidly.
“The region really is coming to life,” he said.
“I find nothing more beautiful as a chef than to express myself with bright, colourful, delicious food that is fresh, seasonal and locally sourced.
“I have sourced food from the best and most famous regions around the world and it is starting to get very serious here in comparison.”
Guests dined on canapes of marinated Rathlogan Grove olives, Tarome crayfish, Ayton Farm croquettes, Kalfresh pumpkin and 4Real Milk feta and The Butcher Co. beef pithiviers.
An indulgent cheese station featured cheeses from Pure Artisan, Scenic Rim 4Real Milk, Towri Sheep Cheeses and White Gold Creamery.
Guests enjoyed drinks from Sarabah Estate, Witches Falls Winery, O’Reillys Canungra Valley Vineyard, Scenic Rim Brewery, Bunjurgen Estate and Javier’s Spanish Sangria, featuring O’Reillys Tom Reserve Tempranillo.