Eat Local book authors inspire creation of festival

LOCAL PRODUCE: All eyes are on the Scenic Rim after the release of Eat Local cookbook which was initiated by Scenic Rim Regional Council and created by Christine Sharp and Brenda Fawdon. Photo: Jocelyn Garcia
LOCAL PRODUCE: All eyes are on the Scenic Rim after the release of Eat Local cookbook which was initiated by Scenic Rim Regional Council and created by Christine Sharp and Brenda Fawdon. Photo: Jocelyn Garcia

EAT Local cookbook authors Christine Sharp and Brenda Fawdon have sparked the creation of Australia’s first food tourism conference – Destination Food.

The event aims to help people take the next step in their marketing and culinary tourism development experiences.

After speaking at several festivals about their book and Scenic Rim producers, Ms Sharp and Ms Fawdon are taking their presentation to Destination Food in Sydney on May 21.

Ms Sharp said she had no idea a speech made at the Food and Words festival last year would have inspired the creation of the conference.

“There was a woman named Holly (Galbraith), who’s a mover and shaker in the food tourism industry, who saw us speak and a light bolb moment went off for her,” she said.

Ms Sharp said the talk was a catalyst for the conference’s conception.

“Now we’ve been invited to speak there, taking the stories of our amazing producers down to the big smoke,” she said.

Ms Fawdon said she was honoured to have represented the producers at festivals, including Food and Words.

“I think what was interesting about our presentation is that we were talking about the producers, we weren’t talking about a book that was about us, and that felt really good,” she said.

“We certainly got a great response – it was emotive and pulled a lot of heart strings in the audience.”

Ms Fawdon said it was about time that all eyes were on the Scenic Rim.

Ms Sharp said the cookbook, initiated by Scenic Rim Regional Council, and their presentations were shedding a light on the region’s farmers, growers and manufacturers.

“The council have been amazing in the Eat Local Week Festival and to put that together with the producers involved in that,” she said.

“That’s already an amazing feat and the book is an added component to it that’s taking it further a field yet again.”

After meeting 52 producers and their families during the creation of two books, the duo were eager to be guest speakers at Destination Food.