Australians have long known we have food and wine that rivals anything on the planet. It’s official since the World’s 50 Best came to Melbourne and Tourism Australia showcased our delicious best to some of the world’s most influential chefs and media. Food, wine and beer experiences make up more than 25% of all tourism spending in Australia. But until quite recently, Queensland wasn’t really invited to the table.
It can’t be distance – WA’s Margaret River is always front and centre. Is it the climate? Only our most Southern regions can successfully grow wine. Has the Sunshine State been a little slower to realise the potential of food tourism? Or is it simply that the rest of the country wasn’t interested?
While politicians might not have recognised the momentum – producers, growers and artisans in food bowls from the Atherton to the Scenic Rim most definitely have and now they’re telling the world.
The mining boom is over; the state’s future is in tourism and exporting dairy, vegetables and meat to Asia and beyond.
Southeast Queensland’s Scenic Rim is not only home to World Heritage listed rainforest and six National Parks – all of it is only an hour from Brisbane and the Gold Coast. The region’s natural assets of clean air and water combined with rich volcanic soil make it an agribusiness powerhouse with agriculture and tourism contributing $402 million to the regional economy.
Scenic Rim Eat Local Week shines the spotlight on the farmers, winemakers, brewers, orchardists and artisans who raise and grow outstanding fresh food and products right on the capital’s doorstep. It’s a diverse food bowl and is also fast becoming known for its wine and beer.
At the recent launch, Councillor Greg Christensen, the region’s mayor encouraged Brisbane to “get out of the city … get some dirt on your hands and some mud between your toes”.
Moda’s Javier Codina and Scenic Rim Eat Local Week Food Ambassador designed a launch menu to show off what the Scenic Rim does best: magnificent cheese, the freshest of veges and delicious meat.
Regional Food Ambassador Peter Scudamore-Smith MW said he “was knocked out by the diversity of the region”. ‘Scenic Rim Distilled: a guide for thirsty travellers’ was released at the launch and in it he rates more than 70 wines and beers at 90 or more.
Scenic Rim Eat Local Week starts tantalising the taste buds from June 24 with more than 90 events with the signature Winter Harvest Festival on July 1. From producer lunches, wine dinners, farm and vineyard tours to cooking classes the week also offers many free and inexpensive, family fun ways to experience the Scenic Rim.
Not to be missed:
‘Lunch with the Lambs’ at Towri Sheep Cheese – a multi-course menu devised by Spicers Group Executive Chef, Cameron Matthews with the Rim’s best wines and beverages: June 23.
‘The Lost World’s Farm Gate Festival’ is an opportunity to discover this wilderness only 90 minutes from Brisbane and the Gold Coast, meet the farmers and taste outstanding produce: June 24.
Farm to Fork – Tommerup’s Dairy Farm. Feed farm animals, guided farm walks and more. June 24.
For more information on the many events: https://www.eatlocalweek.com.au/
For more on Peter Scudamore-Smith’s recommendations: https://www.eatlocalweek.com.au/scenic-rim-distilled-a-guide-for-thirsty-travellers/