A handpicked selection of the regionâ€™s most sought-after produce will be served to some of Australiaâ€™s up and coming hospitality stars on Monday night, July 3rd..
Toowoomba based, award-winning chef Amanda Hinds is creating a three-course Darling Downs inspired menu for young chefs, restaurateurs and waiters participating in this yearâ€™s Electrolux Appetite For Excellence Awards (Australiaâ€™s only national hospitality awards program).
The culinary experience, which will take place at Wellcamp Airport, will feature a variety of free-range produce exclusive to the region.
Ms Hinds, who is a huge advocate of supporting local farmers, said the menu would provide just a â€˜morselâ€™â€™ of whatâ€™s on offer in the region.
Guests will dine on sorghum, premier 150-day Black Angus Oakey Beef, quail, Lockyer Valley root vegetables, a tribute dish to iconic Suttonâ€™s Farm apples and Queenslandâ€™s first truffles of the season, both Granite Belt specialities.
â€œWe have a very different culinary experience unlike anything else in Australia and itâ€™s wonderful to be able to collaborate with Tourism Darling Downs to show the future stars of Australiaâ€™s hospitality industry what we have in this rich agricultural heartland,â€ said Ms Hinds, whose former Bundaberg restaurant, Indulge CafÃ© and Bistro was a two-time winner of The Brisbane Times Good Food Guide Peopleâ€™s Choice Award in 2015 and 2016.Â
Electrolux Appetite For Excellence program director Ms Phee Gardner said every year, participants were taken to a different region to meet and learn from incredible producers, farmers, harvesters and growers. â€œWe are looking forward to coming to Queensland and in particular touring the Oakey Beef Exports (Oakey), Banyard Game Birds (Pittsworth) and Kerwee Feedlot (Jondaryan) while we are on the Darling Downs.
â€œA very important component of what we want to showcase to the future stars of the culinary world is the importance of creating a sustainable industry for young professionals and the industry alike. This produce tour goes beyond the produce itself and delves into the farmersâ€™ knowledge and science of what they do every day and why Australian produce is so good,â€ said Ms Gardner.
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Regional Director Mr Richard Routley said the dinner would provide a great platform to promote the Darling Downsâ€™ high quality beef, grains and horticultural produce to a national audience â€œThe Darling Downs is Australiaâ€™s premier agricultural food bowl and itâ€™s great to see our produce receive the recognition and attention it deserves,â€ said Mr Routley.
About 65 people will attend the industry dinner at the airport, including the 17 award participants and key stakeholders Mary-Jane Morse (Meat and Livestock Australia), Kylie Roberts (Porkstars) and Pat Gleeson (Oakey Beef Exports). Event supporters include Wellcamp Airport, Banyard Quail, Paddock to Potager, Suttons Cidery, 9Dorf, The Barefoot Baker, Stahmann Farms, Combined Farmers of the Lockyer Valley, Mac Foods Toowoomba and George the Truffle Man.
*The Electrolux Appetite For Excellence application process started in January and culminates in the crowning of the young chef,Â young waiter and young restaurateur of the year 2017 at a star-studded awards night in Noosa on August 14.
Media and Communications manager
The Punch Group