Australia's worst vegetarian city revealed: Rockhampton

Chefs at Beef Australia 2015
Chefs at Beef Australia 2015

A TOURISM and Events Queensland article about Rocky with the rather interesting headline of Australia's Worst Vegetarian City Revealed is making news around the world.

Nelson Hall, of Tourism and Events Queensland, said the piece (in full below) was written in a catchy way to attract international media interest and promote the Rockhampton region, as well as last week's Beef Australia 2015.

The article has been shared to the Thomson Reuters news agency.

We think anything that beefs up tourism for our region is a good thing.

AMERICA has its wild west, Australia has Rockhampton as the beef capital.

Known locally as Rocky, this Queensland city loves its beef so much it holds an expo called Beef Australia every three years.

Big hats, big steaks and big bulls line the streets in what has to be the worst place in Queensland to be a vegetarian.

Just ask anyone in town, and they'll tell you, like Graziers Lauchie Ward, and Geoff Maynard

"Yeah I don't even know a vegetarian actually," says Lauchie.

From under the brim of his big hat Geoff adds, "Most of the people here believe 4.5billion years ago we evolved and got to the top of the food chain so there's no point in turning vegetarian now."

From paddock to plate demonstrations with international celebrity chefs and more juicy steaks than you can poke a fork at, Beef Australia is one of the biggest gatherings in the world of beef experts, and producers, as well as being a meat lover's dream.

You can eat your way around a Big Blokes Burger, a Shelia's Burger for the ladies, or a Ring Burner Burger for those that like it hot!

Everywhere you look there's either someone eating beef, talking about beef or proudly showing a prized beast.

Grazier Geoff is in the genetics game, he takes out a stall at the expo to promote his business, "It gives us a gateway to the world.

There's a lot more international people here with attention on this event… (Beef Australia)  is a gateway to get connections and do business."

Some of those international guests include world-renowned chefs such as Middle Eastern Tarek Ibrahim, whose television programs boast an audience of 300million.

The Master Chef is a big fan of Queensland beef.

"If you are using product like Queensland beef you know that there is a trust, a confidence and you can always deliver the right product."

Hong Kong's very own 'Demon Chef' Alvin Leung also cooked up a storm at the expo.

"This rumour of Rockhampton being the worst city to be a vegetarian isn't true, I've seen plenty of vegetarians here and they all have four legs!"

The town even has a series of bull statues that line the streets which is a tribute to the main breeds of beef produced in the region.

If you love a good steak, Rockhampton has got to be number one on any beef eaters bucket list. Being so close to the Southern Great Barrier Reef, Rockhampton is where cattle meets seafood, in a cuisine collision known as Reef and Beef.

It's a meat marriage made in heaven, where the perfect steak is topped with a variety of local seafoods.

For local chef Matt Smith from The Waterline restaurant, Reef and Beef has inspired him to create award-winning dishes.

"Reef and beef for me is the combination of the earthy grass fed beef flavours and the best local seafood," says Matt.

Vegetarians be warned, some restaurants proudly boast they have no vegetable only options on their menus.

"I've been here for three days and I don't think I've seen a vegetable in the whole time let alone a person that would eat one! I suppose it's known as the beef capital of Australia and rightly so," says celebrity Australian chef Ben O'Donoghue.

If you're still in doubt about the beefy credentials of this city, take a stroll down to The Great Western Hotel on a Wednesday or Friday night.

This is a pub with a difference. Here the tables of their restaurant surround a full working rodeo arena.

Craving carnivores can carve up their 1kg monster steak, while watching cowboys ride bulls.

Australia is the world's third largest beef exporter and Queensland is it's beefy heart, with almost 13 million head of cattle. Australians on average chew their way through more than 30kg of beef per person each year.

James Maclean Director of Beef Australia says the global beef market is expanding. "We do export 70% of all the beef that's produced in Queensland."

Topics:  beef australia 2015 rockhampton tourism vegetarian

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