Pepper Braised Southern Cross Beef Blade with caramelised onion and Kiely chickpea puree, Myana confit garlic and green beans at the 2020 Farm to Fine Dining Regional Produce Dinner. Photo: Peter Lewis
Pepper Braised Southern Cross Beef Blade with caramelised onion and Kiely chickpea puree, Myana confit garlic and green beans at the 2020 Farm to Fine Dining Regional Produce Dinner. Photo: Peter Lewis

CQ produce gains national recognition at fine dining event

FLAVOURS of Central Highlands agriculture have been showcased at a fine dining experience for industry leaders in Brisbane.

More than 10 of the regions producers contributed to the fifth annual Farm to Fine Dining Regional Produce Dinner on July 16, to promote regional produce and agribusiness to about 70 influential guests.

Central Highlands Development Corporation Board chairman and Central Highlands Regional Council Mayor, Kerry Hayes, says putting local produce in front of decision-makers, investors and developers helps to raise awareness of the region’s agriculture industry and grow future economic opportunity.

“This tangible – and delicious – experience of our region’s produce is a powerful way of giving guests a true appreciation of the diversity and strength of the Central Highlands,” he said.

“It’s also an opportunity to meet the producers face-to-face, hear their stories and get a strong sense of the passion, innovation and hard work they put into their product.”

The 2020 Farm to Fine Dining Regional Produce Dinner was held last week (16 July) to promote Central Highlands produce and agribusiness to close to 70 influential guests. Photo: CHDC
The 2020 Farm to Fine Dining Regional Produce Dinner was held last week (16 July) to promote Central Highlands produce and agribusiness to close to 70 influential guests. Photo: CHDC

This year’s menu included local produce such as white and black table grapes from Fruit Master; sesame crackers, almond biscotti and fig mustard from Like Mum Used to Make; mandarins and mandarin leaves from 2PH; pork from CQ Golden Pigs and Piggy in the Middle; beef from Southern Cross Beef; garlic from Myana, macadamias from Marquis; Mung beans, chickpeas, peanuts, popcorn from growers Aaron and Carly Kiely; and honey from Top End Pollination.

The four course menu was designed by Blackbird Bar and Grill Chef Jake Nicolson and executive chef Anthony Donaldson and was served at the Brisbane riverside restaurant.

CHDC CEO Sandra Hobbs congratulated her team, producers and the Blackbird Bar and Grill on delivering an exceptional event during such challenging times.

The 2020 Farm to Fine Dining Regional Produce Dinner menu, highlighting produce from the Central Highlands. Photo: CHDC
The 2020 Farm to Fine Dining Regional Produce Dinner menu, highlighting produce from the Central Highlands. Photo: CHDC

“The guests were really impressed and excited by what our region is achieving and delivering in the agricultural space,” she said.

“The feedback was especially rewarding given the extra work that was involved to implement rigorous COVID-19 procedures and the shorter time frame to organise the event around the changing restrictions.”

VIP guests were Minister Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner; Department of Agriculture and Fisheries director general Dr Beth Woods; and State Member for Gregory Lachlan Millar.

Attendees also included senior representatives from various Queensland Government departments, Queensland Tourism Industry Council, Queensland Farmers Federation, Qantas, Local Government Association of Queensland, Grain Corp and Brisbane Markets.

CHDC hosts Farm to Fine Dining in partnership with CHRC and local agribusinesses as part of ongoing work to enhance and expand the local agricultural industry.

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