The flavours of Central Highlands agriculture have been transformed into a fine dining experience in Brisbane during the Ekka season.

The second Farm to Fine Dining Regional Produce Dinner was last week hosted by the Central Highlands Development Corporation (CHDC) to promote regional produce and agribusiness to 60 influential guests.

“After such a positive response to our inaugural event last year, we were keen to again capitalise on the atmosphere of Ekka and its vibrant approach to bringing the country to the city,” CHDC Board Chair and Central Highlands Mayor Kerry Hayes says.

“It’s one thing to use facts and figures to demonstrate the strength and diversity of the Central Highlands’ agricultural industry but this was about serving key decision-makers a tangible, vivid and mouth-watering experience of what our region has to offer.”

The aim was to give guests a new awareness and appreciation of Central Highlands produce to help shape and influence their strategic operations in the future.

Attendees included high-level representatives from the State Government, such as Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Economic Development Bill Byrne and Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations and Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Racing Grace Grace; and the agribusiness, tourism and investment sectors.

The event was held at the acclaimed Six Acres Restaurant in the Brisbane Showgrounds Ekka precinct and featured a Central Highlands-inspired menu designed by Executive Chef Francesco Trucco.

Produce featured on this year’s menu included lemons, limes and mandarins from Emerald’s 2PH Farms; Atlantic potatoes from Cunzolo Farms, Comet; certified grass-fed (PCAS) beef from Stanbroke’s Flinders Natural brand; sausages from Fair Dinkum Meats; and grain-fed wagyu beef from AACo (Goonoo).

Guests took home Picky Picky Peanuts seasoned snack packs, Knobel Honey, macadamias from Hinkler Park Plantations, and the Central Highlands Sandstone Wilderness and Sapphire Gemfields Lifestyle and Visitor Guide in their gift bags.

Jason and Tracey O’Loughlin from Fair Dinkum Meats (Springsure, Emerald, Blackwater) were among the local suppliers in attendance.

“It was a great opportunity to network and create business connections from all over Australia and, in our case, internationally,” Mr O’Loughlin says.

“The chance to showcase what Fair Dinkum Meats has to offer, as well as all the Central Highlands has to offer, was fantastic.”

Other attendees and speakers included Rolleston producer Ian McCamley, supplier of PCAS beef to Stanbroke’s Flinders Natural grass-fed beef brand; and Taylor Pressler from 2PH Farms, Emerald.

The evening included a sneak peak of a Central Highlands agribusiness short film, to be officially launched this Friday, 25 August.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Please contact Liz Alexander on (07) 4982 4386 or 0429 471 511 for further information. Hi-res images available.

CHDC Board Chair and Central Highlands Mayor Kerry Hayes was among the speakers at the Farm to Fine Dining Regional Produce Dinner.


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