Fine Dining Event Showcases Central Highlands Agriculture

16 August 2023

The flavours of Central Highlands agriculture have transformed into a fine dining experience in Brisbane.

The eighth annual Farm to Fine Dining Regional Produce Showcase was held recently (20 July) to promote the local industry to more than 75 leaders and strategic stakeholders from agribusiness, government, peak industry bodies, tourism and investment sectors.

The Central Highlands Development Corporation (CHDC) hosts the annual invitation-only dinner in partnership with the Central Highlands Regional Council (CHRC) and local agribusinesses.

CHDC Board Chair and CHRC Mayor Kerry Hayes says the event opens the door to future economic opportunities by giving the influential audience an appreciation for the Central Highlands’ agriculture industry.

“As we all know, senses really help to shape our perspectives and memories, so this dinner is about harnessing the power of taste and smell to make that lasting impression,” Mayor Hayes says.

“Some of the best conversations with friends are around the dinner table, and the food from the Central Highlands is the perfect start.”

Mayor Hayes says the list of stakeholder guests, including State Government Ministers, is quite unique and the Central Highlands uses this opportunity to grow its reputation as a reliable and consistent partner for government and private sectors.

“It’s also one of those rare occasions when producers get to make in-person connections with other people on the food supply chain, the value of which is priceless,” he says.

Local produce in this year’s four-course menu included vegetables from Wyntoon Fresh; fruit from Costa Group; Capricorn Honey; grains and sorghum from Radicle Seeds Australia; Andalia Pastoral’s beef and pork; and Red Claw from Freshwater Australian Crayfish Traders.

Mayor Hayes also expressed heartfelt thanks to Coolfreight for transporting all the event’s produce to Brisbane free of charge every year for the past six years.

“This generous gesture has saved us thousands of dollars over the years, and we are incredibly grateful to Coolfreight’s Marcus Smith and his team.”

Attendees included senior representatives from various agricultural organisations and Queensland Government departments; Austrade; Queensland Resources Council; Queensland Tourism Industry Council; Qantas; and Local Government Association of Queensland.

The dinner was held at Blackbird Bar & Restaurant and the menu was inspired by seasonal regional produce and designed by Blackbird Executive Chef Jake Nicolson.

The menu booklet, which includes producer information, can be found at

The Central Highlands is one of Queensland’s key agricultural producers, generating more than $729 million in output in 2021-22.