Scenic Rim produce was on the menu at a popular Brisbane botanical bistro this week.
Wild Canary Bistro, at the Brookfield Garden Centre, hosted a sold-out Scenic Rim producer’s lunch, which will be attended by some featured local farmers.
Wild Canary chef, Glen Barratt, is a keen supporter of local farmers and regularly features in-season local ingredients on his menu. He jumped at the chance to shine a light on the Scenic Rim ahead of Eat Local Week.
Guests ate their way through the region, starting with heirloom tomatoes and Sebago potatoes from Fassifern Valley Produce, followed by Kalbar carrots and Daikon radish from Kalfresh Vegetables and finally red claw crayfish from the Hutchings family’s Freshwater Australian Crayfish Traders at Tarome.
Scenic Rim Mayor John Brent says the Wild Canary lunch is one of a number of initiatives undertaken by the Council this year to spread the word about Scenic Rim produce beyond the region’s boundaries.
He says the feedback from the Eat Local Week launch at QAGOMA proved that taking the food and farmers to the city was a powerful marketing strategy.
“Many connections have been made following the launch,” he says.
“Producers have connected with chefs and providores and hopefully we will see Scenic Rim ingredients featured on menus far and wide. The Wild Canary lunch builds on those connections and will display the region’s raw ingredients in an incredible setting.
“There is a real appetite among our city cousins to know where their food comes from and to have a connection with the people who grow it. That concept is at the heart of Scenic Rim Eat Local Week and I would encourage everyone in the region to take the opportunity to visit some of our producers between June 27 and July 5 and make your own food connections.”
Wild Canary Chef Glen Barratt says it makes sense for chefs to use in-season produce that’s grown locally. He says once staff explain to customers why some ingredients aren’t always available most understand and appreciate the philosophy.
“For me low food miles are important,” he says.
“It means we can visit the farms and see the soil and it’s more interesting from a chef’s point of view than just having a box turn up from the Brisbane Markets. There’s a connection to the food. We print our menus in-house so we decide each week what to offer depending on what’s available.”
Glen says his Scenic Rim menu also featured pickled rhubarb from Tamborine Mountain, pickled carrots, blue cheese from Witches Chase Cheeses at Tamborine Mountain and crayfish from Aratula.
“We have a lot of regulars come through and they really like that connection we have with local suppliers.”
Scenic Rim Eat Local Week runs from June 27 to July 5 and features a range of low-cost and free events, for food lovers of all ages. The week culminates in the signature event, the Winter Harvest Festival, at Aratula on July 4.