It’s widely known that the Scenic Rim produces some of the state’s freshest, tastiest produce.

Local vegetables, meat, wine, beer, milk, cheese, bread and relishes will be the stars of Scenic Rim Eat Local Week’s signature event, the Winter Harvest Festival on Saturday July 2.

But the raw ingredients are only part of the food story. In the right hands, these humble ingredients are transformed into culinary gold.

An impressive line-up of leading chefs will share their cooking secrets on the main stage at the Winter Harvest Festival.

Eat Local Week Ambassador, QAGOMA Executive Chef Josh Lopez, will ‘demystify’ his popular Eweghurt, Caviar & Crayfish dish, a highlight of the recent GOMA Discovery & Degustation Tour.

It’s a dish packed with flavour and features five Scenic Rim producers and Aratula crayfish presented three ways.

The chef line-up also features Javier Codina from Moda Restaurant, Brenda Fawdon co-author of the new EAT LOCAL cookbook, and Cameron Matthews from the Long Apron Restaurant at Spicers Clovelly Estate.

The cooking demonstrations are always a popular part of the Winter Harvest Festival and this year will be no different.

Josh Lopez says his connection with Scenic Rim Eat Local Week the past two years has opened his eyes to the skill and hard work involved in producing fresh food.

“Provenance is what makes the difference,” he explains.

“Anyone can source a carrot, but when you know how it’s grown, where it’s grown and the ethos behind the people who grow them it elevates even the simplest of ingredients and they become extraordinary. What I look for in suppliers is their commitment to quality.

“Also the willingness to openly share information. The sense of community among the Scenic Rim has been something of a revelation to me. I’m 100 per cent city but when you step one hour away from Brisbane you find these people who collborate and that’s been inspiring to me.”

Josh says his cooking demonstrations always aim to demystify fine dining and prove to the audience that good food, prepared well, is accessible to everyone. That said, he likes to include a degree of difficulty to the dishes he presents.

“Good food is for everyone, it shouldn’t just be an elite past-time. The dish I’m presenting at the Winter Harvest Festival features sheep’s cheese from Towri, free range eggs from Tamborine Mountain, finger lime pearls from Rathdowney, Rathlogan Olive Oil and Aratula freshwater crayfish. There are five techniques I will demonstrate, not all of them simple. Cooking demonstrations have to be entertaining and aspirational.”

Former QLD Food Fellow, Alison Alexander, will be the MC throughout the day and she will chat to the chefs about why using seasonal, local ingredients is so important.

“Our food should never be taken for granted and telling the stories behind its production gives better understanding to consumers,” says Mrs Alexander.

“With our fast paced life, a day in the country visiting a farm and having the chance to pick your own crop and see how it arrives in the supermarkets is a lasting memory for people of all ages.”

The Winter Harvest Festival is the Eat Local Week Signature Event and brings producers from around the Scenic Rim to one location.

Entry is just $10 for adults, children under 12 are free, and the event features free rides for the kids, a licensed wine and craft beer area and plenty of opportunities to meet the region’s farmers and taste their produce.

Bring a bag and go home with an abundance of beautiful Scenic Rim products.

 Buy your tickets online at or at the gate on the day.

The Winter Harvest Festival runs from 10am to 4pm at the Aratula Sports Complex.