The famed Scenic Rim Eat Local Week is to become a month-long celebration of paddock to plate experiences.
Proving that ‘if you grow it, they will come’, the famed and flavour-filled Scenic Rim Eat Local Week will this year be celebrated for a full month across June. Imagery here.
“In its 12th year and from now on, Australia’s most authentic paddock-to-plate, food and farming experience in Eat Local Week will become Eat Local Month which means more time to shine the light on the farmers, growers, producers, artisans, chefs and creators in our region, and on our spectacular local and seasonal produce. This expansion reflects the success and hard work of our entire community, and of the support of visitors from across the country,” said Scenic Rim Regional Council Mayor, Greg Christensen.
When Eat Local Week started in 2011, 10 events were staged, attended by a few hundred people. In 2014, the program featured 80 events with 15,000 attendees and last year, in 2022, there were 125 events and almost 40,000 attendees with a program that stretched from Beaudesert to Beechmont, Kerry to Kalbar, and Mount Alford to Mount Tamborine!
“Eat Local Week is a significant economic driver for the region, with the event pumping $2 million into the region, and playing an important role in placing farmers, growers and producers centre stage,” said Mayor Christensen. “We can’t wait to celebrate for a full month in 2023.”
The full program for Eat Local Month will be announced in late April, however foodies and farm fans can expect an incredible line-up of on-farm celebrations, long lunches showcasing local produce, flavour-filled dinners, farm gate experiences, food walks, tastings, tours and talks, masterclasses, workshops for all ages and more, with the finale and signature event, Winter Harvest Festival, being held on 1 July.
The Eat Local Month website was launched today with fans encouraged to sign up to be the first to receive the program and book tickets (eatlocalmonth.com.au).
Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the expansion of the event was great news for both locals and visitors.
“The Scenic Rim is rapidly building its reputation as a foodie’s paradise, and the expansion of Eat Local Week to a month-long event brings huge benefits to local accommodation providers, retailers and of course restaurants, cafes and other food experiences in the region,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“The Queensland Government, through Tourism and Events Queensland, has supported this event for the past seven years, elevating it to ‘significant’ status with a three-year deal from 2022 – 2024. That’s because we are backing its growth as it brings increasing visitors to the region and an estimated $2 million economic boost, which in turns supports good local jobs.
“I encourage visitors from around Australia and the world to put the Scenic Rim on their ‘must do’ list this June for a literal taste of this amazing region.”
The real stars of Eat Local Month are the award-winning producers, growers and flavour-makers, with the event providing the ultimate backstage pass to the farms, wineries, faces and food stories of the Scenic Rim, named by delicious Magazine as one of the top 5 places to visit in 2023.
It’s supported by serious food names, with the rollcall of ambassador chefs the envy of the country – Alison Alexander (Queensland Food Fellow), Ash Martin, Brenda Fawdon (Picnic Real Food Bar), Cameron Matthews (Mapleton Public House), Caroline Jones (Three Girls Skipping), Glen Barratt (Wild Canary), Javier Codina (Moda), Josh Lopez (Monstera Group), Kate Raymont (Scenic Rim Farm Shop Café) and Richard Ousby (Ousby Food), with more to be announced this year!
Eat Local Week has been the catalyst for growth and diversification across the region, and the inspiration for exciting collaborations between producers – Carrot Beer, Milk Stout featuring local sheep and cow milk, beef and vegetable sausages, beetroot and carrot bread, and Camel Milk Vodka just to name a few!
“Encouraging our farmers and producers to create special events and welcome visitors to their farms has changed so many lives, while connecting our farmers and growers with chefs to create incredible food experiences, makes for truly memorable moments. Paddock to plate is a term used all too often in restaurants around the world, but it is practised first hand here during Eat Local Month, and indeed every month,” said Mayor Christensen.
“Our program targets tiny foodies too, because if we can educate our children on where their food comes from, then we can teach them to protect and respect food provenance.”
Witches Falls Winemaker Ren Dalgarno said in addition to celebrating local flavours and tastes, the event carried important long term messages. “People are really interested in how their food is produced and the sustainability associated with this production, as well more than ever, in localness. The more active and involved we are in the cycle of food and wine production, the better it is for our planet,” she said.
Eat Local Week (now Month) started in 2011 when a group of local producers, farmers and tourism operators planted the idea to shine the light on the flavours and faces of the region; an event to encourage people to look to their backyard for seasonal food and pay tribute to the people that produce it. That year 10 events were staged; in 2022, there were 125 events.
In 2015, acclaimed chef Josue Lopez was invited be the first Scenic Rim Food Ambassador, and he’s since been joined by an extraordinary line-up of flavour-makers who showcase Scenic Rim ingredients on their menus. Testament to the event’s growth, was the award for Most Outstanding Region in the prestigious Harvey Norman delicious. 2019 Produce Awards, selected by a panel of Maggie Beer, Matt Moran, Neil Perry and Guillaume Brahimi, and the delicious., top 5 ranking for 2023. Then came The Lonely Planet’s inclusion of the region as one of the one of the top 10 in the world for 2022, with authentic food experiences a major reason why.
Gen Windley, owner of the Scenic Rim Farm Shop and Café, said extending the event to a month would allow more people to experience the region when the paddocks were at their best.
“The Scenic Rim is a series of valleys and micro-regions bordered by ancient volcanoes, and the remnants of these are the most beautiful, rich soils, where you can grow just about anything – great vegetables, incredible wine, dairy, cheese; you name it, we can do it. Eat Local Month is in Winter, which is our most abundant time in terms of produce, and it’s the perfect time to come and meet the farmers, connect with where your food comes from, and physically walk on the farms, see, feel, touch and of course, eat,” she said.
Eat Local Month is set against the natural beauty of the Scenic Rim, a region of more than 4,200 square kilometres of rich volcanic soil surrounded by ancient mountains and home to thousands of farmers and food creators. The event is supported by Tourism and Events Queensland’s Queensland Destination Events Program, and has the highly sought-after, Queensland Significant Event status.
SCENIC RIM EAT LOCAL MONTH 2023
June 1 – July 2
PROGRAM announced and tickets on sale in late April