Are we missing out on the next tourist boom?
Restaurant owner says towns can reap rewards of food focus
LOCALLY grown might be taken for granted for people living in the country, but it can draw city people in like a fish to water.
Marketing the “paddock to plate” idea is sparking a new wave of culinary tourism across the country.
“City people are starting to appreciate the real flavours in fresh food,” North Burnett councillor Paul Lobegeier said.
“Grey nomads are happy to treat themselves to good country food and good service.”
It’s an idea Bundaberg restaurateur Amanda Hinds has embraced and wants North Burnett businesses to chase.
THE key to the heart of many a true blue Aussie is through their stomach, and it turns out tourists are no exception.
In Bundaberg, restaurants like Indulge are revolutionising the tourist market with their “grown locally” theme and owner Amanda Hinds thinks it’s an idea the North Burnett should take up.
“We know where everything comes from and we market that on our menu,” Mrs Hinds said.
“All our pork comes from Monto, and we make sure the customers know all about that.”
As they only use products from the Bundaberg and North Burnett regions, Mrs Hinds said their menu changed constantly to make the most of what was in season.
“Tourists are shocked when they come in, they’ve never seen anything like it,” she said.
“I guess that’s what gives us our wow factor, so I absolutely think it’s a great option to expand tourism all over the region.
“It’s about local restaurants and local growers working together.
“In Gayndah, there should be a restaurant that serves up a citrus cake made with local citrus. “People would love that.” Mrs Hinds said locals loved the idea as well, because they not only know the chef but also the grower.
And that way, local producers get a slice of the tourism pie.
“I got the idea (for the Indulge restaurant) when I was growing up on a cattle property at Ban Ban Springs,” Mrs Hinds said.
“I thought I should be mapping my menu around what we had here already, not what everyone else had.”
The pulling power of culinary tourism was on display at the State Government’s annual Destination Q tourism forum last month, which North Burnett Regional Councillor Paul Lobegeier attended.
“Authentic country food and good service are something grey nomads are chasing, and it’s something they are willing to treat themselves to,” Cr Lobegeier said.