Feijoas, snails, macadamias and seafood: Queensland just got tastier.
Sun, surf and seafood are on the menu in the Sunshine Coast, which is pitching itself as Australia’s newest foodie destination with the launch of the new Sunshine Coast Food Trail.
The trail was introduced by Sunshine Coast chef and television personality Peter Kuruvita at Mooloolaba’s Rockliff Seafoods, whose local spanner crabs are featured on Kuravita's new TV program, Coastal Kitchen.
The spanner crab is something of a celebrity in its own right, championed by pioneering Sydney chef Tetsuya Wakuda, who uses the product in his Singapore restaurant Waku Ghin. They are also exported to Japan, Hong Kong, the US and Taiwan.
The launch includes an interactive website enabling visitors to create their own food trail taking in the region’s producers, markets, restaurants, cooking schools, events, wineries and brewers.
While the Sunshine Coast has a rich agricultural heritage based on sugar cane, pineapples and dairy, it has now diversified to produce everything from feijoas (otherwise known as pineapple guavas) and snails to ginger, macadamias and world-renowned seafood.
Complementing the region’s produce has been the expansion of restaurants, cooking schools, food events, wineries and breweries.
The website will provide visitors with information on the producer or the experience, with the location, operating times and contact details.
Drive trails can be designed to suit anything from a half-day taste to a multi-day buffet.
“From the region’s earliest days, the Sunshine Coast has been synonymous with food,” Visit Sunshine Coast chief executive Simon Latchford said.
“It was a great dairy region and now we have some of the finest cheese-makers, Buderim Ginger was an early pioneer and now we have an incredible range of Asian-inspired cooking schools, and of course our coast is a fishing haven, and Mooloolaba and Tin Can Bay prawns and Noosa mud crabs are now established as favourite menu items for chefs around the world.
"Vibrant markets such as Eumundi and the Noosa Farmers Markets have allowed specialist producers to blossom, and with that has come a wide range of ‘hatted’ restaurants, wineries, breweries, coffee roasters and food attractions."
The food trail covers a region from the Glass House Mountains in the south to the Hinterland and Mary Valley in the west, and north to Noosa and the Gympie region.
Peter Kuruvita said that since moving to the Sunshine Coast three years ago he had been amazed at how the area had expanded both its food scene and variety of produce.
"We have incredible and abundant seafood, a huge variety of ethical organic produce being farmed covering everything from nomadic chickens, macadamias and indigenous bush tucker to camel milk. The producers are passionate and the local community incredibly supportive of them."
The trail can be found at visitsunshinecoast.com/foodtrails.
Top picture: Peter Kuruvita launches the Sunshine Coast Food Trail.
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