Fine Food Queensland, one of the country's largest food events and the sister show of Fine Food Australia, will take place in Brisbane in just under a fortnight, bringing with it a display of some of the country's great producers and talents.
From sustainable packaging to baking secrets, and from large-scale catering to new products such as edible insects and little known bush tucker, this year's show promises to bring the best of the state's producers and businesses to the fore of the food and hospitality industries.
The Talking Food Stage is packed with experts and topics that affect every aspect of the industry, including sustainability, food trends, technology and social media, as well as expert advice on staffing and management. Similarly the baking and pastry stages, and the barista competition, showcase the best of their categories in exciting sessions and contests.
Local and regional Producers and products are also a focus of the event, and Fresh Produce Lane is a showcase of the state's regional fare. This year the area includes the incredible Aqua Botanical made from the freshest produce, straight off the land, making it the first water in the world sourced entirely from fruit and vegetables.
How? Australian farmers grow copious amounts of fresh produce to guarantee a daily supply that feeds families all over the country, and some harvests are more generous than others, meaning not all fruit and vegetables can be sold in the fresh produce market.
Being aware of how much it takes to grow this perfectly fine food, many Australian farmers choose to bring their overabundance of produce to juice manufacturers. When fruit and vegetables are pressed to extract their juices, they produce a large volume of water in parallel as they naturally contain water.
In a drought stricken country like Australia every drop is valued, but until recently the aqueous liquid from juice was not re-useable. AquaBotanical found a way to help the world tap into this unique new water source - by filtering and mineralising the aqueous liquid from juice concentrate.
The end result is a clear and clean tasting water free of sugars, toxins and additives, and has helped fresh produce growers minimise food and water wastage - and garnered the attention of global awards as a result.
Another lovely example is Ugly Duck Preserves which is a boutique food business creating preserves from ugly fruit - that which cannot otherwise be sold due to cosmetic imperfections or oversupply. Working directly with farmers and growers, currently, 80% of the products are also made from spray-free produce with an aim to be 100% spray free within the next few months. No colours or preservatives are ever used.
On stage, local talents such as those of Urbane Restaurant's Andy and Alejandro will share their insights on how to make business sustainable, and reality TV stars are also lining up to take part, with MKR winners Dan and Steph who run a Hervey Bay cafe will be taking part, as will Puerto Taco owners John and Justine who featured on last year's Restaurant Revolution who will discuss the ongoing trend of food trucks, pop-ups, and taking food from the kitchen to the street.