Granite Belt in spotlight for its food and wine
NESTLED among a maze of stalls showcasing Queensland's best food and wine, a little slice of the Granite Belt had the country's top chefs coming back for more.
Hordes of foodies stopped by the Stanthorpe stall at the Brisbane Good Food and Wine Show at the weekend, singing praise for the region's produce.
Celebrity chef Maggie Beer even turned to Stanthorpe State High School's honey to soothe her sore throat.
The three-day show is a major marketing event for Granite Belt Wine and Tourism, who designed the stall to take city-slickers out to the country to where the food journey begins.
GBWT marketing manager Sarah Reeves said the display was a big hit with the show's 18,000 visitors.
"Apart from promoting the region as a tourism destination, we were also promoting the food production," she said.
"The stall was set up to show the journey from orchard, to paddock, to fruit shop, the pantry and finally the plate."
Ms Reeves said the crowd feedback served to show the Granite Belt had distinguished itself as a prime food and wine producing region.
"Five years ago 70-80% of people didn't know what the Granite Belt was. This year 90% knew and loved the Granite Belt," she said.
"That's a sign that our marketing efforts have really worked."
For the second year in a row, Stanthorpe State High School tourism and hospitality students tagged along for the weekend, chatting to the public about what the region had to offer visitors.
Ms Reeves said the students came away from the event with a renewed sense of pride in their home town.
"It's a hard job and they slogged it out for three days," she said.
"They represented the region really well.
"After hearing visitors and people like Maggie Beer and Matt Moran saying how much they love the Granite Belt, I think it does give the students a sense of pride in where they come from."
SSHS spokeswoman Ann Richardson said the school's partnership with GBWT was invaluable.
"The relationship that we have with GBWT is a fantastic experiential relationship for the students," she said.
"The students get to do real things and work in real industry.
"They get to experience the highs and lows of what people in real industry do, and that adds to the quality of their training."
Along with the region's food producers, nine local wineries and the Granite Belt Brewery were represented at the Brisbane Good Food and Wine Show.