Truffle Discovery Centre owner Matthew Hibberd with guest chef Ash Martin at tartufo festival
Truffle Discovery Centre owner Matthew Hibberd with guest chef Ash Martin at tartufo festival Liana Walker

Truffle festival delivers to local economy

TWO hundred local and visiting truffle lovers attended Queensland's first truffle festival Sunday.

Visitors travelled as far as Northern Sydney and the Sunshine Coast to enjoy the gourmet food and cooking demonstrations at Tartufo at the Truffle Discovery Centre in The Summit.

Event organiser Matthew Hibberd said the event ran smoothly, despite many challenges including guests chefs cancelling last minute and eight puppies being born at the event.

"The highlight for most people I think was seeing and holding a real truffle, seeing a sniffer dog find a hidden truffle,” Mr Hibberd said.

"It's a rare behind the scenes opportunity that many Queenslanders have never had the chance to experience.

"For me personally it was the people that come and shake my hand at the end of the day and acknowledge what I'm trying to achieve for the local tourism industry.”

Two thirds of visitors stayed three or more nights and Mr Hibberd believed brought around $50,000 into the local economy.

"Many (visitors attended) wine tours on the Saturday and our event on the Sunday,” Mr Hibberd said.

"Of those three plus night visiting friends or relatives group said they were doing dinners, eating out, (visiting) attractions, Girraween and wineries.”

Mr Hibberd has started planning for next year's event where he hoped to involve more local operators.

"Using local caterers and chefs would be enormous in attracting people to the region for a holiday or buying products, sadly this didn't happen in the first year.

"I'm very keen to implement changes and make next year a bigger success and continue promoting the region.”

Did we spot you at the festival?

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