Sunshine Coast’s reputation as a foodie destination bolstered by inaugural festival

The Sunshine Coast’s new food festival, The Curated Plate, attracted over 13,000 visitors, with large numbers coming from interstate, the rest of Queensland, and overseas, particularly from New Zealand.

The aim of The Curated Plate was to showcase the Sunshine Coast as a premium food destination, with events held throughout the region.

The emphasis on local was integral to the success of the festival, with local producers and local restaurateurs starring alongside renowned national and international guest chefs.

From seafood safaris in Caloundra and fine dining in the hinterland, through to bush tucker in Eumundi and a unique DeguSTATION experience aboard the Mary Valley Rattler steam train, local food producers, restaurants, breweries and boutique tour operators were inspired to introduce new interactive experiences to highlight the maturity and diversity of the region’s food and beverage sector.

Across the festival, guests heard from producers and chefs, visited farms, and dined at unique bespoke venues created especially for The Curated Plate.

A pop-up restaurant on Mooloolaba beach provided a perfect venue for the feature events, while a Food Fair at Cotton Tree Park proved highly popular with a range of masterclasses, cooking demonstrations and fine-food options.

Visit Sunshine Coast CEO Simon Latchford said the success of the inaugural The Curated Plate demonstrated a hunger for authentic food experiences in one of Australia’s most desirable destinations.

“We were fortunate to have perfect weather throughout, but it was the range of events and the fact that they provided rare opportunities to experience the farms and artisans behind the region’s food that attracted such a positive response,” he said.

“There is a huge opportunity to build on what was created in the inaugural year and we will use the learnings from this year’s event to evolve and develop The Curated Plate as one of Australia’s most dynamic and cutting-edge food festivals.”

Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said that he was already looking forward to next year’s festival.

“Besides the direct benefits to local businesses by attracting interstate and intrastate visitors, the staging of the event has created substantial publicity for the region which will have long term benefits for tourism and the promotion of the exceptional quality of food and beverage products available from the Sunshine Coast,” he said.

“The Curated Plate provided an inspirational platform for local chefs, restaurants and producers to work closely with some of the worlds most acclaimed and exciting chefs, showcasing the exceptional produce that our Sunshine Coast can offer.”