Bundaberg farming excellence showcased

Sustainable restaurateur, TEDx speaker, botanical artist and designer, Joost Bakker.

By Angela Norval

Labelled as Australia’s own food tourism conference, Destination Food is an event that will get visitors thinking differently about where their food comes from and the amazing flavours fresh produce can create.

After a successful first event in Sydney in 2018, the biennial conference had a false start last year but returns this year with a dynamic speaker line-up in Bundaberg on Monday 2 August.

Bundaberg Tourism CEO Katherine Reid said the Bundaberg region was one of Australia’s biggest culinary regions.

“We are proud to be hosting Destination Food and welcoming the nation’s food tourism industry to the region in August this year,” she said.

“Arriving into the Bundaberg region, Destination Food attendees will see the rich red soil, lush green fields and innovative producers, always growing, always producing and always creating.

“Bundaberg Tourism, with funding and support from Bundaberg Regional Council and a Federal Government grant, are delighted to partner with Destination Food to grow awareness of the region and share knowledge across our national culinary tourism industry.”

In a bonus for conference delegates, Destination Food will host a ‘Taste of Bundaberg farm tour and artisan lunch’ the day prior to the conference.

This educational tour will allow delegates to meet local food tourism operators and experience the destination’s delights first-hand.

Agritourism entrepreneur Tina McPherson joins the program, sharing her learnings on developing the successful Tinaberries farm gate tourism experience.

Tina was proud to share the Tinaberries agritourism and diversification journey that has seen the property not only share farm-fresh, lush strawberries but open the farm up to visitors to pick their own or sample Tinaberries ice-cream.

“It is wonderful to have this event come to Bundaberg and to be able to bring a really broad range of speakers to share their knowledge and experience,” she said.

“The event is welcoming back food writer Barbara Sweeney as MC and I have seen her recently at a Scenic Rim event and she was brilliant in that role.

“I think the delegates farm tour the day previously really is a great chance to showcase the amazing work local farmers are doing and just how rich our region is in fresh produce.

“Bundaberg is an ideal place to host an event like this because so many of us are continuing to diversify like ourselves in our being able to take advantage of the drive tourism market that is being drawn to the region.”

Also taking the stage are executive chef Mark McNamara; CEO Anne Moroney of Regional Development Australia Barossa Inc; ‘Pie Master’ Steve Rosa from Southern Highlands, NSW; Sparrowly Group founder Giovanna Lever; and global regenerative tourism leader Dianne Dredge, with more speakers and panellists to be announced.

Sustainable restaurateur, TEDx speaker, botanical artist and designer, Joost Bakker will headline at this year’s Destination Food conference.

Bakker will deliver a keynote presentation titled The Future of Food that will explore his latest work, including the second phase of his Greenhouse by Joost project in Melbourne’s Federation Square.

The Greenhouse project is a self-sustaining, closed loop, two-bedroom home that shelters, feeds, and provides energy for its inhabitants that has been called ‘a blueprint for the homes of the future’.

The first two residents of the Greenhouse were Chefs Matt Stone and Jo Barrett.

The pair moved into the Greenhouse full-time late last year with the goal to grow, harvest and cook food sourced exclusively from the building in quantities large enough to sustain two people for three months.

Bakker will discuss the outcomes and lessons from the latest Greenhouse project, and how this knowledge can be applied to food tourism initiatives in the future.

Destination Food founder and program curator Holly Galbraith was so excited that Joost was joining the speaker line-up.

“He has been designing and operating carbon neutral venues for decades – long before it became fashionable,” she said.

“Joost’s thinking is totally future-focused and his creative ideas are exactly the kind of thing Australian operators need to learn from and embrace if we’re going to stay competitive with other top-tier food destinations.”

Destination Food will be held at the Bundaberg Multiplex Sport and Convention Centre on Monday 2 August from 8.30am to 5pm.

For more information and tickets, visit destination-food.com.au.