Master Chef stars George and Gary with Nicole Fuge.
Master Chef stars George and Gary with Nicole Fuge.

Masterchefs get a taste of Queensland

PREMIER Anna Bligh may have taken to the Masterchef stage to plug the high quality of Queensland produce, but according to Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris, it speaks for itself.

The Masterchef frontmen sipped on Noosa Lime Co cordial as they met a cohort of fans at Happy Valley yesterday for the Sunshine Coast's biggest outdoor picnic, promoting the Brisbane Good Food and Wine Show and their new book Cook With Us.

Noosa Lime Co owner Scott Ewington said he used the opportunity to test his new lime pickle, which Gary raved about.

"It's important to nurture local produce and get the community to support it," Scott said. "It's been good to showcase local produce to the community and get feedback."

About 160 locals picnicked and munched on the best produce the Coast has to offer, including goods from local suppliers Australian Nougat Company in Eumundi, Olives Direct in Nambour, Noosa Chilli in Peregian, Zehnder Gluten Free and Maleny Dairies in Maleny, Noosa Lime Co in Noosa and The Coffee Place in Kunda Park.

Having visited the Coast for the Noosa Food and Wine Festival and the occasional holiday, Gary has become quite a fan of our local produce, openly praising the fruits of our labour.

"We had the Pardron Peppers, a Spanish pepper - you usually fry them with a little olive oil and garlic. There's one producer on the Hinterland and I had those last night at a beautiful little restaurant. They were gorgeous. So you're very, very lucky," he said.

"Somebody told me I've got to try a cultured butter that's being produced - Gympie Butter - which apparently is amazing. So I'm going to try that.

"You never know. It might end up in the restaurant."

The Brisbane Good Food and Wine Show

WHERE: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre

WHEN: Today and tomorrow, 10am to 6pm, and Sunday, 10am to 5pm