Last year's Scenic Rim Eat Local Week was, like so many other things, cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Yet this year's event, coming a decade after a group of local producers, farmers and tourism operators came up with the idea for a down-to-earth food festival, promises to make up for all that lost time and tucker.
At the launch of Scenic Rim Eat Local Week 2021 in April, piglets, chickens and dairy cows mingled with hungry human hordes at Tommerup's Dairy Farm. Everyone enjoyed a taste of what was to come during the festival proper: spit-roasted pork, pumpkin dumplings with whipped labneh and kale salt, spanakopita made with silverbeet, camel feta and macadamia, and chicken tandoor with herbed flatbread and more were dished up and washed down with wines from The Overflow Estate 1895 and beers from the Scenic Rim Brewery.
Some of the grass-fed herd at Running Creek Beef. Author image.
This year's Scenic Rim Eat Local Week features the biggest program in the event's 10-year history, with more than 125 events across 48 locations. It runs from 26 June to 4 July, with a smorgasbord of tastings, tours, markets, cooking classes and workshops running from Beaudesert and Boonah to Kalbar and Kerry. The Winter Harvest Festival at Aratula on 3 July is the signature event, bringing together producers, suppliers, retailers and chefs from across the region. On this day, visitors can sample some of the best the Scenic Rim has to offer from a single location while enjoying live music, cooking demonstrations and rides.
Another fascinating destination is Summer Land Camels where guests can join a behind the scenes tour and learn how camel milk is turned into award-winning cheeses and gelato. Night markets with the dromedaries and a sunrise breakfast (including a rare camel milking demonstration) are among the other camel-related events on the program.
Scenic Rim Eat Local Week has a reputation for inspiring innovation - think carrot beer, milk stout and camel milk vodka. Bring an esky when you visit, because you're sure to want to take some of your favourite tastes back home with you.