Rockhampton Regional Council has taken some of the region's premium produce and served it up at a special foodie event in Huizhou, China.
Advance Rockhampton partnered with local producers to ensure Rockhampton ingredients were the centrepiece of a major cooking showcase in Huizhou which attracted businesses, government agencies and media.
Mayor Margaret Strelow said this introduction of Rockhampton ingredients into China was a small, but very significant, first step.
“They always say you taste with your eyes first and thanks to coverage of this event by Chinese media, thousands of people in China have now had a ‘taste’ of what Rockhampton has to offer,” Mayor Strelow said.
“This introduction featured a number of ingredients Advance Rockhampton had identified as a good starting point – think perfectly cooked steaks, small batch local spirits, beef jerky bursting with flavour, boutique pineapple vinegar and beautiful golden honey.
“Renowned chef Christopher Holen from Chef Outta Water teamed up to deliver a collaborative dish of Rockhampton beef and Chinese vegetables while a team of international chefs filmed a cooking show which aired in Huizhou.
“This is a fantastic outcome as part of our Friendship City arrangement and I have to give credit to Advance Rockhampton for the work they put in to make it happen,” Mayor Strelow said.
Advance Rockhampton General Manager Tony Cullen said the Huizhou-Rockhampton culinary and cultural exchange was the start of a marathon, not a sprint.
“We’ve started really well and made an impact – now we have to build on that momentum so that we can get our product into the market,” Mr Cullen said.
“That will be our focus from here, we need to develop a plan to approach this issue holistically and strategically so that the market appetite is there and we can supply the future demand.
“One of the big emerging trends in Asia is that consumers want to know where their food has come from to ensure that premium paddock-to-plate experience.
“That’s why we’re working closely with a company called Beefledger that provides leading blockchain technology for agriculture and food industry for traceability. They track Australian products to their destination so people eating it at the end know exactly where it’s from,” Mr Cullen said.
The Huizhou-Rockhampton culinary and cultural exchange event was delivered in partnership with Huizhou Municipal Government, Guangdong Provincial Government, Beef Ledger and Chef Outta Water to promote Rockhampton Region.