Alastair McLeod joins Festival

Television chef and popular Brisbane caterer, Alastair McLeod, has joined Scenic Rim Eat Local Week and will lead cooking demonstrations at the Winter Harvest Festival on July 5.

Chef McLeod will share his passion for cooking with fresh, local and in-season ingredients with crowds at the Winter Harvest Festival in Aratula, an hour south-west of Brisbane.

The Winter Harvest Festival is the signature event of Eat Local Week and will showcase the food, wine and farmers of the fertile Scenic Rim region.

Chef McLeod will lead cooking demonstrations on the main stage at 11.30am and 2.30pm, utilising the smorgasbord of fresh ingredients sourced around the Scenic Rim.

“The opportunity to immerse myself as a chef in a food region such as the Scenic Rim is a wonderful experience,” says Alastair.

“I’m still mystified as to why Alan Cunningham wanted to know what was across that gap, my journey would have stopped here!”

The Irish-born, Brisbane-based chef is a familiar face in food circles, thanks to his work on Channel Seven’s Great South East and Network Ten’s Ready Steady Cook.

His kitchen experience is extensive; he’s worked at Michelin-listed restaurants across the world, including Roscoff in Belfast and Da Giovanni in Torino Italy. He’s also worked at La Fregate in Collioure France and one of Scotland’s finest restaurants, The Ubiquitous Chip in Glasgow. More recently he worked as Executive Chef at Brisbane’s iconic Brett’s Wharf and Tank Restaurant and Bar.

Scenic Rim Eat Local Week runs from June 28 to July 6 and is a showcase of the people who produce food and wine in the region.

Now in it’s 4th year, Eat Local Week encourages consumers of all ages to think about the food they eat and the journey it has made to the plate.

The week features a series of free and low-cost activities, including farm tours, producer dinners, cooking classes, cheese-making workshops, a carrot field day and the authentic Winter Harvest Festival and tractor pulling competition.

Eat Local Week is an initiative of the Scenic Rim Regional Council. Mayor Cr John Brent, who is a fourth generation vegetable farmer, says as well as raising awareness of how fresh food is produced the week is about highlighting the benefits of sourcing in-season food close to the source.

“Agriculture and tourism contribute $402-million to the regional economy and Eat Local Week is a celebration of the people whose hard work makes that possible,” says Cr Brent.

The Winter Harvest Festival will be held at the Aratula Community Sports Centre on July 5 from 10.30am to 3pm. As well as Chef McLeod’s cooking demonstrations the day will feature live music, produce and hot food stalls, local beers and wines, cakes, preserves and condiments.

A highlight of the event is the Kalbar & District Community Bank Tractor Pull in which teams of 12 compete for prize money for their sporting or community group by pulling a 12-tonne John Deere tractor over 20m in the fastest time.

Eat Local Week and the Winter Harvest Festival are supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland as part of a growing calendar of sporting, cultural and regional events throughout the state.

Full event details are available online at www.eatlocalweek.com.au

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