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Sometimes you need a little luck with events, and The Curated Plate – which started this week – couldn’t have attracted better weather, especially for interstaters escaping a ‘polar blast’ down south. But you also need the right ingredients to make a food festival really work.

I was genuinely amazed when I looked through the range of experiences that are being offered during the event. While the global chefs might take the spotlight, it is some of the local producers who really caught my eye because they highlight the Sunshine Coast’s remarkable richness and authenticity.

Take, for instance, Little White Goat Cheese, whose cheeses were featured at a Curated Plate dinner at Lake Kawana’s Wildflower Restaurant. Little White Goat Cheese is the brainchild of Karen Lindsay, who has had to learn hard lessons along the way to securing three gold medals for her cheeses at the recent Royal National Association’s Dairy Produce Awards.

Karen puts “love, heart and soul” into her produce and it shows. That passion has made her cheeses a favoured ingredient for many of the Coast’s best chefs, so much so that she’s added buffalo and camel milk-based cheeses to meet the demand.

The same applies to Lauren Brisbane’s QCamel, which is presenting their popular Camel Cuddles & Canapes event at their Glass House Mountains farm for The Curated Plate’s Destination Series. While a slightly bizarre juxtaposition, the camel humps blend in very well with the craggy mountain backdrop!

Lauren shows equal love and passion for her charges and has played a key role in highlighting the ‘super food’ nutritional benefits of camel milk. QCamel supplies milk for a range of products including high-end chocolates and soaps, which are sold interstate and internationally.

And who would have thought the Sunshine Coast would be a ‘natural’ destination for growing the South American feijoa?

Sally Hookey and Peter Heineger of Hinterland Feijoas will highlight the remarkable versatility of the feijoa with an all-star chef line-up producing a Feijoa Fiesta at their Belli Park farm tomorrow.

These great ambassadors are certainly putting the Sunshine Coast firmly on the food tourism map.

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