HANDS ON: Colin Fassnidge offers his tips on how to prepare pork during the Noosa International Food & Wine Festival.
HANDS ON: Colin Fassnidge offers his tips on how to prepare pork during the Noosa International Food & Wine Festival.

Put out the food and wine and they are bound to come

THIS year's Noosa International Food & Wine Festival has recorded the best advanced ticket sales in the event's 12-year history.

Organiser Jim Berardo said the festival had gone from "strength to strength" because it had a focus on the full culinary spectrum.

"No other festival does it all," he said.

"We do food trails, we have a national produce culinary display, plus ... one of the requirements for when people sign up with us is that when they offer food tasting we ask them to feature one if not more local producers.

"The whole concept originally 12 years ago was set up to thank our producers.

"It's critical - without it (primary producers) the festival would never ever work.

"You wouldn't have food on the dining table, Coles and Woolworths wouldn't have food in their stores.

"It is where everything starts."

Julie Leake of Salumi Australia.
Julie Leake of Salumi Australia.

Mr Berardo said organisers estimated about 40% of festival-goers had travelled from interstate or overseas.

The majority of overseas visitors came from New Zealand, but there were also attendees from the US, Canada and Great Britain.

It is also estimated more than 18,000 visitors have travelled to the Sunshine Coast for the four-day festival, which winds up today.

Megan Dean with duck buns from Embassy XO.
Megan Dean with duck buns from Embassy XO.

Mr Berardo said the natural beauty of the region played a huge part in the festival's popularity.

"These things cannot be done in capital cities, hence why people love coming here," he said.

"They get an experience they can't get in other places, not to mention the Sunshine Coast is one of the most beautiful places in the world.

"It helps a lot to attract these people - they come to a beautiful place to have this experience."

Amy Mack and Melissa Budge.
Amy Mack and Melissa Budge.

Minister for Tourism and Major Events Kate Jones agreed.

"The Noosa International Food and Wine Festival is a world-class event set in spectacular surroundings," she said.

"Queensland is a culinary paradise renowned for its food, produce and desirable lifestyle.

"The festival has a reputation as a premier event for food and wine aficionados both here and abroad, and annually injects around $4.5 million in direct visitor spending into the economy."

ON TODAY

  •  Celebrity chef cooking demonstrations
  •  American cookout and barbecue by the river
  •  Seventies beach party, barbecue and clam bake on Noosa Main Beach
  •  Sunday night street party in Hastings St


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