Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

{Get a} TASTE {for the Coast}; {lsquo}We Are Lagging a Little Behind the Eating Culture of Places like Melbourne and Sydney, but the Interest Is Definitely Growing and That's What It's All about - Introducing More Local Food to the People Who Come Here to Visit'

Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

{Get a} TASTE {for the Coast}; {lsquo}We Are Lagging a Little Behind the Eating Culture of Places like Melbourne and Sydney, but the Interest Is Definitely Growing and That's What It's All about - Introducing More Local Food to the People Who Come Here to Visit'

Article excerpt

THE Gold Coast wants more people to get their teeth into the fine food the tourist strip has to offer.

Over 17 days from August 21, the region will host the 2009 Tastes of Gold Coast food and wine festival.

The festival will serve up everything from wine tastings and celebrity chef cooking classes, to lavish banquets, outdoor celebrations and even early morning champagne breakfast balloon flights.

One of the feature attractions introduced for the first time this year is a gourmet Toast To The Coast, hosted by Conrad Jupiters, which promises to take patrons beyond the typical four-course menu with specially created dishes inspired by the hotel-casino's premium award-winning restaurants.

Gold Coast City councillor Jan Grew says the region is keen to expand its reputation as a fine dining location.

"I think the message we need to get out is that there are wonderful dining experiences to have when you come to the Gold Coast," she says.

"You can enjoy our wonderful beaches and hinterland, and every lunch and every dinner you can go out and have a memorable dining experience.

"I think there's been a very heavy focus on other areas apart from fine dining, and perhaps we haven't highlighted that as much as we could have in the past. But Tastes of Gold Coast is now saying this is where you can come for a complete holiday of things to do for yourselves, the kids, plus a great chance to sample a lot of our local products.

"We have fantastic growers and producers here - brewers, fine wines, all sorts of different seafoods - it's all here.

"When you see how innovative and clever they are in producing these fantastic meals it's a great chance to try things you may never have tried before."

Executive chef at Conrad Jupiters Paul Hoeps says visitors can experience a wonderful range of quality local produce. …

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