Record numbers set new benchmarks for Moree on a Plate
By Georgina Poole
FROM locally-grown and freshly-picked pecans to salted deep-fried fetta balls, there was something to tantalise even the fussiest of taste buds at the Moree on a Plate Food and Wine Festival at the weekend.
With record numbers through the gate and the largest number of exhibitors to date, the regional food fair proved once again why it is fast becoming one of the State’s premier festivals.
Held in the agricultural heartland of Moree in north-west NSW, the event is now in it’s 12th year, and continues to evolve and grow.
With the festival reliant solely on volunteers and largely on sponsorship from local businesses, it reflects the strength of community in this regional small town.
More than 3500 visitors attended the 2016 Moree on a Plate, with celebrity chef Marion Grasby hosting a number of interactive demonstrations and wowing the crowd with her talents and friendly, gracious manner.
Nearly 50 exhibitors from across the region ensured no-one went home hungry and the relaxed, social day out – and perfect weather conditions – proved the icing on the cake.
Families were also well-catered for, with the ever popular Kids Korner a hit, featuring special performer ‘Bubble Muffin’ holding interactive and fun cooking demonstrations, promoting the benefits of healthy eating.
President Mary-Kate McCormick said she was thrilled with the day and the opportunity Moree on a Plate presents, not only to showcase the vast array of fresh produce borne from the region, but also to provide the community with a fantastic social day out and opportunity to relax and catch up with friends.
“We’ve had much needed rain so wheat planting has started, and cotton picking is all but finished so the conditions were perfect for everyone to have a well-deserved break and great day out sampling all the delicious food on offer in our region,” she said.
Marion Grasby was also impressed with the event.
“I’ve been to many regional food festivals and I can honestly say this is one of the most professionally run, with a very high level of quality and a really fun committee, it was a pleasure to be involved and I’m so grateful to the committee for thinking of me!”
The Blokes on the BBQ Competition was again a hit, with local pairs battling the grill to take home the title.
Greg Cumberland and Darren Squires of WMG Agri and We Clean It took home the title with their secret local ingredient Maple mustard dressing from the Bare shelf pantry in Goondiwindi and Pork from South Moree Butchery.
The Thermodix, Henry Moses and Sam Kelly took home People’s Choice Award with their chicken from Reado’s Butchers and secret ingredient Gwydir Grove Olive Pate.
“Thanks to B&W Rural for sponsoring the event and to Mitre 10 Moree for donating Baby WeberQ’s to the winners, as always the competition was great fun and the perfect way to engage the blokes in the festival,” Mrs McCormick said.
Mrs McCormick also thanked the major sponsors of the day, Hill Fitzsimmons, whose team went above and beyond supporting the festival, and to all our wonderful sponsors, thankyou.”
2016 marks the year that Mary-Kate McCormick steps down as president, leaving behind a wonderful legacy of an event still growing in potential, as a serious state-wide industry showcase and tourism event. For a full photo documentary of the day please see our Facebook Site, Moree on a Plate and for further information see www.moreeonaplate.com.au