BACONFEST: Roberta Schablon is making sure local produce is one of the main themes of BaconFest.
BACONFEST: Roberta Schablon is making sure local produce is one of the main themes of BaconFest. Elaelah Harley

Local produce brings BaconFest back to its roots

WHEN it comes to BaconFest's Long Table Breakfast, caterer Roberta Schablon from The Saucy Fork wants to make sure there's as much local produce used as possible.

And for this to happen, Mrs Schablon said it's all about making connections with the farmers.

"In the lead up to BaconFest, connections are our biggest focus when organising the meals and markets,” she said.

This is especially the case for the Long Table Breakfast, which will have food entirely sourced from the different stalls expected for BaconFest.

"The customers that are sitting there at the Long Table Breakfast will actually have VIP access to the markets that morning, so they'll get first dibs on the produce,” she said.

"They've tasted it, so if they liked it, then they'll be able to buy it and take it home.”

Mrs Schablon said this will be a major help to local producers and their businesses.

"Julie Foley from Discover South Burnett and myself have a Facebook page called South Burnett Produce Connections, where we try our best to connect different producers and restaurants or retailers,” she said.

"It's working great for those with their businesses on Facebook, but if they're not on Facebook, the markets still help people gain exposure.”

Mrs Schablon said the markets are another way to get this same exposure.

"Even if you have your business on Facebook, we'll still recommend for you to have a stall, because you'll be able to broaden your market, especially with a lot of tourists visiting BaconFest.”

In more of an effort to get local businesses out there, Mrs Schablon wants this focus on local produce to help convince South Burnett restaurants and other establishments to get involved.

"What we really need is wineries, cafes, restaurants and pubs, we need them to be using local produce in their menus,” she said.

"When tourists come, they'll see all the local produce, but often when they go to a pub or club, there won't be local produce on our menus. To stop this, we really need people to start connecting with local producers.

"BaconFest will be a good boost to change our food culture, and for people to realise that local produce is what tourists want to see.”