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Big Skies 2019 is dishing up a double treat for foodies across the region

There’s no need to travel to the city for fine dining and celebrity chefs because Big Skies 2019 is dishing up a double treat for foodies across the region.

Sit back, relax and tantalise your tastebuds with a five-course gourmet luncheon alongside Surfing the Menu star Ben O’Donoghue on Friday 3 May.

Proudly presented in conjunction with Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise (TSBE) Food Leaders Australia, The Chef’s Table will be unlike anything you’ve experienced on the Western Downs before.

It will feature an exceptional menu designed by Ben O’Donoghue and sommelier-matched wines to complement the flavours of the fresh, local produce — all set under a canopy of trees at a rural property outside of Dalby.

With a career spanning over two decades in the United Kingdom and Australia, Ben O’Donoghue is one of Australia’s first and most-loved celebrity chefs.

In May 2019, Ben will use his talent with some of Australia’s finest produce, from right here in the Western Downs.

Mayor Paul McVeigh said the gourmet luncheon would be a unique experience for locals and tourists alike.

“We already know we grow some of the best quality produce right here on the Western Downs and what better way to showcase that than with a five-course meal designed by a great chef!” he said.

Ben said he was looking forward to working with local fish, pork, beef and legumes for the menu.

“I was honoured to be asked to select a menu for this great event and I’m really excited for everyone to taste it,” he said.

“It was actually a tough decision because there is so much excellent locally grown and sourced produce available right here on the Western Downs.

“But after much thought, I’ve chosen the Murray Cod from Condabilla Fish Farm, pork belly from Sunpork, a 60-day aged sirloin from AACo and some local chickpeas — I can’t wait for everyone to try them.”

TSBE Food Leaders Australia General Manager Bruce McConnel said The Chef’s Table was a great way to showcase our local produce.

“We are proud to be involved in this event, with a top celebrity chef preparing local produce to highlight the outstanding quality of food we have in the Western Downs,” he said.

The Chef’s Table will be held at 12pm for a 12.30pm start on Friday 3 May at Brooklyn, 864 Moonie Highway, Dalby. Tickets will be $195 each or $1500 for a table of eight.

Big Skies will also host a Garden & Gallery Champagne Picnic with Kylie Bourne, a local Western Downs artist, under the 100-year-old jacarandas on the banks of the Dogwood Creek on Wednesday 1 May.

Mayor Paul McVeigh said the Garden & Gallery Champagne Picnic would give people a chance to sit back under the trees and appreciate the beauty of our natural environment and a local artist’s work.

“Big Skies really does offer something for everyone and whether you’re a Western Downs local or someone travelling here for the Festival, the Garden & Gallery Champagne Picnic is sure to be a fun afternoon,” he said.

“Kylie is an extremely talented artist and the Dogwood Creek will be a beautiful backdrop to her work.”

Kylie Bourne said she was looking forward to showcasing her region to visitors.

“I think it’s important that we showcase the region, our way of life and why we love living here,” she said.

“I’m happy to share my little piece of paradise and it’ll be lovely to share with community members and visitors that might come along.”

The Garden & Gallery Champagne Picnic will be held from 12 to 4pm on Wednesday 1 May at Sunnyview, 267 Hookswood-Pelham Road, Miles. Tickets are $55 and include a gourmet picnic lunch and glass of champagne on arrival.

For more information or to book tickets to any Big Skies events, visit

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Media Contact:

Madison Imhoff | Communications Officer | 0419 940 846 | 07 4679 4136