26 November 2021

Gourmet Coast Trail launches website to show diversity of delicious Far South Coast produce

| Albert McKnight
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The Gourmet Coast Trail Association co-founders Greg Lissaman, Lucy Wilson and Dr Fiona Kotvojs

The Gourmet Coast Trail Association co-founders (from left) Greg Lissaman, Lucy Wilson and Dr Fiona Kotvojs. Photo: Honey Atkinson Photography.

Is the NSW Far South Coast one of the best food and wine producing regions in Australia? Well, with the help of a new website you can find out for yourself.

The Gourmet Coast Trail aims to help visitors find local flavours and people who are passionate about food that provide exceptional culinary experiences in the region.

The marketing collaboration covers from Batemans Bay in the north to the Victorian border in the south – a beautiful region that has one of the greatest diversities of quality foods produced in Australia.

The website is the brainchild of three local producers – Lucy Wilson from Breakfast Creek Vineyard, Greg Lissaman from Mountain View Tomatoes, and Dr Fiona Kotvojs from Gulaga Gold Truffiere – and brings together more than 50 food businesses into its one brand.

Featured businesses include producers specialising in cheese and dairy, fish, fruit, gin, oysters, seaweed, truffles, vegetables and wine.

The new website features a map showing the location of these businesses which can help food lovers plan their journeys between them all.

READ ALSO Initiative uniting quality food and wine on Far South Coast given $315k boost

Businesses can be searched for by location, type and activity, and there are also suggested itineraries.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to attract visitors to regional NSW and keep them in the state for longer and spending more by identifying, leveraging and building on the state’s ‘hero’ destinations and experiences, and developing more into the future,” said Mr Lissaman.

Travellers could start at Mossy Cafe in Mossy Point for breakfast, grab some organic shopping at Grandpa’s Garden Organics in Narooma, pick up cheese from Tilba Real Dairy in Central Tilba, have lunch at Mimosa Wines and Restaurant along the Tathra-Bermagui Road, enjoy a craft beer at Pambula’s Longstocking Brewery, then finish with some fresh oysters at Wonboyn Rock Oysters.

Dr Kotvojs said when compared to other regions that are well-known for their produce, such as South Australia’s Barossa Valley and the NSW Hunter Valley, the Far South Coast stands out because of its greater diversity.

There is the seafood that comes from the east, while the colder high country in the west makes truffles and berries. The different soil types, such as rich soil around Tilba and poor soil in other areas, also contribute to the variety.

“That gives us a whole range of diversity in the type of food we can produce,” said Dr Kotvojs.

READ ALSO Farm gates open to cherry season in the Hilltops

She also said producers in the region are passionate about what they do and are able to focus on making quality products because they do not produce for huge markets.

Dr Kotvojs said The Gourmet Coast Trail will help develop year-round food tourism in the region.

“This will attract more visitors who love gourmet food,” she said.

“As more travellers visit and stay longer, year-round employment opportunities will be created and primary producers should be able to obtain a better return for the quality food they produce – helping make our communities and farms more viable into the future.”

She hopes that in two years’ time the trail will be self-sustainable and no longer needing to be supported by government funding. The trail is also looking at doubling the number of member businesses “so it really becomes something that is a go-to for this region”, according to Dr Kotvojs.

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I would like the shops of Mogo to completely change to become the Undercover Food Market place of Eurobodalla.
The main street of Mogo now has a chance to create big changes to revitalise itself to go forward as a unique local south coast Australian food producer’s outlet.

Imagine the main street having ONLY local Eurobodallian honey shops, cheese shops, fruit & veggie shops, a delicatessen where local truffles & products are included (!), specialised bakeries, butchery, & a nursery selling herbs, fruit & nut trees, bushtucker plants. Oh & a chocolate shop utilising Australian chocolate only & a food harvesting preservation by picking shop.
Cooking lessons for adults & children, talks by local producers & cheffie demonstrations, food book launches, touristy picnic packages with bush walks could make it a main street hub for information & education.

Shops that have a direct communion with food like the kitchen In & Out, the new-old church pottery , cafes & such could remain on the main street.
All shops unrelated to good food such as gift shops, household decorative wares, jewellery shops etc could be re-settled to develop the Parking Area street.

Who am I? I’ve been nursing this idea to myself before I read your excellent promotional food map article re Paul West & trio.
I have no personal business interests. I’m an old lady & the outdoor food market for me is an uncomfortable crowded experience & inspires greed not good as folk get in earlier & earlier jostling to get in first to get the best before it sells.
I say to myself I’d like a place out of the wind, the rain, the flies & the heat to shop comfortably & to know that the food producers are not having to load up their vehicles to drive distances to unload at the market, then at the end of their market day load up again to drive home to unload their gear & unsold product.
I’m mindful that primary producers are not shop retailers but that’s where employment can come in. And not all want a big business: I note the trend is to stay small so that their working life isn’t all about filling out staff & employment firms. But they will make enough to hire those who like working numbers & filling out endless governmental forms.
Everybody will say this idea could never happen as it is too difficult. The shop owners will fight it.
Years ago I had the idea to get rid of plastic shopping bags. They said it will never happen, supermarkets will fight it, too difficult…..
Thanking you,
Tara Allen

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