The Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Hospitality and Racing, the Hon. George Souris MP, today launched Inland NSW Tourism’s Regional NSW BBQ Challenge and associated Regional NSW Showcase Dinners and Farmers Markets at Centennial Parklands.

Commencing 31st August, 2012 in Young with the ‘Hungry for Hilltops’ Regional NSW Showcase Dinner, this will be the first of a series of ‘must attend’ events in Young, Bowral and Inverell run over three weekends in September across Inland NSW.

The BBQ Challenge series will culminate in a cook off between the winners of the three Challenges at Eveleigh Markets on 20 October as part of the Crave Sydney International Food Festival.

All events will feature an impressive array of the best food and wine from local producers, as well as cooking commentary from renowned BBQ cookbook author Kim Terakes and wine commentary from ‘The Wine Man’, Peter Bourne. Musical entertainment will be provided by the BBQ Kings.

According to Inland NSW Tourism CEO, Graham Perry, the initiatives have been developed to highlight the abundance of food and wine experiences available across inland NSW.

“The inland regions of NSW offer some of Australia’s best culinary adventures, in addition to the wide range of activities and attractions,” says Mr Perry.

“The purpose of the BBQ Challenge is to encourage people to explore beyond their own backyard, while having fun engaging in one of Australia’s favourite pastimes – barbequing – and discovering just what Inland NSW has to offer.”

Funding support for the Regional NSW BBQ Challenge was received from Destination NSW through its Regional Tourism Product Development Program.

The initiatives also include support and participation by Young, Wingecarribee and Inverell Councils, and a number of associations, including the Hilltops Harvest NSW, Southern NSW Harvest, the Southern Highlands Food & Wine Association, RDA Southern Inland and RDA Northern Inland.