ACCLAIMED chef Matt Golinski won everyone's hearts as well as their palates on Sunday at the Mary Valley Country Flavours event in Imbil.
Rainy weather did not keep the throngs of people away from the enticing aromas that drifted from Imbil's Centre Park where Mr Golinski cooked up a storm with local Mary Valley produce.
The event was part of the Mary Valley Country Flavours project, created by Mary Valley Inc to link the tourism, hospitality and agriculture sectors through developing and marketing products under the new Flavours brand.
Businesses involved in the project have participated in barista training and business mentoring, growers have been networking and meeting buyers, and the project brought Mr Golinski to the valley to promote its local flavours.
The chef's easy-going nature made the day a great success and he was happy to chat with the inquisitive crowd during his demonstrations.
He cooked three sessions using local beef, pork and chicken with fruit and vegetables from accredited Mary Valley Country Flavours producers' stalls at the markets.
He also launched the Farm to Business Trade Directory 2013 on behalf of the project.
The directory promotes the "get local" campaign and lists producers as well as produce categories, markets, wholesalers, distributors and retailers of Flavours products and food service databases.
Mr Golinski then went shopping at the accredited producers' market stalls for five ingredients to create mystery bags, which he then presented to three participants in the local Ready, Steady, Cook session.
Imbil Bowls Club chef Rainer Kruse and Nicky Watson and Debbie Williams were asked to create a meal in 30 minutes and impressed people with their culinary skills.
"It was a thrill to cook with Matt and showcase local produce," said Nicky Watson from Upper Kandanga.
Mr Golinski wrapped up the day with his final demonstration where he also used the same five ingredients to cook yet another creation, saying that the demonstration showed the variety of dishes that could come from wonderful fresh and local produce.
Project co-ordinator Lesa Bell said the Flavours accreditation process ensured buyers and retailers that they were purchasing genuine local Mary Valley Product.
"The growers and food outlets have been very positive about committing to the accreditation process which asks them to deliver consistent quality product," she said.