Gate to Plate finds winning recipe for foodies
IF THERE was any criticism of this year's Gate to Plate, it was that the venue was too small.
More than 1000 people visited the food and art exhibition at Yamba Community Centre on Saturday, prompting organiser Gai Pritchett to declare it a sensational success.
"We really didn't know how many people to expect on the day but at one stage there you couldn't move, it was really crowded," Ms Pritchett said.
"In one way that's what made it so successful, because it created a great atmosphere," she said.
"Stallholders who travelled from Byron and Billinudgel were blown away by the number of real foodies in our area, so much so that they plan to extend their market.
"One of the things we wanted to achieve was to highlight local producers."
This year was the first time the Grafton Regional Gallery fundraiser had been held in the lower Clarence.
"The reason we did this downriver was to highlight to the general public that our regional gallery is that, it's not just for Grafton," Ms Pritchett said.
A gala dinner served up by Yamba chefs Mary Drum, Peter Nicholson and Antony Perring attracted 130 guests, and food and beverage master classes throughout the day received rave reviews.
Irons and Craig owner Mr Perring, who helped host Saturday's master classes on seafood and grass-fed beef, described the event as a "cracker".
He said it worked well to have all classes on one day, unlike previous years.
"People really enjoyed being up close and sampling the things we were able to do for them," he said.
Ms Pritchett said she was grateful to the chefs who volunteered and the effort the exhibitors put in.
"You've got to have passion for things like this to be successful and I think that was really evident," she said.