Gary Mehigan, Matt Preston and George Calombaris set a mini mystery box challenge on MasterChef. Supplied by Channel 10.
Gary Mehigan, Matt Preston and George Calombaris set a mini mystery box challenge on MasterChef. Supplied by Channel 10.

Call to MasterChef producers to bring show to CQ

EVERY year Masterchef puts a call out for Australian want-to-be chefs to apply to compete on their show.

This year, I'm putting the call out to Masterchef to support Queensland regions who have been impacted by drought and floods in recent years by having one of their weekly challenges held in the Beef and Barramundi capital - Rockhampton region.

Masterchef Australia will film in Queensland for the first time in the top rating television show's 11-year history, with cameras set to roll in areas including Brisbane and the Gold Coast over the next fortnight.

Cast including judges Matt Preston, George Calombaris and Gary Mehigan, and a full crew will jet in to film episodes for the 2019 season of the Channel 10 reality cooking competition as part of "Queensland Week”.

What's more Queensland than beef and barra? And mangoes.... well, we have them too.

Ian Groves inspects a Honey Gold Mango which will be ready for harvest early in the new year.   Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin
Ian Groves inspects a Honey Gold Mango which will be ready for harvest early in the new year. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin Chris Ison ROK131115cmango1

Rockhampton and the rest of Central Queensland has an abundance of fresh local produce available that could tantalise contestants, and judges, taste buds.

On top of that, there are dozens of picturesque locations to check out including any one of our beaches, or the sun setting at Paradise Lagoons which hosts annual campdrafts and black tie balls; Great Keppel Island pretty much any time of day, Byfield National Park has some beautiful locations with camping grounds that could be used for barbecue challenge, and many many more.

Hey, maybe Rockhampton Regional Council can organise a cook-off on the top of Mt Archer to take advantage of the new walkway or other walking tracks nearby?

What do you love Central Queensland? Kim Shannon shared the view from the Sleipner lookout along the Mt Archer walking trail for The Morning Bulletin's #SnapRockhampton campaign.
What do you love Central Queensland? Kim Shannon shared the view from the Sleipner lookout along the Mt Archer walking trail for The Morning Bulletin's #SnapRockhampton campaign. Kim Shannon

Rockhampton's Coby Pascoe and Travis Lacey from Hooked Fishing Charters said the Fitzroy River running through Rockhampton was a premier Australian fishing destination. Read more here: Charters welcome the 2019 barra season

Clint Fannin with the biggest barra caught in the Rocky Barra Bounty; 1.24m.
Clint Fannin with the biggest barra caught in the Rocky Barra Bounty; 1.24m. Contributed

Contestants, if they are game to get down and dirty, could hand pick their own beef at the CQLX saleyards on the Capricorn Highway opposite Gracemere. And head to one of the two abattoirs on the northside to watch their beast carved up.

They could also have a side dish, or added ingredient to a beef dish, of free range pork from Dawson Valley Free Range pig farm at Baralaba. Read more here: Happy pigs make tastier ham

We also have a mango and avocado farm at Kabra to check out. Read more here: MMM Mangoes and Avocadoes farm

There is also fresh produce available from Farnborough couple Louise and George Wilson's Cap Coast Veges and 30kms away from Rockhampton is Paul and Krystal Caton's Lychee orchard.

Groves Orchard has an array of fresh fruit growing. The orchard at Bungundarra hosted a Paddock to Plate lunch in 2015.

One of the largest farms on the Capricorn Coast, the property produces five varieties of mangoes as well as lychees and avocados.

"The late mango season is in February and normally lasts until March,” Mr Groves told The Morning Bulletin in November 2015.

So Gary, George and Matt had better place their orders.

Read more here: Farnborough growers hand pick all their produce

Read more here: Lychee farm in our own backyard

Read more here: Groves Orchard fruitful despite high costs