The South Burnett’s best-known chef and a passionate advocate for the region’s food, wine and tourism industries is the South Burnett’s Citizen Of The Year for 2018.
Jason Ford has been volunteering his professional skills to professional skills to helping create a flourishing South Burnett food and wine tourism industry for the past 15 years.
The outcome he seeks is more local jobs for graduating TAFE hospitality students, and a more recognisable identity for the South Burnett’s as a culinary destination.
During 2017 Jason secured some personal firsts and some even bigger wins promoting the South Burnett’s quality produce, which finds its way into many of his own recipes.
Jason has been a key member of the South Burnett’s Regional Flavours Team for several years.
The team showcase our local produce to over 100,000 visitors at Australia’s premier food and wine event, Regional Flavours, which is held each year in Brisbane’s South Bank Parklands.
During this year’s event Jaaon’s professionalism, culinary knowledge and entertaining stage presence was noticed by event organisers Brisbane Marketing, who subsequently invited him to join the lineup of celebrity chefs.
This led to Jason appearing alongside TV identities such as Master Chef’s Gary Mehigan, The Living Room’s Miguel Masestre and Poh’s Kitchen’s Poh Ling Yeow, here his talents were broadcast on Channel 10 News to an even bigger audience.
Jason’s involvement on behalf of the South Burnett saw six billboards prominently placed along major highways promoting his appearance as the South Burnett Food Ambassador at Regional Flavours.
Jason’s signature South Burnett Sticky Pork Belly and Salad Wrap continues to sell faster at Regional Flavours than the ingredients can be put together to make more.
Jason volunteers his time as the South Burnett’s Food Ambassador by helping promote other regional events like the Goomeri Pumpkin Festival and the evolving Blackbutt Avocado Festival.
His avocado cooking demonstration received promotion on the floor of the Federal Parliament from local Member for Maranoa David Littleproud.
Following that promotion Jason was contacted by Avocados Australia, the industry peak body, to contribute a recipe to their quarterly magazine Talking Avocados.
The South Burnett Citizen of the Year Award recognises a South Burnett resident who has made a valuable contribution to their community and or given outstanding services to the South Burnett community over a number of years.
The other nominees were: